Games to play with co-workers over lunch hour
Aaron Dalton
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I work in a corporate setting in the communications group. I discovered that many of my colleagues enjoyed board games, though I was the only collector. So I initiated a regular "board game lunch" that six to a dozen people come to. I thought I'd list the games that I've tried and say how they were received. The entries are sorted by what I perceive to be the players' favourites.

If you have suggestions, please add them to the comments. I'm looking for games that can handle larger groups of people (minimum of 5), are interactive and engaging, and can be explained and played in less than an hour.

Here are the games that are in the queue once everybody gets back from summer vacations (in no particular order):

- 7 Wonders: Definitely a more complicated game, but it should still fit in a lunch hour. We just need the right group.
- Cosmic Encounter: I want to think we can fit this in an hour. It takes a bit to set up and explain, but I want to try it. The newest expansion with the hidden allegiance mechanic is intriguing, since coworkers love backstabbing each other.
- Escape: The Curse of the Temple: Only 5 players, but real-time games have gone over well, and this one is relatively simple.
- Colossal Arena: Again, only 5 players, but I personally have had a great time playing this over the years, and it might still be interesting to spectate. I'm not sure yet.
- Cornerstone: This only plays 4 players, but it's a great spectator sport. I've only ever played it once, so I'd love to get it to table just to try.

Thanks!
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1. Board Game: Secret Hitler [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:178]
Board Game: Secret Hitler
Aaron Dalton
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Calgary
Alberta
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I was right. This is hands down my favourite game to play with coworkers. It really mixes up the normal personality dynamics. Obviously success will depend on the members of your group, but for me it has been a source of many belly laughs. I work with some very good liars
 
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2. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:374]
Board Game: Hanabi
Aaron Dalton
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This is universally loved. People ask for it frequently. I've started giving a copy away in the company Christmas gift exchange and it is well received.

Given that we're a communications team, it's a great exercise, but poker faces are surprisingly hard to maintain
 
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3. Board Game: Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition) [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:657]
Board Game: Ca$h 'n Guns (Second Edition)
Aaron Dalton
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Calgary
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Who doesn't love pointing foam guns at their coworkers?! This was a real hit.
 
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4. Board Game: Codenames [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:83] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Board Game: Codenames
Aaron Dalton
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There's a reason this game has won so many awards! It's quick to play, and because my colleagues are communications people, they do a pretty good job of finding clues for multiple cards. Team games are great because they allow for so many people.
 
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5. Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:600]
Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo
Aaron Dalton
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Calgary
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This is such a great game. It's slower than the others, and you need a ghost that move relatively quickly, but people really enjoy this one.
 
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6. Board Game: Good Cop Bad Cop [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1517]
Board Game: Good Cop Bad Cop
Aaron Dalton
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Calgary
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Of the social deduction games, this one has been the most successful. It's relatively quick and simple to explain compared to Resistance (which isn't that complicated). Maybe we just like the idea of shooting each other
 
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7. Board Game: Space Cadets: Dice Duel [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1251]
Board Game: Space Cadets: Dice Duel
Aaron Dalton
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Calgary
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This is a recent addition. People loved the real-time aspect, but it's also stressful. The problem with this game is that it's relatively complex and requires some meaty explanation before playing. We generally can barely finish a single game in a session, and it's definitely a game that rewards repeated play so you can become more familiar with the mechanics. People really enjoyed it, though.
 
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8. Board Game: Concept [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:718]
Board Game: Concept
Aaron Dalton
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Calgary
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Our first game session after the summer, I thought we'd try something nonconfrontational. (Dice duel seemed to scar them a little bit ) After a couple of rounds, people were trying the harder words/phrases and were doing really well. They do seem to prefer a little confrontation, though. I'll keep this in my back pocket for days where we need a little zen.
 
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9. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:248]
Board Game: The Resistance
Aaron Dalton
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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People did really enjoy Resistance, and it made for some great backstabbing moments. For some reason, though, it's a little more complicated than say "Good Cop, Bad Cop," but it definitely comes out from time to time. I think the strategy is just a little opaque to new players, so it takes a few plays to figure things out.
 
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10. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:606]
Board Game: Wits & Wagers
Aaron Dalton
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This was more fun than I expected. I wasn't sure how people would receive it. The betting is great, but your skin needs to be a little thick just because you can get razzed a bit for real outlier answers. Our biggest problem was that everything was US centred and in Imperial units. They need to make a Canadian version.
 
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11. Board Game: Citadels [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:396]
Board Game: Citadels
Aaron Dalton
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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This went OK. It wasn't a big hit, though. It's small, so I'll bring it from time to time, but people aren't asking to play it again. There's not enough interaction to keep things alive.
 
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12. Video Game: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:610]
Video Game: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Aaron Dalton
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Calgary
Alberta
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We run this more as a communications exercise for teams (3–5 people). We obviously don't have a VR rig, but we have lots of meeting space and rooms with computers and screens. So we have one person in a room with a computer and the others in any other meeting room with print versions of the manual. Then you teleconference the two rooms with speaker phone. People love this! It's a stressful experience but an excellent team-building exercise.

This is at the bottom of the list not because it's liked less than any other game, but it's sort of in a class of its own.
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