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Everyone needs those small games for when you're looking for a game to get your mind started before a marathon game night, or maybe a game for a small breather in between heavy games, or even a game to introduce people into the hobby.

Whatever the reason, this list of great filler games are perfect for those moments when you just need to relax with a small, uncomplicated, 20 minute game.

1) Dont Get Got

A game of getting got, gaming guests and going too far with alliteration. Don’t Get Got may be one of the best filler games there are purely due to the fact that you are always playing. No, you don't understand, there is no escape. Once you start, you don’t stop, there's no getting off this train of social trickery and deviance. It is a wonderful game to play in the background of your other games, by itself, or really anytime you want to live in complete distrust of those around you. 
In Don’t Get Got, players are given 5 unique objectives, all of which are attempts to make your opponents do a certain action, speak a certain phrase or react to something you initiate. If you can successfully manipulate another player, you NAILED IT. Two more and you win. BUT if they get suspicious of your interactions they may ask “Is this part of the game?”, a question that will make your spine shiver and spontaneously develop scoliosis.
When asked this dreaded, unforgiving, malevolent question, you must sigh, groan, cry, hang your head in shame as you answer a meek “...yes…” At that point you’ve failed it. You can no longer attempt to complete that objective, you can no longer attain that point and you can never return home.
The utter shame in failing an objective especially when you’ve created a master plan of subtle nudges, and small insignificant hints that build to that moment of victory only to be dashed by that one horrible question is soul-crushing. BUT conversely asking that question and seeing the face of defeat, seeing their eyes gloss over with regret, it's one of the purest joys on this earth.
Full of distrust and shame, Don’t Get Got is an evil and beautiful game.

2) Unstable Unicorns

WANT UNICOrNS!? OF COURSE YOU DO?! EVERYONE DOES! WHAT KIND? FIRE ONE? STABBY ONE? THE GOOD OL’ BARFING RAINBOW ONE? DOESN’T MATTER WE HAVE IT ALL HERE AT UNSTABLE UNICORNS! WHERE PLAYERS MUST BRING 7 UNSTABLE UNICORNS INTO YOUR STABLE-I just now understood that joke, that's clever, stable the unstabled unicorns haha. 
Unstable Unicorns is an adorable but also secretly, an incredibly aggressive game. The game works as a simple pick-up and play where players will draw a card from the central deck and then play a card from their hand. Sounds easy enough? Draw unicorn cards and place them down right? WRONG! At any given moment another player can play a “NOPE” card which completely invalidates your turn, or maybe they may play an upgrade card to make all their turns immune to attack cards, or maybe they may play a downgrade card against you that magically turns all your unicorns into PANDAS, INVALIDATING THE LAST 20 TURNS!
As turns pass, you can feel the game corrupting you, filling your soul with malice. Eventually you want to win out of spite for the other players, not for the game. So if you like hiding your rage behind undeniably cute and wacky unicorns, this coincidentally might be a game for you. It is rage inducing but annoyingly fun.

3) Dungeon Mayhem

Like most wonderful, amazing, beautiful, and super intelligent people, I love Dungeons and Dragons but it’s a little cumbersome when you’re deep into the hobby.
There’s battle maps, grid boards, books, shields, and dice. If only there was a way to hold it in my pocket, and were just cards, and didn’t revolve around a campaign, and was completely competitive, and wasn’t like Dungeons and Dragons at all and was more like a super simple filler card game with a very transparent D&D theme. But wait THERE IS! This terrible infomercial-ey setup is brought to you by DUNGEON MAYHEM! 
Dungeon mayhem is probably the filler-iest game there is in the known universe. It’s small, portable, and uncomplicated. It literally takes 2 poorly made sentences to explain the entire game. Draw a card, the play cards ranging from attack, defend, heal or cards that allow more cards to be played, then discard all played cards. Last player with health points remaining wins. That is all.
There isn't much more to say. The fun is nice and polite, the game is so quick it's hard to be too heartbroken about being eliminated. There’s not much to say. Pick it up, it's pretty good. 

