Menu

    Zed has hand-picked an exciting and varied selection of games in his subscription box. Expect to receive some of the best games as well as a few surprises!

    Subscribe Now »

    Looking for the latest new releases? Then this is the subscription for you, each month you’ll receive an amazing box full of just the newest & biggest games!

    Subscribe Now »

    Our two new Mystery Box offerings will help you pick up some of the latest top of the range games and exclusive goodies, but at a much lower price!

    Order Now »

    Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3 · Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

    Top 5 Small Games For Big Brains

    Red Cathedral

    All of us love Euros. But not all of us have enough time to break out a 2–3-hour beast that requires a forklift to get it on a table. We all like games with real puzzle. There is some shared hilarity to be had when frequent calls of, “Oh my God, I can’t believe I did that!” are heard throughout the course of the game. Even if you yourself are uttering them.

    So, we thought we would share with you a selection of games that are compact and typically quick playing but offer weighty decisions. They've got plenty of wrinkles and more crunch than a Toffee Crisp coated in gravel. We hope you will try them and enjoy them as much as we do.

    Red CathedralFred Cronin

    When it comes to heavy games in small packages, Red Cathedral is right up there. With players trying to prove themselves worthy of the recognition of the infamous Tsar himself. Every decision you make has to be well thought out. This is so that you don’t inadvertently let your opponents pip you at the post. On the surface, Red Cathedral may look like any other Eurogame. With its speedy playing time, every decision you make carries much more weight to the longer Eurogames.

    On their turn, players take one of three actions. They'll either gather resources claim a section of the cathedral or get building. This means that from the get-go players are faced with a difficult decision, should they consolidate resources and build quickly or block other players from claiming the good sections?

    As each section awards points upon completion, players have to think quickly or risk wasting their turn. This is especially noticeable towards the end of the game when the actions you took before can make or break your chances of winning. Every time I’ve played, someone playing with me has uttered the painful phrase ‘I should not have done that’, after realising that they have inadvertently let someone else fly into the lead or have realised they don’t have enough time to realise their plan fully.

    For such a compact box, Red Cathedral is a heavy-hitting game that is filled with all of the classic frustration board gamers know and love. It may seem that Red Cathedral is just a simple old Eurogame. But each action is important and players need to be quick-thinking if they want their plans to come good!

    The King is DeadJohn H

    So you have eight cards in your hand. Eight turns and eight territories to fight over. You are going to spend 45 minutes vying for control of the faction who will take the throne after Arthur’s death. How hard can that be? I think there is a good reason that this is NPI’s game of the year. It’s lean, crunchy and really rather fantastic.

    Eight turns and only three factions it may be. But each turn is critical and each decision you make in a turn equally so. A lot of this comes down to the core, two-fold conceit. First, a majority of cubes in a territory will win that territory for that faction. The faction with the most territories will be king in the end game. Second, every time you play a card and resolve its effect you also take a faction cube off the board and into your ‘hand’. The person with the most cubes of the winning faction wins the game. So in order to control the winning faction, you need to have acquired enough of their cubes. But every time you take one it makes it harder to win control of territories.

    This makes for gorgeously agonising decisions over the following. Which card or cards to play in each turn. Which faction to back. Where to place cubes when you play cards. And where cubes can be taken from without sabotaging your own plans. The fact that there is an early game end - if three territories have ties, the French invade and the person with the most tri-colour sets of cubes in their ‘hand’ wins – provides an additional layer of tactical choice and complexity. And on top of that, you can opt for cunning action cards in every player’s hand rather than all of you having the same eight regular action cards.

    Never has so much been achieved with so little since Condottiere… but that’s a different and equally excellent story.

