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How to make a travel game collection


I’m working on expanding my Button Shy collection of pocket games. They are all a tiny wallet games with 18-25 cards in a travel wallet and easy games to learn. Ones that I’ve played that don’t need great English skills (or have open cards that can be translated)
Stew (also good in terms of variable player numbers)
Turbo drift
Circle the wagons


A great list, and I’m hard-pressed to think of anything to add, but:

The lamination idea should serve you well: I imagine most of the roll and writes (Ganz schön clever is one for sure) can be laminated and played with minimal other components (in the case of GSC, dry erase markers and 6 colored dice).

Mint Works is not a bad little worker placement game; Coin Age is fairly fun for a mini area control game.

There’s a four-player chesslike abstract called Element that I think is fun–but everything fits in a little grey sack, except the board (could be drawn or printed on paper–or cloth if you wanted to get extravagant).

Summoner Wars one of my favorite highly portable games, may be a bit over the language barrier, and it’s definitely a 2p head-to-head–but all you need to play is two decks and a d6–the board is essentially a grid, so as long as you have a flat, non slippery surface, you can essentially build the board with just the cards.

There’s a lot to be said for a simple deck of cards. In addition to the standards, game books like Knizia’s Fistful of Card Games have a ton of modern is games to play. And If you slightly modify the deck by adding a few cards, you coupd play favorites like Tichu.

A game system like Pyramid Arcade might offer style great variety, if be a little bulky. The Piecepack/Infinite Board Game might be a less space heavy solution, though I’ve never played any of those games.


So no one mentioned hanamikoji? I’ll be glad to do the honors! Hanamikoji


Surprised no one mentioned Jaipur yet–such a fantastic and simple game, plus there’s no text on the cards so it’s language-independent. Herbaceous is also excellent, and plays in like 15 minutes.

I’d also recommend The Lost Expedition and Pandemic, since cooperative games are good for socializing, and Lost Expedition especially is very compact.


I disagree on Codenames, the original has issues when it comes to an international audience but the picture version works very well for our international group of University students.
Sushi GO gets another vote from me.
What also works well is Deep Sea Adventure, it’s quick, small and easy to learn but tricky to master.


I can’t believe I forgot this, this is a freely available strategy game that fits in a wallet and uses spare change to play.

Coin Age. They had a great Kickstarter years ago, and let the pdf’s out there for everyone. It’s a fun and easy to pick up game, you just need the card and some coins.

I would recommend getting it from them directly so you can give them a few bucks. They deserve it.