Great 6 Player games that play in under 60 minutes (including some overlooked gems) ...
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My gaming group often consists of 6 players looking to play a board game that is sociable and thematic, ... but doesn't take itself too seriously. A bit of humour in a game works best for me, ... strategy is fine, but so is luck particularly if its all mixed together in just the right combination. Making a good game is a lot of hard work, and perhaps just a bit of luck when everything just works.

There are lots of good movies out there that never got the big advertising budgets, or the visibility that created a mass following. Sometimes its partly a personal preference, but there are many overlooked gems.

I am always looking for that pearl in the ocean of under appreciated boardgames. The BGG rating algorithm is designed to underrate games that few users own and therefore fewer user rate. There are also those people that have distinct preferences for war games, or party games, or card drafting games, or maybe even games that take a day or more to play. There are users that call any game that plays under 2 hours and doesn't require a post-doc in physics or math (to get through the rulebook), "a filler".

Ok, I admit it ... I enjoy "fillers" modest... although I think the term is actually a misnomer ... and many of these games don't necessarily get the respect they deserve. I enjoy the odd longer game myself, but my game group is a tough crowd and not a patient one at that.

The 6 player light-to-medium games are not an abundant group. Party games tend to dominate the geeklists for this category ... but I personally am not big on standing on one leg while making moose callslaugh ... and while I think there are a few really good games for larger crowds (werewolves and resistance please stand up) ... I am looking for board game style games that work best for groups smaller than a crowd, but more than 5, and play under 60 minutes.

My questninja has been to seek out and acquire games that fit within this group and I present my current top 30 list here for your viewing pleasure ... or stinging criticism.

It is true that I have squeezed a half dozen games into this group that might better be described as in the party game genre ... but heck I tried ... and yes, not all of these games can be ranked in the obscure ... so maybe you can do better. laugh

Games that are thematic, and have a little bit of chrome on them are my kind of game. But the game play itself is what's key and I think all the games on this list make the grade.

Feel free to comment ... and add your own entries that should have made this list (with your reasoning for it). Help me uncover a few more 6 player gems I have overlooked ... I need to feed my growing collection and keep my gaming group at bay! Thanks in advance for your help (I hope)

WOW ... Thanks for the overwhelming response to this list. OVER 140 GAMES POSTED NOW ... Posting replies to each has become my full time job. I'll need a vacation soon enough. Keep em' coming if there are any left. ha ha ...
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1. Board Game: Dixit: Journey [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
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Apples to Apples is sort of fun the first couple of times you play it ... bit I've never been the least bit interested in Story Telling games. Dixit takes these two seemingly disparate idea's and marries them into an experience that actually works. It appeals to a wide range of people, gamers and non-gamers alike because most people can relate to interesting pictures. The abundance of cards for the game through three major expansions (which mix and match) gives the game decent replayability and the latest version gets the scoring track right for the best number of people for the game (that being six). This is a good entry level game for non-gamers and yet most gamers would enjoy Dixit.
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2. Board Game: Riff Raff [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:923]
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OK ... maybe not a traditional boardgame in any sense ... because this is really just a dexterity game that is dripping in theme. Can you balance a drunken sailor on a sail yardarm while the boat is tipping and pitching like on a high seas? A fantastic theme played with a novel 'ship' mechanism that plays great with three couples for an entertaining evening of light fun or with drinks. My favourite of the balancing dexterity game genre.

I think the lack of thumbs for this game is entirely related to people's unfamiliarity with this game. The fact it is a dexterity game (which it seems fewer people play) coupled with the higher price of this game ($50+) keeps people away. "People ...this is a great game you and friends will really enjoy ... take a leap of faith"
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3. Board Game: Dice Town Extension [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
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I'm a sucker for Western style games although most haven't been done that well. Dice Town is an exception. The game board depicts a Western town with its own Bank, Saloon and General Store and incorporates the use of Poker Dice and a push-your-luck style strategy where you must acquire the most gold nuggets and land deeds before your opponents. The new expansion adds a sixth player and additional diversity to game play.
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4. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:417]
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Some games have staying power because they are so good. Liar's dice is one of those games. Perudo is a beautiful version of Liar's Dice containing six tumblers with sets of matching coloured dice held in a beautiful storage tin. This is a classic bluffing and player elimination game that works best with six.
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5. Board Game: Bezzerwizzer [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1600]
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There have been dozen and dozens of Trivia games that have come and gone over the years, and while this genre is not my favourite, Bezzerwizzer does it right. This game looks great and offers an excellent mix of questions and difficulties in a very wide range of categories. You can steal or leverage off of other peoples questions and Bezzerwizzer works great with two, three, or four teams of players.

