Bingo or Games You Can Play With A Large Group

Bingo or Games You Can Play With A Large Group

June 7, 2018 0 By Ryan Sanders

The Inquisitive Meeple looks at some non-social deduction games that can be potently played with large groups (20+ players). 

 

Summer vacation is here, and that can mean family vacations or BBQ get-togethers. So, just in case, you are looking for some games that can be played (or potentially played in some cases) with a large group of players, without you having to buy multiple copies of the games (see et cetera if you are okay with buying multiple copies), The Inquisitive Meeple put together this list for you. Due to wanting to limit the main list to be just (non-social deduction) games that play with double digits of players and with a single copy of a game, we choose to focus mainly on Roll & Writes (with expectations of Micro Robots and Richochet Robots), where players roll dice (or use cards/tiles instead) and then write the results somewhere on a games specialize piece of paper, that each player has. Because, we wanted to focus on larger group Roll & Writes, we also have a few other restrictions in finding listing the games we listed, they are:

  • All players need to play off the same (dice/card/tile) results so that there can be a single announcer of the dice/card/tile result, much like Bingo.
  • Everyone’s turn is played simultaneous, so downtime is minimum, much like Bingo.
  • The number of players is potentially limited to just the number of pieces of pieces of papers found on the gamepad and the number of pencils you can find in your house (again much like Bingo).

Three of the below games, do not say they play with large groups, however, there is nothing stopping you from playing with large groups, as long as you have enough pencils to share, as far as I understand the rules of the game. Of course, we encourage all readers to read the rules ahead of time and make the decision themselves if they think it will play with larger groups. As an unintentionally added bonus, all the games, but one (Micro Robots) in the domestic and foreign release sections can be played solo. (Note: This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive and domestic in this article refers to the United States) 

Domestic Releases

20 Express

  • Designed By: Yoshihisa Itsubaki
  • Published By: Blue Orange Games
  • Player Count According To Box: 1-100+
  • Listed Time To Play: 15 minutes

20 Express was originally a published game called, Streams. However, when Blue Orange Games picked it up, they gave the game a very (very) light train theme. Here is how Blue Orange describes the gameplay:

Each player has a game sheet with one long train of 20 cars. The goal is to make chains of ascending numbers, left to right. Inside the draw bag are 40 tiles with the numbers 1 through 30, including some doubles. With every draw, players need to assign the number to a car on their sheet. The longer the chain, the more points you’ll score.

In 2016, Blue Orange release with no theme, as Digit’y Do. Though, 20 Express version is still available to buy on Blue Orange’s website.

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Criss Cross

  • Designed By: Renier Knizia
  • Published By: Grail Games
  • Player Count According To Box: 1-6
  • Listed Time To Play: 10 minutes

Criss Cross is a newly released (July 2018) game in the United States from Grail Games and is designed by Renier Knizia.  Here is part of Grails description of Criss Cross:

A game lasts 12 rounds. Each round, the two dice are rolled and each player must write the two symbols shown in adjacent squares on their score sheet. Players will score for having groups of symbols in each column and row.

Criss Cross should be available in game stores in the United States in July 2018.

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Micro Robots

  • Designed By: Andreas Kuhnekath
  • Published By: Z-Man Games
  • Player Count According To Box: 2-infinity
  • Listed Time To Play: 20 minutes

Micro Robots is the first non-Roll & Write on the main (domestic and foreign) release list. It’s an offshoot of its older bigger brother,  Ricochet Robots and needs a table. Micro Robots can play with as many people as you can get around a table. If playing with a lot of players, the players will play until someone has 5 of  25 VP tokens or all tokens are gone, with the winner the player with more tokens. Well a puzzle game, and using a robot (in this case a single one), it plays differently than Ricochet Robots.

Here is the BGG description for Micro Robots:

In a round, roll the two dice to determine the target space; you can mark this space with a transparent victory token or simply have everyone remember which space they’re trying to reach. Everyone simultaneously tries to figure out how to move the robot to the target space, and to move the robot, it must move orthogonally to a space that shares either the color or number of its current location. If the robot starts on “3-green”, for example, it can move orthogonally to any space that shows either a 3 or is green; if you’d move it to “5-green”, it can now once again move orthogonally to any space that shows either a 5 or is green; and so on.

As soon as a player has a solution, they yell out the number of moves, then take the robot and demonstrate the solution. If the solution takes exactly the number of moves claimed, the player earns a victory token; if not, the player gives one of their victory tokens (if they have any) to the player with the fewest tokens. In either case, the former target space becomes the new starting space for the next round.

Micro Robots comes in a much smaller box and is a cheaper game, though again plays differently. The game comes with a variant on how to use the clear Micro Robot in its big brother Ricochet Robots.  Also note, that Micro Robots is the only game on the main (domestic/foreign sections) list that cannot be played solo.

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Ricochet Robots

  • Designed By: Alex Randolph
  • Published By: Z-Man Games
  • Player Count According To Box: 1-infinity
  • Listed Time To Play: 30 minutes

Ricochet Robots is the last non-Roll & Write on the main (domestic and foreign) release list. Ricochet Robots needs a table, and you can play with as many people as you can get around a table. When playing with a large group, players will play until all the target tokens are gone, with the winner the player with more tokens.