4) Welcome To...

As a perfectly normal Gameology Collaborator, sequestered in my “definitely-not-a-supply-closet” office with a small mail slot where I slide these game posts out of in exchange for Catan pieces, I one day dream of being a small to mid-range real-estate developer.

And as I do not currently have a means of “leaving”, I must live out my wildest fantasies of building reasonably priced, suspiciously similar, beige houses through the game “Welcome to…”

In this not-stop-adventure of adding minor amenities to a small upper-middle class estate players will duke it out to see who can be the undefeated champion of property development. To play, players will reveal 3 cards from the decks, each portraying a particular  house number with a corresponding amenity. 

Players will then choose one combination to add to their neighbourhood, each amenity added increases the point value of all of that particular luxury you've placed in your neighbourhood.

Thus players will compete to see who’s luxuries will be worth the most points at the end of the game by either specialising to gain the maximum point value of a luxury, or by diversifying and getting small points over many different luxuries. It’s almost too exciting, that description alone is enough to cause a surge of adrenaline running through a small, 3 year old child. 

Will you add a pool to house number three and completely challenge your opponent in a one-on-one fight for dominance on the pool track? Maybe you’ll put trees on a street and increase the value of an entire street of houses! There is never enough action in “Welcome to..”!!

 Check Out Welcome To.. Here!

5) Anomia

 

Do you have great hand-eye coordination? No? How about just eye coordination? If so, then boy is this game for you. Anomia is a game of shouting the most random trivia at all your other friends.

The best description of this game is that it’s essentially the mental version of SNAP! You look for matching symbols and instead slapping down with force, you flex your cognitive capabilities but yelling a word related to the topic depicted on the matching cards faster than your opponent.

Anomia truly shows who is a quick thinker, and who doesn’t know what an invertebrate is. 

 

There isn’t much to this wonderful filler game, players will draw and reveal a card in front of them an artful flourish if they're any fun and everyone will compare the depicted symbol on the revealed card. If it matches the symbol of their previously drawn card, both the active revealing player and the matching player create a clash of cognitive capabilities.

Each must look at the topic written on their opponents card and say a related word to the topic: (Body Part = nose, Genre of Music = Rap, Type of Fish = Nemo). The first to say an acceptable word wins and scores a point. The game ends when the deck is exhausted.

The game is fun but it does tend to reveal who are the quicker thinkers with an obvious advantage. BUT THATS OKAY, just ostracize them AND KEEP THE GOOD TIMES GOING.

 Check Out Anomia Here!

6) Lost Cities

ADVENTURE TO UNCOVER UNKNOWN RICHES AND ANCIENT RELICS IN LOST CITIES! That’s actually a bit too dramatic, it’s a counting game with a bit of push-your-luck but it's simple and fun, making it a wonderful filler game for 2 players. In Lost Cities, players will assume the role of competing archaeologists looking to uncover digs across the world (simultaneously somehow).

As omnipresent beings, players will slowly uncover relics of varying qualities, each with its own numerical value...that can only be scored in ascending order. Which means, thematically, if you find a full, intact fossil of an ancient paleolithic Dragon-bird early in the game and score it, you're now too snobby for any of those smaller fossils and unceremoniously throw them in the trash for your opponent to scavenge with glee.

Mechanically, Lost Cities is a simple card drafting and card placement game similar to Arboretum. On a given turn, you are either taking cards from the deck or community supply piles, or playing cards into your dig sites.

But here's the thing. Each dig site you open will cost you 20 points at the end of the game--unless you manage to play enough cards, meaning find enough fossils, in that dig site to turn a profit. If that wasn't enough, there are also wager cards scattered throughout the deck that multiply your dig site scores--whether they are positive or negative.

Do you place that wager on your red dig site, only to find your opponent is holding all the red cards you need in their hand? Do you open all the dig sites or just stick to one? How do you balance risk and reward? Become a weirdly specific omnipresent being of archeology and find out!

 Check Out Lost Cities Here!

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