    Curious Cargo - Favouritefoe

    Being a mummy to a 5-year-old mini meeple is like smashing a daily workout at the gym. From kitchen tennis (you know, with a ping pong ball and silicone splatter guards. No? Ok, that’s just us

    then!) to sofa cushion slides, and Amazon box assault courses. Cardio and strength training come in colourful, (often) sticky form! So, without a doubt, I am prepped to carry some serious cardboard from shelf to table. But, the astoundingly varied world of board gaming means that, even if I am looking for the burn, brain-wise, I don’t have to put my muscle where my mouth is.

    And Curious Cargo from Capstone Games sits squarely in my light box-heavy think slot. In fact, when I opened the box, punched out the fairly small selection of tiles and other components, and flicked through the slim rule book, I completely underestimated the killer crunch this game causes. Don’t be fooled by its cute, cartoony style box. Under the lid beats a titan of two-player tension with a metric ton of sneaky direct player interaction.

    The two-phase premise sounds simple. Use three actions to lay tiles in order to connect pipelines in your factory to shipping/receiving terminals. Then use up to 2 AP points to draft in (or exchange) trucks so that the inexplicable (i.e. curious) blue and red components can be shipped out of your factory faster than your opponent’s.

    Your brain wants it to be this simple. But Ryan Courtney is a pitiless personal trainer. He has brought us a game designed to make players crack under the pressure of its brain bench-press. You see, making continuous blue or red pipelines that alternate when they connect into the loading/unloading docks in phase 1 is hard enough. When you then realise that the trucks can and will be moved along each other’s boards in phase 2, potentially completely mismatching your goods to the corresponding colour of its (now) adjacent pipeline, your mental muscle will be pulled so hard that you’ll be using tiger-balm as a shampoo for weeks.

    CoupCraig Smith

    What is your biggest board game misconception? Mine was the bigger and more expensive a game is, the better it is. A few months ago, I decided to challenge this belief and purchased Coup. In my head I’m thinking “it’s a card game, how good can it be?”

    When you open the small shiny box all you have are fifteen cards, a bag of coins and a summary card for each player. Each player is given two coins and two cards only they can look at. The aim of the game is to be the last person standing by assassinating your opponents or performing a coup on them. Whilst this sounds straightforward, it is anything but.

    By definition, deduction games require a lot of thinking. However, Coup allows players to be a bit more flexible with the truth. Should you push your luck and claim to have an assassin? What about if they have a Contessa? Should you steal from the person who has seven coins before they have a chance to perform a coup? Is honesty the best policy, or should you try and bluff your way through?

    In my review of Qwirkle, I highlighted the fact that games don’t need to have endless rules to be enjoyable. Coup goes that little bit further than that. It gives players the chance to be their own worst enemy by giving them the option to lie. It backs players into corners and gives them a do or die scenarios. Also, it can turn against you in one move, from a place of relative comfort to being completely out of the game.

    So consider this an apology to small box games. I am sorry I ever doubted you, because some of you really are small in size, but big in decision-making.

    Rajas of the Ganges: The Dice CharmersHannah Blacknell

    One of the newer games to my collection that burns my brain is the Roll and Write version of Huch!’s classic worker placement Rajas of the Ganges, and that is The Dice Charmers.

    In the Dice Charmers, you are spending your game trying to cross off spots on your fame and money tracks so that they eventually cross over. The game end is signalled by a player getting their tracks to overlap. If more than one player manages this in the same round, then the largest overlap takes the crown. Each die you draft from the pool will let you cross something off in one of the four main areas of your sheet, pink, blue, green and orange (same colours as the dice). This mark may allow you to also combo some more moves, making you feel both clever and satisfied at your combo-tastic skills.

    I am a real fan of games that can be played within 30 minutes without much in the way of set up or tear down, so naturally, I migrate towards the Roll and Write genre.  Roll and Writes by their very nature have a tonne of replayability, the randomness that dice rolling introduces ensure this. There is a lot of doing the best with the dice you have that you need to do in a roll and write, be that a simple game such as Yahtzee or a more complicated one like Dice Charmers. I enjoy that crunch though, that probability and hedging your bets on what you might be able to pull off on your next turn.