Here is the BGG description:

Ricochet Robots is less of a game and more of a puzzle, which explains why there’s such an odd number of solutions possible. There’s a four-piece modular board that forms a large room with walls spread around the board. There are also color-coded targets on boards. Placed on top of the surface are four robots. The idea for each turn/puzzle is to get the like-colored robot to a randomly selected target. The trick is that once a robot starts moving, it will continue to move until a wall or another robot stops it. Therefore, players are seeking a sequence of moves for the robots that will enable them to move the required robot to the target in the fewest moves.

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  • Designed By: Hisashi Hayashi
  • Published By: Gamewright Games
  • Player Count According To Box: 1+
  • Listed Time To Play: 15 minutes

Originally a game from Japan called Rolling Japan, Gamewright picked up the game – changed the map to the United States and add some powers to make it a little bit easier.  The short version of the description (from Amazon.com) is:

Fill in your map with the numbers rolled on the dice. The challenge is that neighboring states can’t have numbers that differ by more than 1. Whoever fills most of the states with numbers wins.

Quick Links:

Welcome To…

  • Designed By: Benoit Turpin
  • Published By: Deep Water Games
  • Player Count According To Box: 1-100
  • Listed Time To Play: 25 minutes

 Welcome To.. is technically not out in the United States yet, however, Deep Water Games will be releasing it in August 2018 to the general public (though there may be some copies for sale at Origins 2018). According to Deep Water Games:

In Welcome To, players take on the role of 1950’s American architects, building and planning suburban neighborhoods. Players compete to be named Best Suburb by giving the houses in their developments the best parks, pools, and curb appeal.

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Foreign Releases (Import)

Knister

  • Designed By: Heinz Wüppen
  • Published By: NSV
  • Player Count According To Box: 1-12
  • Listed Time To Play: 15 minutes

Knister, though published in 2017, has been around since 2007 using the names Würfel Bingo and High Score. Though in Knister you only play 1 round (game) instead of 3 rounds. BGG may best explain the gameplay: A game of Knister

...consists of 25 die rolls of two standard six-sided dice. After each die roll, each player places the sum rolled into one of the fields on his game board. After 25 rolls, each player tallies his points; each row and column scores 1-12 points depending on whether it’s filled with a pair of matching numbers, a triple, a full house, a straight, a five-of-a-kind, and so on, with points scored along the diagonals being doubled.

Highest score wins the game.

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Kreuzwort

  • Designed By: Bernhard Lach and Uwe Rapp
  • Published By: KOSMOS
  • Player Count According To Box: 1-6
  • Listed Time To Play: 20 minutes

This game is a little unique compared to the other games on this list because it is a word game, where you are trying to build words by rolling dice and filling spaces. Here is BGG description of the game:

The word game Kreuzwort features four letter dice and one color die. Each roll of the dice will give players access to two letters, and each player chooses one of those letters and adds it to his personal crossword sheet to form rows and columns of words, scoring points based on how well they do.

Quick Links:

Penny Papers Adventures Series

  • Designed By: Henri Kermarrec
  • Published By: Sit Down! Games
  • Player Count According To Box: 1-100
  • Listed Time To Play: 15, 20 and 25 minutes (depending on title)

Penny Paper Adventures is a 2018 series that follows the adventures of Dakota Smith and Penny Papers (the latter being on the cover of the games). There are currently three in the series, so far, they are:

Here’s BGG description of the series as a whole:

Penny Papers Adventures is a series of small strategy games in which all of the players use the same result of three dice to explore a location more thoroughly than their opponents by writing numbers in their grid in an optimal way to make the most victory points out of it. Challenge your ability to manage space, and wisely use the special effects of the dice. Oh, and don’t miss an opportunity to mess up your opponents’ grids when dangers appear! The number of players is unlimited as everyone plays at the same time!

You can see this one is a little different from others in this article, in that you can mess up others pages, because when a certain symbol (different in each game) is rolled, players have to allow someone else to mark on their page, before giving it back. How would that work in a large group, in the center of the table and mix them up or if you are playing without people around a table you could always pass them either clockwise or counterclockwise for markings.

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Et Cetera

As an et cetera, I would like to say that there are of course other games out there that use the “bingo mechanic”, but they require you to buy multiple copies of said game. While the below list may not be exhaustive, it gives you a place to start. Three notes here:

1.I am only adding domestic titles (again domestic to the US)

2. These are games that have the potential to be played with more with extra copies, however, I encourage readers to check out the rules to see if you agree before buying anything. I have played zero of these games with extra copies/large groups (2 of the games on the list I haven’t played at all).

3. Five out of six of the games below are not  Roll & Writes (Korkoro being the lone holdout), unlike the main lists in this article.

If you are interested in that, you may want to potentially look at the following games:

  • Cities – (Z-Man Games) A single copy plays up to 4 players
  • FITS – (Ravensburger) A single copy plays up to 4 players
  • Karuba – (HABA Games) A single copy plays up to 4 players
  • Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama – (Indie Board & Cards)  A single copy plays up to 8 people
  • NMBR 9 – (Z-Man Games) A single copy plays up to 4 players
  • Take It Easy (Eagle-Gryphon Games) A single copy plays up to 6 players (or 8 depending on edition)