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Filler games are generally easy to learn, highly replayable, and they don’t take long to play. They’re great games to have around for the beginning or end of your game night, or any other time you want to get a quick game in. Fillers are also the board games that seem to get played the most, so it’s worth having at least a couple in your collection.
Let’s get to the list! Below are my group’s favorite cooperative filler games!
10. Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island still hits the table every couple of months for my group even after over 100 plays. It uses the classic Pandemic system of “take a turn then bad things happen,” and it works perfectly for this type of survival game. Forbidden Island isn’t a game that most people think of as a filler, but that’s exactly what it’s become for my group since we can now set it up very quickly and be done with in about 25 minutes.
Read our Forbidden Island review
FUSE is 10 minutes of pure chaos. It’s a real-time game with a little bit of dice-stacking, which is a unique blend. You’re trying to defuse bombs using your dice, but you’re on a timer so the tension level is super high throughout. FUSE also takes up very little table space, so you can play it just about anywhere.
Read our FUSE review
8. The Grizzled
The Grizzled works great as a filler game, especially as a 3-5 player game (it’s great as a two-player filler if you also get the excellent The Grizzled: At Your Orders! expansion). In this card game you’re working together to survive until the end of the World War I. It has a unique theme and a good amount of replay value.
Read our The Grizzled review
As far as best bang for your buck goes, in my group’s collective opinion there’s only one cooperative filler game that is better than Hanabi (the #1 game on this list). My group still plays Hanabi regularly because it’s quick, that face-your-cards-away-from-you mechanic creates a neat team puzzle to solve, and because it’s a good challenge.
Read our Hanabi review
6. Magic Maze
What’s great about Magic Maze is that it works just as well as a filler game as it does as a “main course” game. You can play one of the middle levels as a one-off game or you can see how many levels you can play through before you lose. It’s one of my group’s favorite real-time games and it’s one of the best filler games out there for six or more players.
Read our Magic Maze review
Both the original 5-Minute Dungeon and 5-Minute Marvel are excellent filler games. Both are real-time co-ops in which you’re trying to quickly use your heroes’ abilities to get through the different levels. Even if you want to play through all of the levels, the game shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes, including setup.
Read our 5-Minute Dungeon review
Cahoots isn’t one of my group’s highest-rated games, but it does hit the table more than most of the games on that list because it works so well as a filler game. It’s quick, it gives you a different puzzle to solve every time it hits the table, and it’s easy to adjust the difficulty to suit your group’s skill level. This is probably the most underrated game on this list.
Read our Cahoots review
3. Just One
Just One is a word game that can work as a multi-play party game or as a quick filler. It has a very simple set of rules – give one-word clues to help the guessers figure out the mystery words – so it’s a great game to have around for just about any type of game night.
Read our Just One review
Codenames Duet is the best two-player filler game on this list, though you can play it with more than two. It’s a light word game in which you’re attempting to give clues so your teammate(s) flip over the correct “agent” cards while avoiding the “assassin” cards. It’s one of the best filler games out there because it is so light and quick yet it forces you to think creatively.
Read our Codenames Duet review
1. The Mind
Yeah, The Mind was an easy pick for this number one spot. I always have this game in my bag because it’s very small and there’s a pretty good chance that someone will want to play it at some point during every game night. Sometimes we play one quick game of The Mind before or after our main game, but it often turns into three or four.
Read our The Mind review