5 Games to Play While Waiting in Line at Conventions

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Summer is here, and so is Convention Season! There will be many opportunities to partake in nerd content: panels, sneak previews, meet and greets, etc. Behind those opportunities will be standing and sitting in lines for long hours of boredom. Take advantage of that time to play some games that are line-friendly! Below is a list of simple, quick, travel-friendly games that you can play with your fellow line-mates:


Coup is a bluffing card game that takes place in a dystopian society where the government is run by mutli-national CEOs. Resistance fighters have created a power vacuum and it is your goal to take hold of that power. Each player is dealt two cards representing character roles. There are five possible roles: Duke, Assassin, Contessa, Ambassador, and Captain. Each of these roles have special abilities; for instance, the Duke can take 3 coins from the treasury and block someone from taking foreign aid, while the Assassin can pay 3 coins to assassinate another character. On top of these actions, any player can take income or foreign aid from the treasury or carry out a coup against another player.

The fun in this game is that no one knows each others’ character roles so you can lie in order to take certain actions. If someone calls you on your bluff, you have to reveal your card. If you bluffed, you lose that card, if you were honest they lose their card. That leaves one of you with one card remaining. As bluffs continue, players get eliminated out of the game by losing both cards. The last player standing wins! Coup is a quick game that creates heated interactions between the players. And as a bonus, it can fit in a small bag or pant pocket!


Sushi Go is an addicting card-drafting game. While at first it may seem complicated to know how all the special cards affect your point values, it is actually deceptively simple. You basically simulate picking sushi off of a conveyor belt by picking cards from your hand and passing them to the next player. You do this several times until everyone has a completed hand. At the end of the round, the points are tallied and then you start the process over for a total of three rounds. Some cards like Sashimi and Tempura are multiplier cards and only yield their point value if you have the necessary amount. Some cards, like Maki rolls, only add points for the person who collects the most. There are also pudding cards, which only affect your score at the end of the three rounds.

Once you get the hang of this game, your friends will want to play it over and over again. It’s a fun, simple game that comes in a portable travel tin. The art on the cards is delicious and adorable and will make you crave sushi after you finally get into that Hall H panel.


Love Letter is a wonderful micro-game that is probably the most travel friendly on this list. It comes in an adorable red velvet pouch! It is a game of risk, deduction, and luck with a deck of only 16 cards. The objective of Love Letter is to get a secret love letter to the Princess before anyone else does. There are many members of court trying to intercept or send their own letter: Guards, the King, the Prince, the Baron and more. Each card in the deck represents one of these roles, some roles, like the Guard, appear more frequently. Each role has a numerical value and can perform a special action.

The game goes on a turn-by-turn basis where each player starts with one card. Each turn they draw a second card and choose to play one of the two. Generally, you want to keep the highest card in your hand. The round ends when you cause the other play to lose all of their cards, or when you empty the draw deck. In that case, who ever has the highest value card in their hand, wins. The winner of each round gains a token of affection, symbolized by a red cube. The game ends when a player has amassed the most tokens.


In need of a little more excitement? Fluxx will keep you on your toes with its ever-changing rules. This card game starts simply enough, each player has three cards and takes turns drawing and discarding one card. There are several different types of cards: Rule cards, Goal cards, Action cards, Keeper and Creeper cards. As players draw and play cards, they can change the rules making player hands bigger or smaller, they can also change the objective of the game with Goal cards. Each player needs to try to keep up with the changing rules and play towards the current goal. Whoever achieves the goal first, wins.

Fluxx is a great game to capture your attention when you’re afraid of falling asleep while waiting in line. The fun part about Fluxx is that it’s available in many different versions and properties. You can get a  Firefly Fluxx, Batman Fluxx, or even a Monty Python Fluxx!


Fairy Tale is a card drafting game similar to Sushi Go, except with a little more strategy. It takes place over four drafting rounds, each followed by a three card reveal. In one round, each player drafts a 5-card hand. After they have chosen their five cards, they simultaneously reveal three of the five cards and discard the two remaining. This goes on until the end of all rounds when the cards are tallied.

There are four factions (or suits) in the deck: Shadow, Dragonvale, Fairywood, and Holy Empire as well as three wild cards called the Eggs of Chaos. Among these factions are dragons, dwarves, knights, demons and other magical characters. They all are worth a certain number of points and some cards work together to create a higher value. There’s a fun mechanism of card-flipping that complicates the game. Some cards force other cards to flip face-down or vice versa affecting your total tally at the end.

Hopefully, these five portable games entertain you during those long waits in line. They all should take 30 minutes or less allowing for multiple plays.

What games do you like to play while waiting in line? Tell us in the comments!

Featured Image Credit: Alderac

Image Credits: La Mame Games, Gamewright, Alderac Entertainment Group, Looney Labs and Z Man Games

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