Top 9 Favorite Games Under $20

Are you looking for some new games to play on a date night a casual evening with friends, but don’t want to break the bank? Overwhelmed that even the shelves at Target and Walmart are bursting at the seams with new games? Let us help you with a few of our favorite games under $20. Below we’ll share a top nine list of our favorites and why we like them. Hopefully, this helps you find a great game for your next game night. We’re also going to write this more approachably to those newer to the hobby an avoid all stats/rankings, etc. other than player counter and average game time.

1. Codenames Duet & Codenames

Codenames: Competitive/Team Based 4-8 Players (optional 2-3 player modes not recommended)

Codenames Duet: Cooperative 2 Players (can play with teams)

The theme of these games is similar which is why we’re lumping these as 1 game. In some way shape or form you’re a spy trying to lead your team to victory using codes to reveal certain words within a certain amount of turns. Codenames is one of the biggest selling party games of recent years and is a hit with many groups (even those who don’t like traditional board games). Codenames Duet is perfect for date nights and is great to see how you and your partner work together to accomplish the rescue mission of your spies. Codenames Duet was recently featured on our Top Valentine’s Day List of 2022

Why we love these games:

  • Both games are easy to teach
  • Both games are quick (15 minutes-20 minutes) per play.
  • Highly Replayable (Tons of included words and combinations creates a nearly infinite variety between rounds)
  • Family Appropriate

2. Guillotine

Its the French Revolution and its off with the heads of the royalty and their enablers in this cartoonishly fun quick paced card game.

  • 2-5 Players
  • 30 Minutes

Why we like it:

  • Fast Paced
  • Silly
  • No Player Elimination
  • Easy to Teach
  • Fairly close scoring/high tension games

3. Point Salad

Can salad really be fun? We think so! AEG turned a joke about game scoring into fast paced, easy to teach, vegetarian* card game.

*Not actually vegetarian–please don’t eat any game components.

  • Player count 2-6
  • 15-30 Minutes

Why we like this game:

  • Fast Paced
  • Fun — Easily get sucked into multiple rounds
  • Easy to Teach
  • Surprisingly Strategic

4. The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

Fast Paced, Strategic, Trick-Taking, Cooperative Card Game–can you and your crew survive the 50 round quest to Planet Nine.

  • 2-4 Players (Recommended for 4 players)
  • 10 Minutes per round

Why we like this game:

  • Cooperative
  • Interesting Puzzles to solve
  • Fun to see how the game plays out–dramatic with the right people
  • Easy to teach

This game may not be for you if you don’t like playing silence (this game requires it during the round itself although we get really loud between rounds).

5. The Fox in the Forest

Another trick taking game hits our list–this time competitive and specifically for 2 players.

This game is fun, fast paced, and strategic until the last round. Great for quiet tv nights, date nights (although you may prefer the cooperative version The Fox in the Forest Duet), or in between other activities.

  • 2 Players
  • 15-30 Minutes

What we love about it:

  • Easy to grasp, difficult to master.
  • It doesn’t reward those who win every round–in fact its a sure fire way to lose
  • Planning and strategy are a must
  • Quick to play

6. The Mind

A cooperative counting game that tests how in sync you and your team are. Can you succeed though a series of 12 increasingly difficult rounds? Can you and your team’s rhythm become telepathic?

  • 2-4 Players (Plays well at 2, but better at 3, or 4)
  • 30 Minutes

What we love about it:

  • Cooperative
  • Easy to Learn (Can teach everyone in the family for a family game night)
  • Fun to replay

7. Welcome to your perfect home

Can you build the perfect neighborhood in the 1950s. This take on the flip and write genre is easy to learn, with no downtime between players. Note: This game is stopping production on 3/1/22 and may not be available for much longer. There will be a giveaway for a copy on our instagram page (@chasing_railways) soon.

  • 1-100 Players
  • 30-60 Minutes

What we love about it:

  • Easy to learn
  • No downtime between turns (everyone plays simultaneously)
  • Multiple Paths to Victory

8. Zombie Dice

Zombie themed dice throwing game is great at home and on the go.

  • 1-99 Players
  • Fast <10 minutes per game

What we love about it:

  • A Funny approach to the zombie theme (especially with expansions)
  • Easy to teach–you literally just throw the dice and hedge your bets.
  • Very portable

9. Trails

Smaller sized version of the hit game “Parks” with a brilliant minimalist National Park theme.

  • 2-4 Players
  • 30-60 Minutes

In this game you take the role of a hiker collecting badges as you go back and forth over a series of days. Its fun, thematic, and great for those who love the outdoors.

What we love about this game:

  • Theme
  • Easy to learn and teach
  • A variety of paths to victory points
  • a great introduction to more complicated games for your non-gamer friends.

We hope you enjoyed our list.

As always check out our etsy shop to help continue to make this content possible and follow us on instagram @chasing_railways.

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