Top 10 Games with Only Cards - with Chris Yi - finalbosscardgame.com

Top 10 Games with Only Cards – with Chris Yi

The Dice Tower
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Chris Yi takes a look at his top 10 games which only consist of cards.

Intro 00:00
#10 01:35
#9 02:11
#8 02:46
#7 03:33
#6 04:16
#5 05:04
#4 05:54
#3 06:42
#2 07:27
#1 08:12
Outro 09:21

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40 Comments

  1. Chris,
    Good to hear that Tybor is a good 2 player game. I usually introduce a new card game to my wife on our anniversary. I have Tybor in my cupboard, this might be the year to bring it out.

    I also have Archeology: The New Expedition, Piñata, Mundus Novus, and Valley of the Kings in the cupboard. Hard choice.

    For the last few years, Port Royal has been our favorite card game that's good for 2 players.

  2. I really thought you were going to have Bohnanza on your list.

  3. honestly though this was games using a standard deck of cards

  4. I once played an only-card game that was about trains and completing routes or something. Does anybody know it? Artwork was really neat. Like cartoons but watercolour Illustrations. Really tight, thinky, 45min game of just multiuse cards …

  5. No love for Fantasy Realms? Yes, it technically comes with a scorepad, but it's really only a calculator. You punch your cards in the app and you no longer have a scorecard!

    Timeline is a good call but I only play with the Timeline Challenge board game expansion thingie, so I couldn't include it. Other than Fantasy Realms, which I am totally counting, I'd add Spot It only because it's one of the few kids' games I actually enjoy playing.

  6. Excluding Dominion due to some expansions seems odd.

  7. Good list! I wanted to get a deck-builder on here, so I suggest Star Realms. I was going to suggest Ascension Apprentice Edition until scoring was brought up. However, Star Realms uses cars for keeping your life total, too, so I’m suggesting that one.

  8. 20) Salem
    19) Tides of Madness
    18) GOSU Tactics
    17) Point Salad
    16) Lovecraft Letter
    15) Grass
    14) Coup
    13) Claim 1 & 2
    12) High Society
    11) Castles of Burgundy Cards
    10) Gloom
    9) Village Green
    8) Mephisto
    7) Lords of Scotland
    6) Fairy Tale
    5) Parade
    4) Arkham Noir
    3) Harald
    2) Arboretum
    1) Thunder & Lightning

    Honorable mentions (some minor components);
    – Friday
    – Finished
    – Mutants
    – Truffle Shuffle
    – GoT: Hand of the King
    – Choson
    – Koryo
    – Ringmaster
    – Harbour
    – The Crew
    – Side Effects
    – Pumpkin Patch Bad Seeds
    – Fluxx
    – Gorus Maximus
    – The Lost Expedition
    – Jaipur
    – Hanamakoji
    – Lost Cities
    – Convoy
    – Shards of Infinity
    – Star Realms
    – Baseball Highlights
    – Blue Moon Legends
    – Brutal Kingdom
    – Citadels
    – The Dead Eye
    – Spires End
    – Doom Machine
    – Gate
    – Grifters
    – Hats
    – Odin’s Ravens
    – Red Rising
    – Space Hulk Death Angel
    – YOMI

  9. Great list! And thanks for naming the chapters numbers; I enjoy not spoiling what title is coming up next =)

  10. We bought Fantasy Realms before our international trip – plays great on a plane even – great card game! (We didn't bring the scorepad and just used a calculator instead)

  11. Arburetum got to be my favorite pure card game out there

  12. So much Pfister love, but none for Port Royal?!? Also, Chris, again with the cool intro music! Where is this coming from?

  13. Solo: Palm Island, SpaceShipped.
    Duet: Archaeology: The New Expedition, Paperback.
    Group: Tranquility.
    Party size: Dutch Blitz.
    Kids: Why I Otter.
    Shelf of Shame: Herbaceous.

  14. Hi Chris, you could have mentioned Mottainai along with Glory To Rome 😉

  15. No love for Magic the gathering in the comments?

  16. Great list! Although I like Port Royal much better than Oh My Goods and Tybor.

  17. Eminent Domain: Microcosm – Great game with only 36 cards. Surprisingly deep and strategic for a micro game!

  18. Cool list and great idea. Have you tried Timeline Challenge? Highly recommend it and a get iteration of Timeline and is more approachable with non-nerds. I know it is not a card game but definitely underappreciated.

