The Average Gamer

Friday Night Unplugged #9: Quick Picks

Sometimes you don’t want to sit down and play an RPG or a big box game. Sometimes you just want to play something quick and equally fun.That’s why this week we’re looking at our favourite quick picks. These can be played at parties or at home with your friends and help round out any collection of games.

To meet this category they had to be simple to explain, quick to play, and more importantly they need to make you feel good. Anything that gets people laughing and smiling is great way to go. Myself, Fi and Josh have picked our favourite 3 games that meet those criteria.

Fi’s Pick: King of Tokyo.

king_of_tokyo-boardgame-2What is it?  FirstmKing of Tokyo is a dice roller with a difference. Everyone takes on the role of a B-movie inspired monster attempting to take control of Tokyo city. The winner is the first person to hit 20 victory points or the last monster to remain alive. There are only 3 real rules.

  1. Energy, Victory Points, Health and Attacks are all done via rolling 6 dice. Any dice can be re-rolled 2 times before they MUST be resolved.
  2. Only one monster can be in Tokyo City at any one time. Bonus vp are given for starting turns in the city and moving into the city
  3. If a monster attacks from outside the city it injures the monster currently in the city and vice versa.

Energy points are spent on bonus cards to boost health, vp or attacks.

Why should we play this? For a start it’s a 2- 6 player game that moves quickly regardless of how many people are playing. Turns move fast and points rack up regardless of what you roll. If you roll mostly energy you can spend it on cards that grant you points. If you roll mostly attacks you’re forcing others to consider retreating from the city. And that’s the magic. You are always doing something. No matter how small the action is you’re still doing something to increase your standing. To top it all off the artwork is great, cartoon styled cards depict cities crumbling, giant sea monsters stirring up the oceans and laser beams destroying cars.

Competitive, thematic and sometimes hilarious King of Tokyo is a great addition to an evening of light games. After all what’s more fun than a Mecha-bunny striding into a city and fighting off a menagerie of non-copyright infringing monsters.

I love it, where can I buy it?: Amazon are currently selling King of Tokyo for £27.71

Lewis’s Pick: Jungle Speed

Jungle_SpeedWhat is it? Jungle speed consists of a stack of cards and a small wooden/plastic totem depending on the edition you buy. The stack is shuffled out to all players and everyone gathers in a circle with their cards in a pile face down in front of them and the totem is stood in the middle. Everyone takes it in turns to flip the top card of their stack and place it in front of them.

The only way to win Jungle Speed is by emptying your stack until you have no cards left. How do you do this? Whenever a card is placed that matches the pattern of an already face up card the two players controlling those cards must race to grab the totem. The person to grab it first or whoever has the firmest grip wins. The losing player takes their discards and the opponents discards and the rest are placed into the pot under the totem.

Wait, what? Here’s a video of a Jungle Speed round courtesy of youtube to help explain what I mean.


Why should we play Jungle Speed? It’s manic. What is essentially a game of snap becomes tense as the face-up stacks build and everyone starts second guessing themselves. Play gets faster and faster and you will either burst out in tears of stress or end up giggling with insanity when you make a mistake and have to pick up all the discards.

Jungle Speed is surprising, it doesn’t look like much but it fits so well into that space for quick 5-10 minute games that act as icebreakers that it’s difficult for me not to recommend Jungle Speed.

I love it, where can I buy it? Travelling Man sell Jungle Speed for £14

Josh’s Pick: Zombie Dice

ZDComponentsWhat is it: Zombie Dice is a competitive dice rolling game for 2 or more players. It consists of 3 colours of dice; green, yellow and red. Each die has differing amounts of 3 symbols. Brains can be scored for points. Shotgun blasts inflict damage. Feet allow you to draw back up to 3 dice from the pot and roll again. Each player’s turn lasts until they either decide to stop rolling and cash in the brains they’ve stashed or they take 3 shotgun wounds and die, thus cancelling any brains they rolled this turn. There is a third and very rare option where a player succeeds in rolling all the dice without taking 3 wounds. The first player to 13 brains wins. Simples!

Why should we play Zombie Dice: Firstly you’re a zombie lusting for brains. It’s not very often you get to take on the role of gaming’s favourite trope and it’s always fun to complain about needing more brains. Secondly it’s a game of luck – when you’re tired of huge tactical sagas Zombie Dice fits into that gap nicely. It’s cheap to buy, simple to play and literally a pot full of fun (read: brains).

Where can we buy Zombie Dice: Amazon sell Zombie Dice for £12.41.

Honorable Mention: FLUXX

What is it? Fluxx is a card game which starts with a few basic rules. Draw one card, play 1 card. Things don’t last this way as new cards change the goals, rules and results in everyone trying to twist the game in their direction. It comes in several themed sets; we prefer the Lovecraftian Cthulhu Fluxx.

Fluxx is a firm favourite in our house and if you’re looking for something a little longer and a little more complex than the above games and is great for any number of players from 2 upwards. The more players the more chaos. Get Cthulhu Fluxx and other versions at Travelling Man

Next Week:

Next week we will be bringing something new to the table as we explore the Star Wars: Edge of The Empire – Beginner Game. This is an RPG ruleset based in the grittier sectors of the Star Wars universe, tailored towards first-time RPG players. Join us as we become one with the force… or not. Time will tell.