From the lack of thumbs, I will have to assume that people that play Trivia do not frequent geeklists on BGG. Perhaps they are busy reading books and other worthwhile things so that they can throttle you the next time you get roped into a Trivia game with them. ha ha laugh

Incidentally, if you do like Trivia and you have wandered onto this site in between chapters of War and Peace ... you MUST get this game! Its the best.
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6. Board Game: Powerboats [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:945]
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Racing style games just seem to be a natural fit for six players. One of the weaknesses playing with six is that there can be too much down time in between turns. Races are more exciting with more players and because turn decisions are more streamlined this genre lends itself to six. I have most of the racing style games and in my opinion Powerboats is one of the most underrated. The unique three sided dice simulate the momentum of a powerboat in a real race. You have to run full throttle to win while testing the limits of safety. There are often several lines of direction you can take to try to optimize your chances of crossing the finish line first. A spectacular design and one of the under-appreciated gems.
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7. Board Game: TurfMaster [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:930]
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In my opinion, TurfMaster is the king of horse race style games. Game turns alternate dice rolls with a card movement stage to all but eliminate issues with runaway leaders. Block your opponents, but plan your race well: don't break too early or you'll lose in the home stretch. The beautiful hand painted horses for up to 8 racers each with their own set of matching dice make this one of the most elegant and strategic games in my collection. The game is expensive, but well worth it if you want a great race game. (Multiple tracks are available)
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8. Board Game: Letters from Whitechapel [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:128]
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Whitechapel may be the one game on this list that is not ideally for six, however I have experienced one of my best gaming experiences playing with exactly that number. This is one of those games that requires "the right group" to make it fly. Most important is the cunning of the player that plays Jack. The rest of the group has to be committed to working together to eliminate the options for Jack's escape and to narrow down his hide out before time runs out. It is a difficult deduction-style game for a group to win ... but maybe that's part of its appeal. That and the thematic board and mood of the game. This one is getting a reprint and some improvements that look great.
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9. Board Game: BANG! The Bullet! [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
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BANG! is often classed as a party-style game, but it really isn't. The game pits a sheriff and his deputy against a band of outlaws with a renegade in their midst. The catch is that no one knows who is who when the game starts except the sheriff whose job is to bring the outlaws to justice ... or die trying. The games theme seems to bring everyone into this game, and although it is player elimination, most games don't run too long. The Bullet version of the game contains most of the important expansions which maximize replayability. A fun, gunslinger-style shootout.
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10. Board Game: I'm the Boss! [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:640]
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Spectacularly fun game with the right group of motivated gamers. A highly interactive game where you try to bring groups of people together to support big business deal payoffs. "I'm the Boss" rewards negotiation, smoozing skills, and a certain amount of bullheadedness. Best with six committed (actors) players.
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11. Board Game: Long Shot [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:874]
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Longshot is primarily an odds betting game with a horse draft and race at its centre. There is a high element of card and dice luck which actually works well with the "high risk bets" feel of the game. This game is great with six, but the game plays fast and doesn't overstay its welcome with even eight (the maximum) participants.
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12. Board Game: Citadels: The Dark City [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
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Bruno Faidutti games are famous for making use of a role mechanic which determines each players available action(s) on a given turn. In Citadels you have limited information on what roles other players have chosen, but by using powers of deduction you can usually narrow that list to position yourself to take advantage of what you think you know. The excellent interplay between the available roles is what makes Citadels a great game. The Dark City version of the game adds some additional character roles which mix and match with others from the base game enhancing replayability.
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13. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:120]
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Mayhem with monsters and dice! Knock the other Monsters and Giant Robots out before your own creature goes down. Does it get any better than that? This game is shiny with chrome, and it plays as good as it looks. Just don't take things too seriously.
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14. Board Game: Dibs [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:5450]
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One of the more obscure names on this list but deserving of its choice. Some people like Trivia games while others do not. One of the drawbacks of these games comes from the fact that there are those individuals who are vacuums for absorbing and regurgitating minute random facts. You know who you are! Dibs tries to balance the play field by allowing players to bid with cards for answer position. Each Trivia question has at least five correct responses and the later you wait the higher your score but the more difficult the answer may be. This game is long OOP and tough to come by, but there are some Texan's out there with copies (you just have to ask). If you like Trivia you need this game.
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15. Board Game: Eruption [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2427]
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This is quite a novel game that uses hex tiles to represent lava flows from a volcano at the boards centre into one of six villages along the edge. The goal is to be the last village standing while opponents settlements are scorched to ash. Eruption is a great game for 6 people ... it plays fairly fast and there is ample opportunity for screwage. (A simple house rule fixes what appears to be a broken rule on tile placement.) Highly recommended for a group game night. A visually appealing and fairly easy to learn game that in my opinion is highly underrated. BGG ... give this game some love.
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16. Board Game: Fauna [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:460] [Average Rating:7.11 Unranked]
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When I was growing up I had a fascination for collecting stickers of every kind of animal in a large album. When Fauna was released it scratched an ancient itch that had been lying dormant for many years. But now instead of just knowing where each animal lives, you must know/guess its approximate adult weight, length, height and tail length (if it has one?). Some categories score bigger than others but are more difficult to estimate, and so part of the strategy is to know when to hedge your bets and when to go big. A colourful and well executed game, that is educational to boot.
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17. Board Game: 25 Words or Less [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2247]
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Sometimes simple is better ... this is one of those times. This game is really an offshoot from a popular 70's TV show in which two teams bid to see who can give the fewest clues to get their team mates to say 5 words shown on a card within an allotted time. Fail and your opponents get the card ... first to 10 cards wins. 25 words won Games Magazine's Game of the Year award in 1997, and it still stands the test of time. Ok ... I would call this a Party game, but a pretty good one at that.
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18. Board Game: High Noon Saloon [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3690]
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This is a gunslinger fight-to-the-last-man card-driven game that's great to play in teams of 2 or 3. Best described as a more complex version of Bang! ...this has a bit of a learning curve at first to get to know all the cards and how to best combine their use, but once you get the hang of it its all out blazing fun ... until you die

