Games That Fit In Your PocketJuly 25, 2018 1 By Ryan Sanders
The Inquisitive Meeple looks into some publishers that are making games that can fit in your jean pockets, so you can never be without a game to play.
Editors note: This article was originally published on our brother site, The Inquisitive Meeple. There may be some edits to this version of the article.
Looking for some games that fit in your pocket, for your gaming on the go needs? We have you covered, here are some publishers that are publishing some small games that will fit not just in your oversized cargo pants, but also your blue jean pockets. We tried to only cover publishers that have at least 2 games that meet these criteria and list them here in alphabetical order. Without further ado:
First up, is perhaps, the publisher of pocket games with the biggest following (when it comes to pocket games) and most certainly the biggest library, Button Shy. Their library includes 35+ wallet games, which are games that are around 18 cards and fit in their own custom vinyl bi-fold wallet. With even more games on the way, as they do a Kickstarter every month. They have their Kickstarters down to a science, as it only takes them about 3 months from the ending of the Kickstarter before shipping them out. They also take an artisan approach to their games, hand packing each wallet themselves.
According to Jason Tagmire of Button Shy, that of the Wallet Games still in print, his Top 5 Best Sellers as of now are (It should be noted that several of the below games are or can be played solo.):
Though I am sure that Button Shy’s Sprawlopolis will soon be joining the Top 5 rank, as it ended its Kickstarter earning over $107,000.
Let me add, that if you know any writers or creative types, looking for some inspiration, Button Shy also offers a 54 poker card deck called Storyteller Cards (there is also a Storyteller Cards Fantasy for any DnD players out there).
Note: The Inquisitive Meeple recommends Circle the Wagons.
- Button Shy’s Webpage
- Button Shy on Twitter
- The Inquisitive Meeple review of Circle the Wagons
- Fairway of TIGR reviews of Avignon: Pilgrimage, Universal Rule, Pentaquark
- Cassie of TIGR video reviews o: Find Your Seats, Ahead in the Clouds, Circle the Wagons
Concrete Canoe Games
New publisher, Concrete Canoe Games, recently introduced their F.L.O.A.T. series ( Fun, Lively, Original, Approachable, Tiny) to a successful Kickstarter. It is an 18 card format, but unlike the above Button Shy instead of storing the games in wallets, they come in hook boxes. Hook boxes are boxes that you fold around the cards, when you unfold the box, the inside of the box has the rules to the game.
Currently, they have three games (actually as of now those are only available for pre-order):
Kingdom 18: 2-player hand management game with hints of deck building by Jason Glover. Players take the role of nobles attempting to build kingdoms either through diplomacy or force.
Shields Up: 2-player, science fiction game by Patrick McNeil, in which players race to destroy the opponent’s shields and ship.
Itty Bitty Dungeon Delve: A fantasy card tableau manipulation for 2 players. Each player represents a new adventurer exploring the cavernous rooms of a dungeon. This one is designed by Daniel Grek, the man behind Concrete Canoe Games.
It should be noted that Concrete Canoe Games, is planning on many more games in their F.L.O.A.T. series.
- Concrete Canoe Games’ Webpage
- Concrete Canoe Games on Twitter
- Fairway of TIGR reviews: Kingdom 18 and Itty Bitty Dungeon Delve
Famous Games Co
Famous Games Co. offers sports fans a way to play tabletop sports games on the go with their World’s Smallest Sports Games line. All players need are the 9 vintage-inspired cards (not including 2 start cards and rules) and some pocket change. The different sports in the line are Tennis, Golf, Baseball, American Football, Motor Racing and Yacht Racing. All the games are 2-player, and all are designed by Games Artisans of Canada member, Rob Bartel.
Five24 Labs are the publishers behind Mint Works and Mint Delivery, respectfully a worker placement game and pick-up and deliver game that fits within, you guessed it, mint tins. Highly successfully on Kickstarter, this game designed by Justin Blaske have together they raised over 266,000 US dollars. Five24 Labs, pack a lot of little bits inside those small tins.
Mints Works is currently sold out, and Mint Delivery should soon be fulfilling its Kickstarter, but both games are pre-orderable at Five24 Labs website (click here if you want to pre-order).
