Ten minutes of your tea time

Micro-games are not so easy to evaluate, exactly because they are very short. How much 'game' can you pack in a small deck of cards? Not too much, I guess, so they can't compete with games of regular size and time length. Still, sometimes you only have a few minutes to spare, and a micro-game can be squeezed in to offer a quick gaming fix. Some micro-games do the job quite well.

Elevenses for One fits in this category: it is just 10 cards (plus 3: two for the timer and one for the tea trolley), and plays very fast. It is perhaps something to play on an airplane tray. (That said, in a 3-hour flight from Athens to London, you would still have to kill the remaining 2 hours 50 minutes).

In the game you are a butler, trying to serve tea and assorted snacks to a rich lady within 15 minutes. The illustrations are charming, but the theme is pasted-on. You are basically arranging numbered cards in ascending order. Each card that you place on the tea trolley costs you time. And every card has special instructions that you will have to or choose to follow, unless you place it in your discard pile.

Rules are dead simple, and there are also video playthroughs you can watch if you prefer. Unlike other small games, this one is not entirely random, and instead asks you to make decisions - without being too thinky. Considering that it takes so little time to finish a session, you can easily rinse and repeat.

Eagle-Gryphon Games has released a boxed edition of this, together with Bowling Solitaire. It is extremely easy to craft, though, if you don't mind printing it out. I do recommend it, if you have a collection of small games you keep for 10-minute occasions. Nothing too deep but quite pleasant, and it will be finished before you drink up your tea.