Top 10 Stand-Up Games

Board games. Strategic. Relaxing. Competitive.

There are some games, though, that bring players to their feet. Some bring you to a standing position for a moment, while others are best played while standing throughout. It is these games that ask us to do more than just relax in a comfortable chair, but to get up!!! that I want to look at in today’s top 10 list — my Top 10 Stand-Up Games:

#10 – 5-Minute Marvel

5-Minute Marvel is a fast-paced, card-slinging & slapping real-time game. The tension during each 5-minute battle is high and I find it can be easiest to just stand up during play to help release some of that energy.

#9 – HOP!

I reviewed this game last month and noted that the game will have you and your friends doing a variety of weird things in the name of tossing rainbows onto another player’s finger. Most of the time, the game assumes a sitting position, but does require standing on occasion and is a fun mix between dexterity and silly.

#8 – The Great Dalmuti

The Great Dalmuti, a Richard Garfield game is actually a sitting game for the most part. Each round, players try to shed their cards based on the concept that you have to play a lower card number but of the same or higher quantity. The first one out becomes the Great Dalmuti. To show the changing ‘player title’ landscape, the end of each round requires players to stand up and move to their new spot at the table. Few games ask players to ‘musical chair’ themselves and so I like that aspect of this card game.

#7 – Poker

To be honest, there are a lot of modern board games and card games I would prefer to play over Poker, but when it comes to the topic at hand, I love the “All-In” moment of a poker match. Because, if you’re playing the right way, you push all your chips in and stand up, waiting to see how the cards look when flipped over. If you’re lucky, you can sit back down, having survived to play a little longer. If not, then you can use that standing position to start walking around the table shaking hands before you go grab a soda and chips to soothe your beaten ego.

#6 – Dice Masters

I’m putting Dice Masters on this list for much the same reason as Poker — but I love this game a lot more and thus I enjoy the Stand-Up moment more as well. In Dice Masters, there are occasionally games in which you are building up a large wall of dice in your Field Zone. It can be dangerous, depending on your opponent, to attack…so maybe you just keep fielding and holding firm. And then that moment comes when you decide to ‘Assemble’ and send everyone into the Attack Zone at once, hoping to deal massive damage…crossing your fingers that you haven’t overlooked a defensive advantage that your rival may be able to utilize. If things work out as you plan, this is the moment you either win or at least mortally cripple the opposing team. If you have miscalculated, though, you could find that all you really have done is left your defenses wide open for a brutal beating coming your way the very next turn. Stand up and see how the mighty dice battle unfolds!

#5 – One Night Ultimate Werewolf

I am putting this one on the list as a preference in how I like to play the game. Do you need to do any standing? No, it is definitely not required. My family will play this game, at times, at our dining room table which is a tall table. Standing works out great, because it makes it easier to avoid chair-creaking and table movement when players lean to take actions. That may seem silly, but being able to control the noise you make during the Night is crucial to not tipping everyone off to your role in the game. I really enjoy this social deduction game and would encourage you to give it a try while standing up.


Now we get into the games you really need to be standing up for throughout game play. And the first one I am putting on the list from that style is ICECOOL. To make good penguin flicks, you will need to be able to move around the table to get in just the right position as you try to put a little “English” on that penguin and convince him to enter the next room, take a right, and keep spinning through more door ways.

#3 – Catacombs & Castles

Another game requiring you to move around the table to get into good position for optimal flicks. One of the toughest parts of this game is learning how the different-sized discs move. Some will go flying easily, others need some extra oomph and then there’s always that great moment when you completely whiff your target. The board obstacles and unique character actions make this one of the best stand-up games.

#2 – Rhino Hero: Super Battle

When you start this game, it is perfectly fine to be sitting down, but don’t expect to get to stay in that position the whole time. Once your building starts getting to 5, 6, 7+ floors on up to double digits, you will want to be standing as you steady your hand to play your next walls and floor just right. And hey, if you have a 7-year old (as I do) he’ll need to stand on his chair just to keep in reach of the growing skyscraper. This is a family game that is a blast and you will be awed by what you were able to build together every time.

#1 – Cube Quest

Here we are, my favorite game that involves standing up. Cube Quest is a die-flicking dexterity game. I build my team of dice on my half of the playmats, ready to defend my kingdom and capture yours…while you do the same on the other. Then, we start flicking and attacking. There is a little more chance and FUN! in Cube Quest compared to other flicking games, because when it comes to flicking six-sided cubes, you can just never be certain of what is going to happen. There are plenty of head-dropping moments when you completely blow an opportunity, but on the flip-side — much fist-pumping and exuberance when you manage to complete a dexterous maneuver to send the opposing king flying off the table.

That’s my list — I would love to hear your favorite stand-up game and what makes it so great.

For more top 10 lists and board game discussions, follow me over on Twitter @boardgamecrock1

One thought on “Top 10 Stand-Up Games

  1. We have an older game called Abandon Ship. It’s a semi-coop where you are controlling mice escaping a sinking ship. The time pressure, hidden objectives, and “sinking” board means nobody ever sits during the game.


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