Continue if you are looking for games like Hanabi and are curious about what similar games to play next. Hanabi—named for the Japanese word for “fireworks”—is a cooperative game in which players try to create the perfect fireworks show by placing the cards on the table in the right order.
To determine this list we broke down Hanabi to what it is. Hanabi is a game that is played in cooperation with your entire group. You are limited in what you can say or do but that doesn’t stop you from having to complete a communal goal. If you are looking for something similar, you have come to the right place. We took all this into consideration and came up with this list of the 5 board games like Hanabi.
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#05 | Cahoots
Cahoots is more a party game than deep thinking but it is absolutely a great choice for the list of games like Hanabi. Just like Hanabi, you either win or lose as a group and you have to make strategic decisions with the limited amount of information you have at hand. One interesting thing here is that the things you need to accomplish change each game.
Play cards to one of four piles by matching color or number. Work together as a team to complete a series of goals — without communicating what’s in your hand. Can you make all piles purple or green? Every card lower than four? All cards add up to ten? There’s only one way to win before time runs out. For 1 – 4 players, games are a quick 20 minutes.
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#04 | The Grizzled
The Grizzled makes the list of games like Hanabi because it is a cooperative game about solving a puzzle together and surviving against insurmountable odds to get through it. This game has a little more press your luck, being able to choose to keep going to pull back, but at the core gameplay of having to figure out how to communicate without communicating is there.
This is about survival in the trenches during the first World War where you either win or lose as a group. Cards are negative effects like mortar shells or detrimental mental effects. The team leader decides how many cards are drawn and then players take turns playing each. Your goal is to deplete the deck but you need to be quick because new threats are added each round. The team must play their threats correctly in order to gain any progress. However, most of the information in a player’s hand remains secret throughout the game. For 2 – 5 players, games run about 30 minutes.
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#03 | The Game
The Game makes the list of board games like Hanabi because working as a team, you all need to collectively solve a numeric puzzle and you all play a part with how you deal with the restrictive communication. This one does have a solo component but it is most satisfying with a group.
You start with 6-8 cards in your hand (depending on players), and four discard pile prompt cards are on the table: two showing “1” and an up arrow and two showing “100” and a down arrow. On a turn, you must discard at least two cards from your hand onto one or more discard piles, with cards on the 1 piles being placed in ascending order and cards on the 100 piles being placed in descending order. It then gets trickier from there. For 1 – 5 players, games run about 20 minutes.
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#02 | Narabi
Narabi makes the list of games like Hanabi for more reasons than just having a similar name. This is also a game that must be played as a group that brings together communication limits in a strategic card game. Your team’s score is “Great”, “Good”, “Horrible”, etc. based on how many moves it took you to win.
Players are dealt 3-4 cards containing a number 0-9. Each card can be swapped with another card and has its own rules: swap it with a red card, a card with an even number, a higher number, etc. You can look at all the rules on cards in front of you, but not communicate those to others or change the order in front of you. On a turn, a player must swap one of their cards with another player’s card. If you place all the numbers in numerical order, the group wins. For 3 – 5 players, games run 1 – 15 minutes.
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#01 | The Mind
Number one on the list of games like Hanabi is The Mind. Like Hanabi, this has a unique distinction to be a cooperative game that requires you to use deduction based on math as opposed to a narrative clue or story element. You need to use mathematical reasoning and also play off the actions and nonvocal cues of the other players.
The Mind is more than just a game. It’s an experiment, a journey, a team experience in which you can’t exchange information, yet will become one to defeat all the levels of the game. Round after round, players need to put down all their cards in order collectively without saying anything. The numbers are 1 – 100 and you get some each round. Using math and visual cues, you need to get the job done as a group. For 2 – 4 players, games last about 15 minutes.