Explore further if you are looking for the best real-time board games because that is what we are going to give you. This is a category where the games often allow for players to take their turns (or part of their turns) simultaneously. This is in contrast to turn-based games. There are also some Real-time games in which there is a consequence if a player does not play their turn in a set amount of time. This is our list of the top 10 best real-time board games.
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#10 | 5-Minute Dungeon
5-Minute Dungeon makes the list of the best real-time board games because players must explore a dungeon, kill monsters, and defeat a boss…all in 5 minutes. When the clock is ticking that fast and you have much to do, there is no time to waste. This a chaotic and co-operative card game in which players must escape the randomized dungeon quickly. Communication and teamwork are critical to survival.
Players assume the role of one of ten heroes, each with special associations. Once the timer starts, the race is on to defeat all the monsters. In order to defeat a monster, players must match symbols from their hand with ones on the monster’s card. At the end of each dungeon is a powerful dungeon boss — and after the first boss is defeated, the campaign continues to the second boss. Each boss, and each randomized dungeon, gets harder until players reach the fifth and final boss. For 2 – 5 players, games are, you guessed it, 5 minutes long.
FOR MORE: Buy 5-Minute Dungeon on Amazon
#09 | XCOM: The Board Game
XCOM: The Board Game, based on the popular video game series, makes the list of the best real-time board games because it puts you on a clock to solve a complex mission and get out of there before it is too late. You will need to quickly work together to develop new tech and defend the world from invading aliens as time ticks away.
Where the world’s militaries have failed to stand against the alien invaders, you must succeed. To do so, you must make strategic use of the resources available to you. You must launch Interceptors to shoot down alien UFOs, assign soldiers to key missions, research alien technology, and use that technology to defend your base — all while trying to keep the world from collapsing just long enough that you can coordinate one final mission to repel the invaders for good. For 1 – 4 players, games run 1 – 2 hours.
FOR MORE: XCOM The Board Game Page | Games Like XCOM The Board Game | Buy XCOM The Board Game on Amazon
#08 | Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Escape: The Curse of the Temple makes the list of the best real-time board games because this adventure title has you running as fast as you can to return cursed gems before the temple traps you forever. This game gets about as physical as a non-physical game can. The excitement runs so deep that someone might get their eye poked out.
All players rolling dice and taking actions simultaneously. You must roll the right symbols to enter a room, and if you’re at an open doorway, you can roll to reveal the next tile in the stack and add it to that doorway. Some rooms contain combinations of red and blue symbols, and if you (possibly working with others) roll enough red or blue symbols, you “discover” magic gems, moving them from a separate gem depot onto that tile. For 1 – 5 players, games run a quick 10 minutes.
FOR MORE: Escape: The Curse of the Temple Page | Games Like Escape The Curse of the Temple | Buy Escape The Curse of the Temple on Amazon
#07 | Magic Maze
Magic Maze makes the list of the best real-time board games because not only does it put you on a clock as you traverse a tricky maze, but it adds some interesting limitations. An hourglass marker ticks away the 3 minutes you have to complete your task, it is an edge of your seat ride from there.
Each player can control any hero in order to make that hero perform a very specific action, to which the other players do not have access: Move north, explore a new area, ride an escalator… All this requires rigorous cooperation between the players in order to succeed at moving the heroes prudently. However, you are allowed to communicate only for short periods during the game; the rest of the time, you must play without giving any visual or audio cues to each other. For 1 – 8 players, games run 15 minutes.
FOR MORE: Games Like Magic Maze | Buy Magic Maze on Amazon
#06 | Millennium Blades
Millennium Blades makes the list of the best real-time board games because it brings a stock trading (and speculating) mechanism into a world of Anime and throws it against the wall with a real-time race to who can do the best in that limited time. The game is a game within a game and it all works. You are playing someone who is playing a CCG, what a smart take on the idea of real-time and real-life.
In this game you will build decks, play the meta, acquire valuable collections, crack open random boosters, and compete in tournaments for prizes and fame. At its heart, this is a commodity trading game, except that instead of cubes or stocks, the things you’ll be buying, selling, and speculating on are trading cards that can be used throughout the game in periodic tournaments. By trading wisely, playing the market, working with others, building collections, and winning events, you’ll secure points and become world champ. For 2 – 5 players, games are roughly 80 – 120 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Millennium Blades on Amazon
#05 | Exit: The Game
Exit: The Game makes the list of the best real-time board games because it is the most established within the world of Escape Rooms, one of the ultimate uses of actual time and a ticking clock there is. There are a few different options in this field that are solid, but Exit has something for everyone.
Just like the physical locations, there are multiple different “rooms” (different sets of this game come with a few different rooms and there are many versions to choose from) and each one comes with all the documents and game pieces you need to recreate the actual thing. Set the timer and go clue by clue to escape the room or get caught once time runs out. These games are for 1 – 6 players and tend to have limits in the 45 – 150 minute range.
FOR MORE: Buy Exit: The Game on Amazon
#04 | Space Alert
Space Alert makes the list of the best real-time board games because this is an event where missions last a quick 10 real minutes (hyperspace jump, sector scan, hyperspace jump back) and the only task the players have is to protect their ship as they survive the onslaught upon them. Things only go wrong and you need to plug the holes before everything goes down.
Players become crew members of a small spaceship scanning dangerous sectors of the galaxy. During play, the central computer will announce the presence of various threats and act as a game timer. The threats vary from space battleships, to monsters, to asteroids to equipment malfunctions. Players have to agree who will take care of which task and coordinate their actions in real-time to defend the ship. For 1 – 5 players, games run approximately 30 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Space Alert on Amazon
#03 | Galaxy Trucker
Galaxy Trucker makes the list of the best real-time board games because you need to prepare for unknown dangers by building the best spaceship possible, and time is the enemy. Everything is going wrong and you must defend against all the various forces coming at you in order to survive.
This fast paced game plays out over two phases: building and flying. The goal is to have the most credits at the end of the game. You can earn credits by delivering goods, defeating pirates, building an efficient ship, and being the furthest along the track at the end of the flying phase. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 1 hour each.
FOR MORE: Buy Galaxy Trucker on Amazon
#02 | Captain Sonar
Captain Sonar makes the list of the best real-time board games because this is an exciting game about hunting for your opponent’s subs before they do the same all against a ticking clock. All the members of a team sit on one side of the table, and they each take a particular role on the submarine, with the division of labor for these roles being dependent on the number of players in the game, creating quite the experience.
You and your teammates control a state-of-the-art submarine and are trying to locate an enemy submarine in order to blow it out of the water before they can do the same to you. Every role is important, and the confrontation is merciless. Be organized and communicate because a captain is nothing without his crew: the Chief Mate, the Radio Operator, and the Engineer. For 2 – 8 players, games last 45 – 60 minutes.
#01 | KLASK
KLASK takes the top spot on the list of the best real-time board games because there is nothing more real-time than a one-on-one showdown dexterity game. You have to be aggressive while also making sure not to endanger your own side.
The game board is shaped like a ball field with two deep holes functioning as goals in each end of the field. In the middle of the field, three white magnetic pieces serve as “obstacles”. Your gaming piece is a black magnet controlled by holding another large magnet under the board. The purpose of the game is to push the small, red ball around on the field and get past the obstacles to score. For 2 players, games run about 10 minutes.