If International Tabletop Day feels a little out of reach because you’re on a budget this year, you still have some fantastic options for taking a turn at a new game on gaming’s biggest day.
Not only do game stores offer free demos and extensive board game libraries you can borrow from to try out something new, there are also quite a few budget-friendly options for $15 or less to keep the fun going at home on Tabletop Day and beyond.
The king is dead, and several contenders have thrown their dice into the ring to be his successor. In this compact game, rolls of the dice can bring you ever closer to the crown, but only if your luck holds and your rivals are defeated.
Three claim tokens earns the victor the crown. A roll of the dice can grant a token, but it can also give rivals a chance to benefit or even sabotage the active player’s turn. Push your luck, betray your rivals, and and tempt fate to become the rightful ruler.
2-6 Players, Ages 10+
Hanabi is a cooperative card game that’s practically a steal under $15. Players work together to create a breathtaking fireworks display by placing cards in sets by color, and in the correct number sequence. But players can’t see the cards in their own hand–they must rely on their fellow pyrotechnicians’ clues to play their cards correctly.
On each turn, players can tell other players about their cards by spending a time token, play a card on a set, and discard a card from their hand. Complete fireworks sets to score points and win as a team. Incorrectly placed cards will count as a strike against the players; three strikes and the game is over.
2-5 Players, Ages 8+
If it’s a new game to play with the kids you’re on the hunt for, most of Blue-Orange Games’ family offerings are $20 and under. Ooga Booga is an amusing way to spend your Tabletop Day as you and the kids attempt your best caveman impressions—while testing your memory at the same time.
This memory game tasks players with remembering the sequence of funny grunts and sounds placed as cards on the table. Draw a card and say the sound out loud. The next player’s card covers the word on the card, but leaves the picture visible. Use the clues to say the grunts in the correct order, or else you lose the round. You’ll be grunting and guffawing along with the kids in this unique game.
3-6 Players, Ages 7+
Compete against your fellow party leaders to recruit the best band of heroes for an adventure in this set collection card game. To do so, you need to collect six different hero cards from the deck and other players.
The active player draws a card and places it face-up in the discard pile. A number in the bottom right shows the required strength. The active player then chooses a card in his or her hand that meets that required strength, and slides it face-down to the player on the left. If the passed-to player chooses to flip over the card and he or she already has that hero, both hero cards end up in the discard pile. To avoid losing a hero, players have the option to pass or ask for clues. Use logic and bluffing get a set of six unique heroes before everyone else to win the game.
3-5 Players, Ages 10+
It’s time to push your luck again in this sequel to Welcome to the Dungeon. Players choose one hero, picking from a bard, ninja, princess, and necromancer, and all players will use that hero and their inventory for the game.
On a player’s turn, a card is drawn and either added to the dungeon or discarded. If the card is discarded, the hero loses an item or sidekick tile as well. As players select and discard monster cards, they have the option to pass on their turn if the dungeon starts to seem too dangerous. The last player who hasn’t passed must go through the dungeon with the monster cards and items in play. If a player survives the dungeon twice, they win the game.
2-4 Players, Ages 10+
What are your picks for gamers on a budget? Share your deals below.
Featured Image Credit: Kelly Knox
Other Images: Thing 12 Games, Cocktail Games, Blue-Orange Games, and iello