(My only criticism of this game is the size of the playing board, but with only a little effort you can pimp your own glossy playing surface using a scanner and colour printer. It's well worth the effort.)
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19. Board Game: King Me! [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1495]
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Surprisingly good group voting game for six. Plays fast, easy to learn, and you'll want to play it again right away! The goal is to promote your own favoured subjects up through the classes in the Royal House to try to become the next King, with the risk of each winding up in the gallows for overstepping their eagerness. This inexpensive gem is deserving of a reprint and your attention.
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20. Board Game: Magical Athlete [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1672]
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Frenzied, multiple character powers racing game that I have played with as many as 8 people, but works best for 5 or 6. This is one of the most under-produced games I own, the pieces and board are cheap, but game play is absolute chaotic fun. Get a few betting chips or coloured gems to give out to players for the betting/ character drafting phase. The race itself is often a riot of laughter as overpowered characters are often beaten out by lesser beings because of the interaction created between the characters selected for that particular race. This game would be very popular if redone with a bit of chrome. An underappreciated gem.
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21. Board Game: Democrazy [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:9329]
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Voting games are great for drawing a larger group of players into a more socially interactive evening. This game teaches you how democracy really works. You will be voting in and supporting causes that you completely disagree with just because the alternatives are even less palatable, or because you misguidedly hope to garner support from others to impose one of your own wacky laws. Sly players can find just the right combination of attributes to sneak a slight majority to get things done. Democrazy can be a screaming riot with the right group of six despot players. Worth a look.
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22. Board Game: Oh, Really! [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3233]
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A small game that comes in an innocuous cardboard chest but packs more punch than its weight. I purchased "Whats it to Ya" against my better judgement only because a BGG friend insisted I give it a shot. I'm glad they did because although I don't play this now as much as I once did, it still attracts great interest by nieces and nephews in family get together's. The concept of the game is simple. The game cards present a series of things listed (which can be items, concepts or human values) and asks you to rank their relative importance to you. Your team mate must then guess how you ranked these items. The next turn you are trying to assess their ethical or moral values with your team score hinging upon your mutual understanding of what you each see as important. This game is actually best played with a group of couples ... so you can see who are most in sync with each other. My wife and I always lose ... but what do they say ...opposites attract. Do you value glass ahead of charity or chocolate doughnuts? ... Homer Simpson would know.
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23. Board Game: Hart an der Grenze [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1740]
Canada
London
Ontario
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"Federer is Betterer"
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Everybody needs at least one game in their collection that is banned somewhere in the world! ... a little silly .. but I guess a game about smuggling contraband and bribing border guards wasn't welcome in Brazil. Nonetheless it is a fun, light, press your luck, bluffing game that is heavy on theme. Grenze also contains some really cool "bullet-ridden" suitcase pieces that are worth it for the game itself. First re-made as "Robin Hood" ...amd now "Sheriff of Nothingham"... but trust me ... you want the original. (Eric ... get on it and split those game entries... oh, I see you already have)
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24. Board Game: Fearsome Floors [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:698]
Canada
London
Ontario
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Ever notice that Friedemann Friese likes to use alot of "F's" in his game titles and rule books. No, not those kind of F's.
I guess that's why he also chose to publish Fauna.
Fearsome Floors is more of a signature Friese game, quirky, embellished, but not taking itself too seriously. This game combines an escape-the-monster theme, with a pre-programmed move element, that often makes the game turns hilarious to watch unfold. Given that F is the sixth letter of the alphabet I'm sure Friedemann would agree that this game works best with 6.
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25. Board Game: Guillotine [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:818]
Canada
London
Ontario
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Guillotine (one of the lightest games on this list) is a fast and fun luck driven card-fest which features cartoonish characters and some gallows humour thrown in for good measure. The box recommends 2-5 but I've found that this game can play well for up to 6 players who are looking for something light and reasonably quick between games. Yes, the extra player does add to the chaotic nature of this game, which is far more luck and far less strategy than others on this list. Opus-Dei is a more serious variant of the same game ... but I prefer the original.
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