Favorite Board Game Fillers

A filler board game is

filler: n. A game with very simple rules and an extremely short playing-time. This type of game is frequently used between heavier games. (See also light)

(from board game geek’s glossary.)

The Muskegon Area Gamers definitely enjoy filler games. An evening of gaming is hardly complete without one light game. So what are some good fillers?

1. For Sale (Gryphon Games)

Players take on the role of real estate investors trying to make the most cash in the real estate market. The game is played over two phase: investing and selling. Players try to buy property at the best value during phase one by clever bidding. Then they attempt to sell it for the most money in the second phase of the game. The game does a really good job of capturing the theme given the fact this is a filler with very easy to learn rules. Published numerous times over the years by several game companies, the Gryphon Edition is easily the best quality version. Best with 4 to 6 players.

Play time: approximately 10 minutes


2. High Society (Gryphon Games)

Players bid on numerous fancy objects (bling) to score points. The person with the most points is the winner. However, there are a few hooks. Some of the tiles are negative so you are bidding on NOT taking them. The game ends randomly when the last red-bordered tile is revealed. At game’s end the player with the least money is disqualified. Make sure you have the most points amongst the players who don’t have the least money! The hooks in the game make this game a favorite. Like For Sale, this game was published by several companies over the years but the Gryphon Games edition is far and away the best.

Play time: approximately 15 minutes


3. Dungeon Roll (TMG Games)

Players build their adventuring parties then delve into the dangerous dungeons. Defeat the monsters, loot the treasures and subdue the dragon. The game has push-your-luck mechanics along with action management. The game has a lot of theme for a filler. Thieves pick locks, fighters gobble goblins, wizards waste slimes and clerics scatter skeletons. Accumulating treasures and defeating the dragon give bonus points. There are several party leaders so there is tons of replayability.

 Play time: approximately 10 minutes


4. Liar’s Dice (Milton Bradley)

A family game that is both fun and competitive. Liar’s Dice is a game filled with bluffing and calling. Published by many companies, the Milton Bradley version is my favorite because it comes with a board and nice dice. You can pick it up at a thrift store for <$3.

 Play time: approximately 15 minutes


5. Eight Minute Empire (Red Raven Games)

A civ builder that plays in 15 minutes? Sign me up! Players collect goods while taking control of the board. Players attempt to outmaneuver their opponents to eek out a victory. Double sided board, expansions and variant rules breaths replayability into this game too.

 Play time: approximately 15 minutes


6. Mr. Jack Pocket (Hurrican)

This is an elegant little logistica;/deduction game. One player takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes and the other player takes on Mr. Jack. Mr. Jack must slip past Holmes, Watson and the dog’s dragnets and escape before Holmes determines his true identity.

 Play time: approximately 10 minutes


7. Escape: The Curse of the Temple (Queen Games)

Once set up is done, the race is on! You have 10 minutes to find the exit. You roll dice as fast as you can because the clock is ticking. Roll a curse? You have one fewer dice to roll. Got stuck in a room without dice? Better have your buddy come save you. This game is a romp!

 Play time: approximately 10 minutes


8. Tsuro (Calliope Games)

Probably my favorite tile laying game–the fact that it’s a filler is just gravy. Players attempt to navigate their ships without fleeing the board. Clever placement of your tiles is key. You don’t want to leave the board or your eliminated.

 Play time: approximately 15 minutes



Any other fillers that I forgot? Please comment below!

-Chris on behalf of the Gaming Annex

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