Board Game Café

Welcome! We've tried to gather a selection of cutting-edge modern games that are playable in a short amount of time. Like, you know, lunch.

If you're planning to drop by, you can save some time by previewing our games below. You'll also find links to rulebooks to peruse or videos to watch. Better than that, though, drop in, grab a game, and start learning it!

Anomia

Players flip category cards from a deck until two symbols match. The matching players race to be the first to call out an example of the category on their opponent’s card. Collect the most cards to win!

Word yelling, whatsthenameofashampoo
3-6 players       30 minutes

  Rulebook

Bananagrams

Draw letter tiles from the banana (as you do) and build them into crossed words in front of you. First player to use all of her tiles is the winner!

Competitive crossword building, tasty fruit
1-8 players       15 minutes

  Rulebook

Celestia

Take your turn as captain of the fantasy airship to pilot your companions to ever more distant cloud cities and fabulous treasures, or send them plummeting to their doom. It’s all in your hands, Bub. Until the next player takes over, that is.

Push your luck, deduction, fantasy airship
2-6 players       30 minutes

  Rulebook        Shut Up & Sit Down

Codenames

Using only single-word clues, spymasters try lead their team to guess coded words on a grid before their opponents. If anyone carelessly uncovers the assassin, it’s instant game over!

Word guessing, grid reading, nail biting
2-8 players       15 minutes

  Rulebook        TableTop

Dixit

Make up a clue that will help others guess your weird picture-card. Problem is, everyone else has thrown cards into the mix, as well, and they want players to guess theirs, not yours.

Creative communication, bunnies
3-6 players       30 minutes

  Rulebook        TableTop

Forbidden Desert

You and your companions have crash landed in a strange desert. Your only hope for escape is to scour bizarre ancient ruins for parts to reconstruct a mystical flying machine. Blowing sand and thirst are your mortal enemies. Will you survive? (Probably not, really.)

Co-op exploration and survival, unpitying sun
2-5 players       45 minutes

  Rulebook        TableTop

Forbidden Island

You and your team of intrepid treasure hunters are searching a mysterious island for four ancient artifacts. Simple enough, except the island is sinking beneath your feet. Work together to find the items and escape, before the whole island vanishes beneath the waves!

Co-op exploration and survival, rising tides
2-4 players       30 minutes

  Rulebook        TableTop

Hey! That’s My Fish!

Move your penguins in straight lines to grab fish before your opponents do, shrinking the ice floe at the same time, until everyone is left stranded on little fish-infused ice cubes. When movement becomes impossible, the penguins with the most fish win!

Strategy grid movement, global warming?
2-4 players       20 minutes

  Rulebook        Team Hypercube

King of Tokyo

Roll handfuls of chunky dice to rampage your giant monster through Tokyo or bash rival giant monsters to become the unrivaled King!

Card drafting, dice rolling, press your luck
2-6 players       30 minutes

  Rulebook        TableTop

Kingdomino

All right, King So-and-so, add lands to your 5 x 5 square kingdom by claiming tiles from the ones revealed. Then place it domino-style next to matching tiles in your growing kingdom, trying to score the most points with large areas of terrain and skillfully leveraged multipliers.

Tile placement, kingdom building
2-4 players       15-20 minutes

  Rulebook        Watch It Played!

Love Letter

There are many suitors for the princess of Tempest, but you, of course, are the suitiest. Using Wit and Deduction,
try to get your letter delivered to the princess, while foiling the plans of your opponents.

Cards, deduction, pitching woo
2-4 players       20 minutes

  Rulebook        TableTop

Munchkin

Probably too long for lunchtime,
but it’s lying around, so… Dungeon exploring reduced to its most ridiculous essence. Kick down doors, kill monsters,
take stuff and run. Oh, and keep an eye on your “friends.” First one to Level 10 (by hook or by crook) wins!

Card drafting, ruining people’s day
3-6 players       60-120 minutes

  Rulebook        TableTop

Magic Maze

A dwarf, an elf, a barbarian, and a mage walk into a shopping mall…and hilariously frustrating real-time co-op gaming chaos occurs, it seems. A super-unique cooperative game that probably can’t even be summarized here. Play it!

Co-op, communication, no talking!
1-8 players       3-15 minutes

  Rulebook        Dice Tower

Onitama

Try to capture your opponent’s Master or move your Master onto your opponents shrine to win this addictive two-player game. The catch? Five randomly drawn movement cards rotate around the table, and represent the only movements available for the whole game.

Strategy, grid movement, mystic animals
2 players       10-30 minutes

  Rulebook        Watch It Played!

Santorini

Race to build up the beautiful white buildings of the island of Santorini, while making things difficult for your opponent. The first player to get a worker to the top of a building wins. Special powers granted by the gods add variables to the game.

Abstract strategy,
Greek gods
2-4 players       20 minutes

  Rulebook        Rahdo Runs Through

Space Alert

You play the crew on a Sitting Duck class explorer ship, which flies off into uncharted space and…kind of sees what’s there. What’s there is generally trying to kill you. Everyone works at the same time to decide on strategy and actions as the computer announces threats, and then you sit back and watch your plans fall apart, generally. Great fun!

Real-time, co-op,
programming, yelling
1-5 players       30 minutes

  Rulebook        Roll For Crit

Sushi Go!

Grab items from the sushi conveyor belt as they go by to make tasty combos for points, or block your opponents from enjoying theirs. Then have pudding.

Card drafting, tasty fish
2-5 players       15 minutes

  Rulebook        Table Top

Tsuro

Zen out with this simple game of placing tiles and sliding stones. Create a path for your stone to follow,
while trying to hijack your opponents’ and steer them off the edge of the board and out of the game. Only lightly competitive and strangely relaxing.

Abstract strategy,
route building
2-8 players       15 minutes

  Rulebook        Watch It Played!

Welcome to the Dungeon

Players add monster cards to a dungeon pool, while also removing bits of useful weapons and equipment from play,
until some sort of equilibrium is reached, and one hapless adventurer has to face the dungeon with whatever equipment is left. Good luck, hapless adventurer!

Push your luck, bluffing
2-4 players       30 minutes

  Rulebook        Table Top

Zombie Dice

You are a zombie. You want to eat brains. Roll dice, three at a time, to get brains to eat. Keep rolling and collecting brains as long as you want, but if you get “shot”
three times, you lose them all! (Sad zombie is sad.) First zombie to chomp thirteen brains is the winner.

Push your luck, lots of dice, zombies
2-99 players       10-20 minutes

  Rulebook        Table Top

Zombie Fluxx

DESCRIPTION

Cards, zombies, ever-changing rules
2-6 players       10-40 minutes

  Rulebook