I love me a good filler game!  When a designer can create a game that is fun and engaging and can be played in 30 minutes or less, it really makes the game that much more entertaining.  Fillers are great to have around for many reasons.  You might want to mellow out at the end of a mind burning game.  You might need to play something quick while you are waiting on someone in your group to show up.  You could play fillers during a lunch break, waiting in line at Gen Con or when you go out to eat at a fancy dancy restaurant.  They are also great to take on vacations because they take up less space.  When you find a good filler game, they are just as good as a 3 hour slug fest of a bigger game.  These are my favorite filler games to play when I just need to play something…..

3. Ravenous River by AEG

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The Icons that tell you what animal you eat and what animal eats you!

I bought Ravenous River at Origins this year.  Funny thing is, I wasn’t at AEG for this game at all.  I was looking at Mystic Vale and had my eye on Automobiles for a while now.  But one of my goals at Origins was to find a nice cheap filler game.  This is the one I chose, and I am happy I did.  The whole goal of Ravinous River is to survive and get to the other side of the river.  In the game, you will play multiple rounds with a different secret identity each round.  Your animal can eat one other animal and you can be eaten by one other animal.  Through out the game you are trying to be on the bank or in the boat of an animal you eat and stay away from the animal that will eat you. This game is really tricky to hide your identity.  Because if you don’t….people will be hunting you if you are close to winning.  The other great thing about this filler is that it plays up to 7 people.  And….the more the merrier.

2. Coup by Indie Boards and Games

There are many people who adore Love Letter….and I will admit it is a solid game, but I love Coup.  This game is so simple yet so much fun.  You start with 2 cards, and each card has a special ability.  On your turn you can perform an action.  That simple!  The reason this is great is that at any time you can lie your rear off.  And at any time someone can call you out for lying.  When you are caught lying you lose one of your cards.  If you call someone out and they are telling the truth, you lose a card.  Last player with a card left wins the round.  It is so fun to watch your friends sit in agony over calling you out, not knowing you are telling the truth or lying.  Also, contemplating on whether to call someone out because he ALWAYS lies until the time that you call him out….then he is telling the truth!  It is quick, lighthearted and so fun!  Just love this game by Indie Boards and Games!

1. Biblios by Iello

This is by far my favorite filler game!  I don’t play it often but when I do I just soak it in.  The best part of this game is the double game within a game.  The first part of the game you are tying to get the best cards possible by random drawing cards.  You have to keep one for your self, put one to the side for the auction and then place one face up for each other player in the game.  This is so smooth and heartbreaking at times.  When you pick up a 3 book card in your hand only to flip over a 4 book card for others to pick up.  There really are some tough choices in this part of the game.  After the deck has gone through entirely then we go to the auction phase where you use the cards that you picked up from the first part to bid on cards that were placed in the auction pile.  This is also great because you know some of the cards that will be coming up because you put them there.  There are five different books you are trying to control, so you might use other books to get more money to use to buy more books, not knowing who else is going after the same books??  Not to mention you don’t want people to know what books you are going for because there are cards that lower the points for each type of book.  So while you are going heavy for the red books and others know this they will lower the value of the red books to 1…..giving you no shot of winning.  This is just a fantastic game!!  I really should just buy it!

-Tim