Sometimes even when money gets tight you cant fight the urge to splurge on a new board game.
Well never fear, even when pinching those pennies we have a list of our top 8 games under $50 to give you and your family and friends an epic gaming night without breaking the bank.
And let us know down in the comments below your favorite game-on-a-budget and we will feature our favorite review in the article.
1) Dungeon Academy
A game of adventure, death and 30 second planning, Dungeon Academy puts players into the shoes of early learning adventurers, trying their hand at navigating dungeons, stealing loot and brutally murdering relatively peaceful monsters whilst under the influence of mana potions.
Playing little chibi warriors of adventure and glory, players will navigate through a 4x4 room dungeon, slaying monsters, pillaging loot, all whilst barely scraping by. The game begins by literally constructing a small dungeon by folding and attaching paper walls together to create a 3D model.
To generate rooms, 16 dice are rolled and placed perfectly to fit in your newly constructed dungeon. The faces of the dice show what is in that room, it may be monsters, potions or even treasure. Once the dice are rolled players are given between 30 and 60 seconds depending on the chosen difficulty to map out their little adventures path through the different rooms.
This is where chaos reigns in Dungeon Academy. With only 30 seconds to choose, players don’t have time to calculate the optimal path for points and survival and thus players will often take a path of least resistance and score little points or a path of most resistance and will not be able to score points at all because they will be defeated.
The game relies on this time trial to force players into quick decision making, Allowing for reckless and often hilarious miscalculated mayhem in Dungeon Academy.
Check out Dungeon Academy here!
Onitama is a chess-like strategy game, whereby players will control 4 pawns and a king. The objective of the game is to topple your opponent’s king by moving onto its occupied space on the 5x5 board. Onitama is a simple two player game with a very simple goal, what makes Onitama interesting is its movement mechanics.
At the beginning of the game 5 random movement cards are chosen at random from a deck, 2 are dealt to each player and the fifth is placed on the side of the neoprene play mat included in the game.
On a player’s turn they may move any one of their pieces as indicated by one of their 2 movement cards. Once a players turn is over they will swap their used movement card with the extra fifth card set aside from earlier. This will continue until a player has used one their pawns or king to take their opponents king.
This abstract movement mechanic is deceitful in its simplicity as there is strategy in limiting how players will move and how movement will never be the same twice in a row. Not only will players have to manage their area pieces area control but also when to use their movement cards and when to save it, if only to deny the other player of a sneaky diagonal move.
Check out Onitama here!
3) UNLOCK Series
This is not a single “under $50” game but all the Unlock Games (except for one) are under $50 so I’m counting it. Unlock is a series of escape room style puzzles where players will navigate through differently themed adventures and stories by peering through keyholes, uncovering secret passageways and trying but failing to guess 4 digit passcodes when you eventually lose your spirit and have gone into overtime.
Unlock is a colourful, beautiful and clever as each different scenario is made by a different person and the art for each adventure is perfectly matched and equally unique as it is also done by a different artist each time. You could honestly just collect them as the art for these games is just fascinating to go through.
As for gameplay, fans of Escape Room or Exit games will feel at home in the many types of convoluted but equally clever puzzles, most of which will have you saying “how did I not see that 5 minutes ago? Arrghh” more times than you can count.
There are aspects that may seem daunting but players will quickly come to love, such as the companion app for your phone. With this, youll be able to track your time, enter key passcodes and gently guided through the a-maze-ing scenarios of Unlock. The different adventures are concise but thought-provoking which I think makes for a great but not overwhelming cooperative experience.
Check out all the Unlock series here!
4) Throw Throw Burrito
Described as the game of “Weaponised Mexican Food” Throw Throw Burrito is a fun and undoubtedly dumb game of Go Fish and Dodgeball.
In Throw Throw Burrito players will try their darndest to collect a full set of matching cards to earn points. If the matching cards you collect have burritos on them, you must quickly grab one of those super squishy burrito babies and chuck them at another player.