Gobico may not be a company you have heard of…yet. Relativity new, they have been publishing some games without a Kickstarter to help them gain a following. They offer two different pocket games – the first is an 18 card game called, “18 Card Sushi.” This 18 Card game is more of a game system, as there are rules for 18 different games.
Then there is their newest release designed by Dave Balmer is Kuzushi (pronounced coo-zoo-she) a square card that is all is highly pocket-friendly. Think a card game where the cards are slightly bigger than Carcassonne tiles. The game is a perfect abstract game area control game, where players will be laying out cards like tiles. Since your hand is all the same, you don’t have to worry about holding such small cards, just think of them as a tile stack. Gobico is looking at releasing a themed version of Kuzushi which will play up to 4 players sometime in the future.
Note: The Inquisitive Meeple recommends Kuzushi.
Released in two separate waves, these 16 gum-pack-sized card games that form up the Pack O Games series from Perplext have collectively earned 175,000+ on Kickstarter. These charming sized games will even start selling at MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) in New York, starting in Fall of 2018. Each of the two waves features 8 different games, designed by Chris Handy. According to Board Game Geek, the current top five games ranked wise are:
It should also be noted that SPY in the Pack O Game series can be played without a table! So you can play it in places you may not have a table, say waiting in a long line at a theme park.
Note: The Inquisitive Meeple recommends ORC.
- Perplext’s Webpage
- Chris Handy on Twitter
- The Inquisitive Meeple Reviews (old site): GYM, RUM, SOW and ORC
Rocca Spiele is a Japanese based publisher, that has a line of small hex-shaped card games (that come in a small square box) that give a 3d isometric view when played to the table. Perhaps best know for their game Rocca Rails, which is a mix of a tile-laying game and discard card game (think Uno). Rocca Rails and Rocca Town (where you build 3d buildings) can be found in the US at ahalife.com’s website.
One of the first, if not the first maker of games that come in mint tins. subQuark games offer three different tin games all designed by David Miller. They are:
Mint Tin Aliens: Players play aliens that want to conquer Earth (for 2-players)
Mint Tin Pirates: Players play as pirates in a high seas fight.
Mint Tin Apocalypse: Players are trying to survive a giant monster attack, by getting in and staying in a fallout shelter.
All games are 2-players and play within the 15 minutes range.
Tasty Minstrel Games
Tasty Minstrel Games, is no doubt, the best-known publisher on the list, but perhaps not know at all for their pocket games. Back in 2014, they Kickstarted several games that fit in your pocket. They were:t
This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us: Designed by the Bamboozle Brothers (Belfort & Junk Art), this is a wild west themed tile placement game for…well.. 2-4 players.
Templar Intrigue: Designed by TGM founder, Michael Mindes, this 7-10 player this social deduction game is played with only 10 cards.
Coin Age: Designed by Adam McIver, this 2-player area control game just needs one card (which can be held in your actual wallet) and uses pocket change to play with its “coin slap” mechanic.
Burgoo: Designed by Dan Manfredini (Far Space Foundry) the object of the 2-5 player game is to get rid of the line of ingredients in front of you by putting them in your stew. The rules include a recipe to actually make burgoo.
These games can still be bought at Meeple Source for $5 each.
I’d be remiss not to also include out-of-print Eminent Domain: Microcosm, which is 2-player card game that comes in tuck box from Seth Jaffee. However, if you do hunt that one down, you might want to check out the updated rules on BGG.
So there you have it! A few publishers that are making some pocket-sized games, for your gaming on the go needs. We hope you found something of interest and if have played any of these games and enjoyed them, tell us in the comment section below.
About The Author
Ryan Sanders is the founder, owner, and editor-at-large of Adventures in Gameschooling. He’s also the guy behind its social media accounts. God has blessed Ryan and his wife Mary, with five children, which he homeschools. As a Christian, he believes that he should not only look out for your own interests but other peoples too (Philippians 2:4) and this is one of his guiding principles for Adventures in Gameschooling. Ryan’s expertise is informed by almost two decades of experience as a stay-at-home father and from the running The Inquisitive Meeple where he performed over 300 written and podcast interviews within the board game industry.