Quick filler games that don’t suck

We all do it. Even the heaviest of heavy board gamers do it. We all, at one point or another, play filler games. Often times, you’re waiting for one last player to get to the table or easing into a long day of heavy gaming. As a heavy gamer myself, there are some filler games that I refuse to play … I’m looking at you Love Letter and Avalon. In all honesty, I’m just so over those games, especially when there are better filler games out there to play!

For Sale is a 3-6 player card game that plays about 30 minutes.
For Sale is a 3-6 player card game that plays about 30 minutes.

One filler game I own and played recently is For Sale. This is a quick card game by Eagle/Gryphon Games and it’s part of their bookshelf series, likely named because they’re all about the size of a pocketbook. I’ve previously talked about another game in the series, Incan Gold, but For Sale is a bit more strategy based than pushing your luck.

Players begin with a set amount of money for the game and won’t receive any more. The game consists of two phases: Buying Property and Selling Property.

Bid wisely and you might end up with a Space Station. Bid poorly and you'll end up with a cardboard box.
Bid wisely and you might end up with a Space Station. Or you could get a cardboard box.

When you buy property, property cards are flipped up in the center of the table according to how many are playing. One person bids using their money to pick up the highest value property. The next person can either bid a higher amount or take the lowest value card. Bidding continues until somebody wins, or everybody passes and takes their card. If somebody bids and then passes later, the player takes back half the money rounded down.

Buying Property cards continues for 7 rounds in a 4-player game. There are 30 Property Cards overall; some are taken out depending on how many are playing.

In Phase 2, players sell their Property Cards for Currency Cards.
In Phase 2, players sell their Property Cards for Currency Cards, which counts toward scoring.

The next phase is Selling Properties. Currency Cards are flipped up in the center of the table, again depending on how many are playing. Players then pick a Property Card from their hand, and everybody simultaneously reveals their cards. The person with the highest property picks up the Currency Card with the highest value and so forth. This continues for 7 rounds. After all the rounds, the person with the highest amount of money from their Currency Cards and leftover cash wins the game.

Rolling America is a brainy dice-rolling puzzle game.
Rolling America is a brainy dice-rolling puzzle game that lasts about 15 minutes..

Another great filler game is Rolling America. It’s a brainy dice game where you take turns rolling two different colored dice from a bag and placing the number result onto a map of the United States.

The tricky part is that the numbers must follow the “neighboring state rule,” which is that all states that border the state you are currently filling must either be blank, have an X, be guarded or have a number difference of no greater than 1 from the die result.

This is a blank map for Rolling America. It can get crowded really quickly.
This is a blank map for Rolling America. It can get crowded really quickly.

For example, if you roll a red 5 and yellow 4, you must place those numbers in a red state and a yellow state, following the rules. If you cannot, then you fill in a state corresponding to the dice color with an X. There are a few more rules regarding guarding, color changes and duplicates that allow you to manipulate the dice results.

The game comes with these dice and dice bag. Only 6 are used in each round.
The game comes with these dice and dice bag. Only 6 are used in each round.

There are 7 dice altogether, and only 6 get used in each round. Game play continues for 8 rounds. The person with the fewest Xs wins the game. Game play lasts about 15 minutes, and us heavy gamers love the brainy-ness of it.

If none of these games sound your cup of tea, there’s always Sushi Go! And the best part of filler games is that they often don’t last longer than 30 minutes. Which means more time for those heavy euro or strategy brain burners!

Which filler games do you like to play?

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