    It seems that a common theme of my collection to pick puzzly brain burners. In fact, I did a feature specifically on these a while back that you can find here.

    One of the newer games to my collection that burns my brain is the Roll and Write version of Huch!’s classic worker placement Rajas of the Ganges, and that is The Dice Charmers.

    In the Dice Charmers, you are spending your game trying to cross off spots on your fame and money tracks so that they eventually cross over. The game end is signalled by a player getting their tracks to overlap. If more than one player manages this in the same round, then the largest overlap takes the crown. Each die you draft from the pool will let you cross something off in one of the four main areas of your sheet, pink, blue, green and orange (same colours as the dice). This mark may allow you to also combo some more moves, making you feel both clever and satisfied at your combo-tastic skills.

    I am a real fan of games that can be played within 30 minutes without much in the way of set up or tear down, so naturally, I migrate towards the Roll and Write genre.  Roll and Writes by their very nature have a tonne of replayability, the randomness that dice rolling introduces ensure this. There is a lot of doing the best with the dice you have that you need to do in a roll and write, be that a simple game such as Yahtzee or a more complicated one like Dice Charmers. I enjoy that crunch though, that probability and hedging your bets on what you might be able to pull off on your next turn.

    It seems that a common theme of my collection to pick puzzly brain burners. In fact, I did a feature specifically on these a while back that you can find here.

    Excellent
    08000075444
    Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
    Zatu Games is rated 4.86 based on 13727
    Reviews

    It get more time then I thought for get to me but it is fine

    It get more time then I thought for get to me but it is fine

    Great customer service even from halfway around the globe!

    Great customer service even from halfway around the globe!

    Good quality

    Good quality

    This was my 2nd purchase of yugioh boosters, again was excellent service, arrived perfectly and as described thank you, will definitely keep using shop 🇮🇪👍👍

    This was my 2nd purchase of yugioh boosters, again was excellent service, arrived perfectly and as described thank you, will definitely keep using shop 🇮🇪👍👍

    I ordered from the U.S. (Texas) and I was VERY happy!! I was surprising my military husband with some FF Opus 11 cards which were impossible to get any where. I felt it was worth the risk to order from Zatu. Came in excellent condition and fast for overseas. The only thing was my order was displaying as "Awaiting Dispatch" for more the entire time and arrived out of no where! Maybe this is British English for shipping/shipped? I already ordered again.

    I ordered from the U.S. (Texas) and I was VERY happy!! I was surprising my military husband with some FF Opus 11 cards which were impossible to get any where. I felt it was worth the risk to order from Zatu. Came in excellent condition and fast for overseas. The only thing was my order was displaying as "Awaiting Dispatch" for more the entire time and arrived out of no where! Maybe this is British English for shipping/shipped? I already ordered again.

    Have a fantastic range of games at amazing prices, whenever we are looking for a new game we go to Zatu Games first

    Have a fantastic range of games at amazing prices, whenever we are looking for a new game we go to Zatu Games first

    Bien reçu mon colis en france Envoie rapide Tres satisfait de mon produit Je recommande 🥰🥰🥰

    Bien reçu mon colis en france Envoie rapide Tres satisfait de mon produit Je recommande 🥰🥰🥰

    Quick, cheap and unbelievable well packed, never got a damaged parcell. Heaven for tabletop players! 👍

    Quick, cheap and unbelievable well packed, never got a damaged parcell. Heaven for tabletop players! 👍

    Nice quick turn around.

    Nice quick turn around.

    In English: - Excellent store! I recommend! Purchase made on the website and the products were delivered in Brazil. Em Português Brasileiro: - Excelente loja! Recomendo! Compra efetuada no site e os produtos foram entregues no Brasil.

    In English: - Excellent store! I recommend! Purchase made on the website and the products were delivered in Brazil. Em Português Brasileiro: - Excelente loja! Recomendo! Compra efetuada no site e os produtos foram entregues no Brasil.

    Read All Reviews