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Great Games To Play On The Train


Are you bored of your 45-minute train journey and need something to do? Perhaps you're on the plane and need a distraction from the kid kicking the back of your chair? Maybe your backpack doesn’t have room for your beloved Unmatched set, and you need to travel light. Well, have I got a solution for you? I’ve compiled a list of my favourite games with a small footprint or, as I like to call them, Games you can play on the Train.

Love Letter

This is the smallest game in my collection, but there's no missing out on fun with this game. All in a tiny bag, players need to deliver a love letter to a suitor. For each round, you draw and play a card that has effects. The card in your hand is the person delivering the letter. At the end of the round, if the players have not been eliminated, the player with the highest value card in their hand succeeds in delivering their letter, gaining a victory point. It ends up playing as a quick and snappy game, a race to 6 victory points with lots of room for wild guessing, scheming and trickery. It’s so easy to set up and put away, being so small and is beautifully designed. On the train, I often leave the victory points in the bag and count them on my notes app in case of a bumpy ride.

Star Realms

Star Realms is a deck-building game where players build trade to purchase high-end spaceships and space stations, eventually building up a fleet of warships to take out their opponent. All the cards belong to four factions, which have effects triggered if played alongside their faction. You can build combos to accumulate crazy effects that leave you or your opponent wishing you never suggested to play. It’s a really small game to pack into your backpack. If you're lucky not to get the train on a train strike day (a rare occurrence last year) and bag a four-seater table, you can whip this out on the train.


Fox In The Forest

Fox in the Forest is such a gorgeous game. The artwork and design are what drew me to pick this compact game. I first played this in a coffee shop on a small round table; it takes up very little room. This is a trick-taking game of cunningness whilst not being too greedy. You don’t want to score too high or too low at the end of the round; otherwise, your overall points score will suffer. Fox in the Forest consists of a hand of cards, which you choose to place against your opponent, is where the game lies. Each card has effects that can help you win or tactically lose. The aspect of not wanting to win too much provides an exciting battle with your plans, as your opponent can play cards to ensure you win. It’s a delightful game that is easy to jump into and can be played anywhere.

The Mind

The Mind is a simple cooperation game where you cannot speak to each other. Each player is given a hand, increasing the number of cards as you go up the difficulty level. Your cards each have a number on them, and you have to work with the rest of the players to put them in ascending order without speaking or seeing each other's numbers, just using the power of the mind. This game is tense and fast-paced and often involves a lot of loud silences where you and the other players are anxiously looking at each other and your cards, unsure whether your 45 is the next closest number to 32. The rules are simple, and the game is always short, sweet, and sometimes sour.

Now, I am all for big board games, but sometimes, I don’t feel like dragging Sleeping God across the country and need to find a fun alternative. I’m sure there are more small games. I have played Sushi Go before, and it is a fun-packed game that's also compact, so the list does not end here. The games listed here are my favourite small games and games that I have practised and perfected travelling with. Hopefully, this will help give some insight if you also need a small game to take on your travels.