  19. Sylvion!
    Oniverse game as well. More of deck construction and tower defense. I am generally in the minority I think but I actually prefer this to Onirim, though both are good fits. Yes it has a token like Onirim, but used only with a module.

    The Crew 2 would be close to fitting – yes technically it has a captain marker and 1 “communication token” each, but these could easily be cards instead.
    I think similarly of The Grizzled, which has speech “tokens”, but these could easily be a card and really do not need to be cardboard.
    But STRICTLY speaking neither would fit officially. I’d love to put Shards of Infinity on too but there are Heath trackers! Paperback – though there are wood tokens used in co-op version.

  20. Glory to Rome, technically, has the players "dashboard", which is used to tuck the cards, leaving only one of the possible uses available…
    One game I thought was Valley of the Kings, the original one in particular.

  21. Literally the perfect list. I've played 5 and agree with your thoughts and I'm now very interested in 5 more games I haven't played. I'd add these honorable mentions: Archaeology, The Mind, The Game, and FBI.

  22. My favorite Only Cards game would be Millie Bornes. I also enjoy SkipBo and Phase 10 (Sorry Tom).

  23. It doesn't get much love, but Castles of Burgundy Card Game provides a lot of decision-making fun and playing options using only cards. Just make sure you are playing on a large table.

  24. I remember playing a mama mia memory game back in the 90's as a kid. You got a cardboard pizza with a single ingredient labelled and a few disc insert slots (with almost identical art), pepperoni, onion, mushroom, pineapple, anchovy, etc. The ingredients were cardboard discs with just cheese on the rear. Players take turns turning over discs and placing only their own on the pizza, rest were returned to the pile. Simple, fun, great for little kids.

  25. One of my favorite card-only games is the pirate-themed Loot. The biggest weakness of the game is that it really doesn't play well with less than 4 players.

  26. The Homestead HS I went to had Mustangs as their mascot 🙂 My fave card-only game is probably Schotten-Totten.

  27. Dale of Merchants would make my list for sure!

  28. Funnily enough, my copy of Sushi Go (the original blue-box Adventureland version) only has cards. You still need to keep score between rounds, but each player gets a pair of cards which track scores by sliding one over the other, designed to look like a tray on a conveyor belt.

  29. I am afraid of playing Point Salad because of my irrational fear of beets. Not sure if they are included, but best to err on the safe side. Tybor the Builder is a great top pick!

  30. I kept looking for my favorite game in this category and it never came up. Is it possible that you have never played Port Royal? Except for the box it came in and the rules sheet, all it has is cards. This is my group's go to filler, along with Jump Drive (which doesn't qualify as it has victory point chips).

  31. Doesn't glory to Rome include player boards? If so, I'm not sure it would count as cards only 😉

  32. A lighter game that our family really likes is Just Desserts.

  33. Tybor the Builder is a great pick! Great list.

  34. I’d add Coloretto to that list, and red 7, and innovation. If you’re good at arithmetic then also fantasy realms. Great concept for a list! Small box card games for the win!

  35. Too bad Glory to Rome has been OOP for years. I also like the newer Ohanami, and the older Knizia Flea Circus…

  36. Timeline looks great for history buffs. It reminded me that the Star Trek Experience in Vegas featured a history of the future display and I think a Star Trek version of the game would be more my style.

  37. Valley of the Kings is my favorite card game. There's a cardboard tomb in the version I have so it wouldn't make this list, but I'm not sure it was included in the original small box card game.

  38. Carl Chudyk dominates this category for me with Innovation, Glory to Rome, Red7, and Mottainai. Apart from those titles I greatly enjoy Exceed Fighting System, Lost Legacy, Office21, Onirim, and The Game.

  39. One of my favorite card only games would have to be Boss Monster. Plays quick and is easy to teach.

  40. Star Realms, Exploding Kittens, Seventh Hero, and Family Business are great card-only games.

  41. Mine in any order would be:
    -Archeology: The New Expedition (if you're allowing the player mats in Glory to Rome, then this game's monuments are allowed too!)
    -Point Salad
    -Cockroach Poker
    -Cheating Moth

  42. I really like 12 Days.

    Arboretum is another classic. You might argue that it doesn't qualify because a scorepad is often used at the end of the game, but it's not necessary to gameplay. You could just add up your score mentally at the end. There are other card games where you pretty much need a scorepad or tokens or something to track something during rounds or between rounds, but I'd consider Arboretum a bit different from those in that aspect

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