The Most Fun (gaming) You Can Have On Your Lunch Break - Brilliant Games In 30 Minutes
The Grouch
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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As you may be able to guess from the fact that I created a microbadge* for it:

mb Plays Games At Lunch

a lot of my gaming occurs during my lunch hour. With my busy schedule, it is often the only time I can get to play games during the week. To help out others in the same predicament, I offer this list of brilliant games you can play in 30 miunutes or less. I've tried to represent a cross-section of the Categories and Mechanics on BGG in this list. I'd appreciate any comments and additions you'd be kind enough to make.

If you do make additions, try to pick a different mechanic or category than those listed here, please select games which can play more than two people and please start the desciption of your item with The 30 Minute... followed by a blank line.

* for a look at all the microbadges I've created, please see this list.
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51. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:87]
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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The 30 minute hidden-role game.

As I've played this at work lunches weekly for many months now, it's a clear fit for the list. Also known as: "The 30 minute 'why are they so loud in that conference room?' game."
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52. Board Game: The Red Dragon Inn [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:958] [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked]
Tom Thingamagummy
United States
Oakland
California
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Don't make me bust out the drama!!
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Panda is a Werewolf. The Village wins!
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The 30 minute "I wish I was drinking but I'm at work" game

A basic "beat each other up" game that plays quickly... enough randomness to keep it light. Players can flat out beat each other up, steal their money, gamble money away, or cause more drinks. It's really fun.
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53. Board Game: M [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:2084]
Sarah D
United States
Rochester
New York
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30 min abstract tile laying game

Also fun if you don't teach anyone the rules, just tell them if the tile they laid is a legal move or not.
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54. Board Game: Cartagena [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:651]
Kevin Garnica
United States
Buena Park
California
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The 30 minute pirate racing game...
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55. Board Game: Chaos [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:5265]
Kevin Garnica
United States
Buena Park
California
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30 minute card game of set collecting that literally plays unlike anything else I've tried, with touches of Go Fish, War, and Musical Chairs. oh yeah, you heard me...

Awesome game that definitely deserves more attention.
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56. Board Game: The Bottle Imp [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:805]
Brian Mc Cabe
United States
Arizona
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Unique trick-taking game, in which the player who has played the lowest card for the round has the cards he won count as negative, the others positive. Nice screw-your-neighbor mechanics.

Brian
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57. Board Game: Family Business [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:1891]
Brian Mc Cabe
United States
Arizona
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Should be able to play two or three games in thirty minutes.
rat tat tat tat. I play St. Valentine's Massacre.

Keeping with the post title, I don't know if it's brilliant; but it's a lot of fun.

Brian
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58. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Schrodinger's Dog
Canada
Medicine Hat
alberta
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Half Hour Brain-Burner

Okay... attainable, provided no cards are used, everyone helps restock the board, and it's set up before the lunch break begins. My favorite way to play this one is fast and loose... forces you to optimize your strategy and not get connected to any one path. It gives Agricola the intensity of the last round of a great game of Power Grid, but sustained over the whole game.

Hard to do in a half-hour, but amazing when you pull it off.

/edit/ - spelling
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59. Board Game: Adios Amigos [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:2399]
Benny Sperling
United States
Arlington
Texas
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Really short game and plays with 4 players. Its like a lighter Bang! with some dexterity. "hey can you catch my bullets before they roll off the table?"
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60. Board Game: Risk Express [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2057]
Karen Davis

Mason
Ohio
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Conquer the world in 20 minutes or less ... plus specialty dice and very portable container! (unfortunately not sold in the US)
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61. Board Game: Igloo Pop [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:1916]
Canadian Dave
United States
Lehi
UT
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Wise men say, forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.
mb
The 30 Minute "I can't believe this is a game, I feel like a kid, but this is strangely fun and addictive and my girlfriend loves it" game.
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62. Board Game: Monopoly Deal Card Game [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:1471]
Ethan Van Vorst
United States
Spencer
North Carolina
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The longest part about Monopoly Deal is shuffling the 100+ cards. The longest game I've ever played was 20 minutes...most of the time the game is decided at the 15 minute mark. And unlike it's boardgame forebear this is a surprisingly fun little game that will draw looks once it's put out on the table.
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63. Board Game: Cockroach Poker [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1323]
Andrew McGregor
Scotland
Wigan
Lancashire
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The 30 minute game of bluff

A favourite filler at Wigan Wargames this rarely takes more than 5 minutes to play and with its 'one person loses' gameplay it's an easy game for newcomers to get into. No matter how many games of this we play "it'd be rude not to" have just one more game.

One of very few games where watching is as much fun as playing, especially when someone confidently asserts that his opponent has a terrible poker-face only to end up totally crestfallen as he humiliates himself when he falls for the bluff.

Also wonderful for watching the slow evolution of a new player from 'honest John' who was brought up never to tell lies into a diabolical deceiver.

More fun than you should ever be able to get for a tenner!
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64. Board Game: Lunch Money [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:6679]
Jeffrey Mumie
United States
Pennsylvania
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A 30 minute street/playground fighting game. Generally can be a pretty quick-paced lively game, with the artwork on the cards providing some dark undertones.

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65. Board Game: Give Me the Brain! [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:3200]
 
Vince Lupo
United States
ALEXANDRIA
Virginia
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Hard to find, but a great game that you can play multiple times during lunch. Game length can vary from 5 to 30 minutes.
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66. Board Game: Drakon (third edition) [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1035]
Dave Persinger
United States
Kyle
Texas
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1st game I ever taught and played during the lunch hour.
 
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67. Board Game: Wyatt Earp [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:601]
Jonathan Kandell
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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30 minute rummy game.

Perfect for lunch. You meld sets and then divide up different rewards. Some great "take that" cards too.
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68. Board Game: Parade [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:644]
Kevin Rutherford
United States
Perrysburg
Ohio
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This game has went over real well with my co-workers.
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69. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:500]
Kevin Rutherford
United States
Perrysburg
Ohio
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This is by far my office's favorite. They've played it so much that the paint is wearing off the blocks. They keep telling me to go out and buy a new one.
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70. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:222]
Kevin Rutherford
United States
Perrysburg
Ohio
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This is a long time favorite of my lunch crowd.
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71. Board Game: David & Goliath [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1425]
Kevin Rutherford
United States
Perrysburg
Ohio
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This game is quite popular and can handle a lot of players.
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72. Board Game: 11 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2005]
Kevin Rutherford
United States
Perrysburg
Ohio
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Very popular and can be played with up to seven players.
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73. Board Game: The Climbers [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1145]
Kevin Rutherford
United States
Perrysburg
Ohio
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Visually appealing. This draws in new players.
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74. Board Game: Arbos [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2977]
Kevin Rutherford
United States
Perrysburg
Ohio
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This game draws a lot of laughs and is very visual.
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75. Board Game: Taluva [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:314]
The Elder
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The 30 Minute Territory Building Game
(with a nearly nude man on the cover)

I didn't know it had a nearly nude man on the box, I'd never seen the box, that was not a selling point. All I knew was that the game looked nice and was fun to play even though I lost every single time.

I had more to write but it got long enough that maybe I should write a small review.

You can play several games in half an hour, the components look nice (full colour trefoil tiles with three types of elegantly shaped wooden buildings of which you need to place all of two types to win), and it's not too hard on the brain while still offering choices.
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