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Lunchtime Office Games

August 12, 2016

Even before we started building Notch, we played lots of games in the office. It’s a good way to take a break from the challenges of the day and interact with the team outside of work. Here are our favorite games for a group of 3-4, that play in under 30 minutes.


Set has been our go-to game for quite a while. It’s quick to pick up, and plays in only 5–10 minutes. It’s also a great workout for the brain and really gets the blood pumping.

The cards are placed on the table, and everyone races to identify ‘sets’ of three. For each of the categories—shape, quantity, color, and pattern—the cards must either match, or be completely different. There’s a penalty for falsely identifying a set. This adds a bit of pressure, making you constantly second guess yourself.

Those who feel guilty about playing games when there’s work to be done, might find that this game eases some of those concerns. Set is a great mid-day game to sharpen and energize the mind.

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Loonacy is even faster paced than Set, but a little lighter and will cause less anxiety. In Loonacy, the focus is more on speed, and less about puzzle solving as in Set.

Everyone is dealt a hand of cards, each containing two images. On the table are a number of cards face up, determined by the number of players. The winner is the first to get rid of their cards by placing them on top of matches in community piles. It’s super fast, light, and easy to pick up.

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If you prefer strategy over speed, Yardmaster may be more your style. I like to think of it as a card variant of Ticket to Ride. Instead of connecting cities though, you’re building the train itself.

In the middle of the table are cargo/train cards, with numbers and colors. You draw colored cards, which act as currency to buy train cars. Some are more expensive than others. When you buy a train car, you place it in your own train yard. In order to connect it, it must either have the same color or the same number. There are also bonus cards, which give you special abilities and can change the dynamic of the game a bit.

It’s slightly more difficult to pick up than the other games above, but still plays fast—10–20 minutes—once you’ve got the basics. In order to win, you’ve got to plan out your moves and be aware of what other people might be trying to do. A good balance of strategy and casualness in a short play time.

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If you’re looking for new games, make sure to check back often, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

On deck is our favorite two player games. Let us if you know of any fun games we should check out.

Travis Kochel

Notch Everything You Play!