Greetings, loyal readers! This article comes to you from Malaysia, where I’ve recently flown to visit loved ones. Yet, the gamer in me is still pumping, and has been since I departed Australia. So much, in fact, that games were brought onto the plane to play on the flight over.

Anyone who has been on any flight to another continent knows just how long and boring flights can be. While some of the pricer airlines include movies and other fun things, budget airlines (such as AirAsia, which I flew) lack any sort of equivalent. In addition, sometimes you may not want to watch 10+ hours of movies/TV shows (especially given you can’t normally access an entire season of a show). So why not crack out a travel sized game and play with your friends? If you’re travelling alone, this probably won’t help too much (I’m not well versed in solo games). However, travelling with your partner (like I did) or a friend or two means ample opportunity to enjoy some games together.

The Games That We Played

Obviously, given the limited space, there are only a few games that can be played. The first game that we played together was Pictionary: The Card Game. Being based entirely on cards, this game only requires a single table to play properly. It meets the criteria of needing to be relatively quiet (one player can’t even talk!) AND it has an easy set up. On top of that, it comes in a box that could fit either in a large pocket, or comfortably in your laptop bag.


Much more challenging than it may seem, especially when your phrase is “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

Afterwards, we moved onto one of our (and many other people’s) favourite games; Codenames. We opted for the picture variant, which happened to be a tight fit on our tiny AirAsia tables.


Some plane tables are not so accomodating, but with some compromises here and there, it works just fine!

However, we were just able to fit them all in, and we ended up playing around four games or so of it. You do have to make some compromises as far as space goes, but it shouldn’t affect gameplay too much. The original Codenames would fit very easily, so if you’re not the most comfortable with being cramped, I’d recommend that over pictures. If you’re really tight for space and own both, I’d take the 4 x 5 key cards from Pictures and use them with the words from the original.

Finally, we moved onto yet another card game, this time a competitive one instead of the previously cooperative two: Monopoly Deal.


Warning: Causes lost friendships.

This is probably the quietest game of the three, requiring no verbalisation if you’re only playing with two. Top that off with the fact it is, again, entirely card based, and you’ve got a winner as far as space goes. The only time you’ll be running short on space is if you’ve stolen all of your partner’s properties, which is a recipe for disaster on two fronts! Word of warning: maybe don’t play a rent card to take all your partner’s properties. They don’t tend to like that, and plane rides are long…

Other Games

These three games managed to keep us occupied for a good three hours of the trip, with some of the other time spend snoozing and chatting. Overall, I’d say that we had a lot of fun with all of the games (in spite of my sneaky plays in Deal). We had also brought along Animal Upon Animal (the small edition) but were unable to play the game due to the amount of turbulence we experienced. It was a really shaky plane ride, but the games took our mind off it all.


Chances are you haven’t heard of this game, but it’s definitely worth a try!

If you’re a fan of card games, I’d heartily recommend the little known Australian game Viewpoint. Playing well with 2-3 players and requiring very minimal space makes this another winner. Its interesting, take-that style game play and the combo nature of many of the cards will keep you entertained for quite a while. When I first played this, we ended up playing game after game for hours.

Liar’s Dice is another game that deserves mention. Easy to acquire (you only need dice) and as excellent with two as it is with more, it’s incredibly easy to transport and requires almost no space at all! You can even use dice cups if you prefer, and you’ll still have room.


There are many other games that could be played on planes. However, some things that are worth considering when deciding whether to play a game on the plane are the following:

-Is the game playable during turbulence? It’s okay to have some that aren’t, but you’ll want to make sure the majority of them can be. After all, you never know how your flight is gonna go.

-Is the game quiet? Depending on which area you’re sitting in, you may be fairly limited in the amount of noise you can make. You have every right to have fun, but just be sure your games are considerate of others around you. For example, playing games involving dice rolling may be a bit too noisy if you need to roll them frequently, especially if you’re seated in the quiet area.

-Is the game portable? Karuba is a game that would easily fit on the tables of the plane, but the box is far too large to bring comfortably in a backpack. If you can arrange some kind of alternate mode of transport for the components, it may work, but always be aware of the box size. Even Codenames‘s box is starting to push it.

That’s all for today, folks. I hope this article has inspired you to consider bringing some games on the plane the next time you go travelling. Whether it’s interstate or internationally, these wonderful bundles of fun can keep you entertained while on the go just as well as while you’re in the comfort of your own home.

What are you favourite games to play on the go/travel with? Let me know in the comments below, and until next time, have fun gaming!

Wanna try out any of the games mentioned in this article? Looking for games to bring on the plane? Check out the links below!

Monopoly Deal