If they are hit, they lose points! There are many different burrito cards to collect.
Most of them initiate mini games such as
• Burrito war where the table turns into a free-for-all battle royale of burrito throwing mayhem.
• Burrito duel, where two players duel out just as they did in the Old West, except with burritos instead of guns and heelies instead of spurs.
• And SO MUCH MORE Let’s be honest this is not an epic game of strategy and planning, this is a dumb fun game of throwing non-destructible soft toys at your friends and doing cool combat rolls to avoid a point deducting burritos. What’s not to like?
Check out Throw Throw Burrito here!
A game of bartering, greed, and shouting over your friends to get your bids in.
In Bohnanza, players will assume the roles of humble bean farmers just trying to plant, grow, and finally sell beans of varying rarity to score victory points.
Going around the table, players will draw a hand of cards and these are “planted” in the player’s field in whatever order they were drawn in or placed on top of another bean card of the same type, simulating growth in your bean crop.
The aspect of Bohnanza that creates tension, strategy, and absolute carnage is in the bartering phase of the game. Once beans are planted, the active player then draws 2 beans from a deck, these beans may be traded with other players.
What isn’t sold must be planted in the owner’s field and if you don’t have space left you must uproot and prematurely sell your young beans thus costing you a larger sum later on. Thus providing an incentive to get rid of your cards so you don’t overcharge other farmers.
The desperation of players trying to greedily horde all the green beans or the coveted coffee bean is hilarious to watch but horrible when it’s your turn to shout madly over another player during a chaotic bidding war.
The game continues until the deck is run out 3 times and then players are forced to revaluate their decorum after 45 minutes of possibly regrettable screaming matches.
Check out Bohnanza here!
6) Tiny Epic Mechs
Have you ever wanted to wear epic power armour, pilot an giant death machine and fight for absolute dominance against your friends and family? WELL NOW YOU CAN, except it’s not giant, there’s no death, and it’s kind of cute BUT it is still EPIC.
This is TINY EPIC MECHS a game of spot on naming conventions and king-of-the-hill style combat. In Tiny Epic Mechs players will skilfully weave their power-suited characters around an arena with grace and speed through programmed movements.
Once everyone has finished moving, everyone starts shooting until enemies are defeated and ammo is wasted. Weapons can be found throughout the game and since weapons are one use only, you better stock up unless you’re looking to be outgunned.
To gain victory points, players must deal as much damage as they can and gain the crowds favour and if you’re particularly crafty, hop in the battle mech become a target for everyone else and get even more points if you can survive. So come on, race in, and fight for glory, honour and tiny cardboard victory tokens.
Check out Tiny Epic Mech here!
7) The Bloody Inn
Time to be bad people doing bad things at The Bloody Inn. In this game you are members of a quaint but stingy, farmer family who seek to make fortune in running a small inn but don’t be fooled by the cute concept, this is just a façade hiding the fact that you are all scoundrels, rapscallions and knaves of the worst kind.
To begin playing, players will welcome numerous guests into their humble lodgings, once settled and asleep the players begin their devious and murderous plan for victory and wealth. These plans take place through 2 of the 5 available actions: Bribe a guests into being your accomplice, build a structure in which victims may be buried under, kill a guest, bury a victim under a structure to claim their coin purse, and finally launder money as to not arouse suspicion on your ill-gotten gains.
Players must juggle murdering victims and being able to successfully bury them to gain points but be wary, if any room contains a police officer and an unburied victim, the murdering player must sacrifice precious coins to the local gravedigger to hastily fix their mistake before they are found out.
Can you be the better murderer? The worst of the worst? The Inn Keeper Killer? Or will you flounder and have panic attacks over all the dead bodies you’ve left lying around on the floor?
Check out The Bloody Inn here!
8) Players Choice
As is becoming the norm we just love to hear what YOU the player has to say - Either leave your own review for a game under $50 in the comments below OR on whatever post lead you here and we will choose our favorite for other to see with fame and fortune to surely follow.