Today is the fourth and final post of my favorite games series. We’ll be focusing on party games, which are a little bit more mainstream than some of the other types of board games I’ve been mentioning thus far. I enjoy party games a lot, and ultimately what type of game we play at a gathering depends on the number of people around, how interested folks are in more strategic games, and honestly, how drunk people are.
Party games tend have boards that are more straight forward, involving player pieces moving towards a destination designated as the end. Some don’t have boards and you are keeping track of player scores. Some have teams and some don’t. All and all, the goal here is FUN. Today I’ll be giving you my Top 5 party games.
Personally, I think Quelf is more entertaining when tipsy. It can be entertaining to watch regardless of your mental state, but I enjoy playing the game more when tipsy. You are more willing to do the crazy things the game asks of you. The board of this game is styled and works similarly to more standard old school board games like candyland. You roll the dice, move your piece that many spaces, and then choose a card corresponding to the color space you landed on. The card types are:
Stuntz – balancing acts, costume creations, daredevil moves, weird contraptions
Showbiz – charades, do impressions, write poetry
Quizzle – trivia, nutty riddles, brain teasers
Rulez – rules you or the group must follow: snort like a pig when you laugh, say everything twice, say something silly when player x laughs
Scatterbrainz – choose one of two topics and everyone gives answers until no one can think of a valid one (“Ways to get your leg out of a spring-loaded, steel bear trap” or “Brands of Lipstick”)
If you don’t do what is on the card, you move back the number of spaces listed on it. First player to the center of the board wins. Lots of silliness, very random, and great fun with the right group of people. The character tokens are quite fun as well. I think says up to 8 players, but no real reason you can’t play with more if you add player tokens.
4. Smart Ass
Not being a huge fan of trivia games, this is easily my favorite one. The player tokens are super cute, fat donkeys. It comes with 8 tokens for players, but could easily add more player tokens for a game with more people. There are three card categories – who, what, and where. The format of the trivia is that one person reads the card to the group. Each card consists of 10 clues, starting with vague and hard hints, and getting progressively easier. The last clue is always “Who/What/Where am I with the initial(s) X.Y?” Each player has only a single opportunity to guess. First person who guesses correctly rolls the number dice to move forward. If no one guesses, the card reader rolls and moves. There are some spaces on the board that cause you to lose a turn guessing or reading (Dumb Ass), and some spaces providing you with bonus card opportunities (Hard Ass). Quite fun!
This one has been around for a while, but it still has a special place in my heart. The first time we played our box of Taboo, we sat up during college with our good friends John and Michelle and played through the entire box. Good times. Anyway, players break into two teams (though I feel like three or more is also an option). The cards go around the circle with one player on the team that is going being the reader and the others the guessers. The reader has a person from the opposite team watching over their shoulder and buzzing them for mistakes. As the reader, you have to get your team to guess as many cards as you can. The word(s) on the top of the card is what you are trying to have them guess. There are 5 additional words on the card that you cannot say during your description to the rest of the team. If you say the word or one of the forbidden words, the buzzer buzzes you, and you move to the next card, taking a small penalty. When done the cards are passed to the next player on the opposing team and you repeat the process. This can get very funny. Couples or good friends can be very good at this game, so if there are newbies in your group, I recommend randomizing or separating people who know each other super well for fairness.
This is a fun and very creative little game. Players have pieces (bunnies) that move along a board towards an end goal. You move by playing each round of cards well. Players have hands of cards with whimsical pictures and imagery on them. One player each round chooses a card from their hand, states a sentence or phrase aloud, and places their card face down on the table. The other players choose cards from their hands that they feel could match the sentence or phrase said by the lead player. When everyone has placed their cards face down, the cards are shuffled and flipped over, with a number token placed in front of each card as an identifier. Players have their own number tokens, and use them to vote for the card they think belonged to the lead player who said the sentence. Points are given out based on how many people voted for each card, and the players’ bunny tokens move appropriately. Then the next player becomes the lead player and play continues until someone reaches the end. There’s a fine line to walk between being too vague with your sentence and too descriptive. Very interesting, unique game.
Telestrations is a wonderful game that I think of as a combination of telephone and pictionary. There are versions of this game that allow you to play with 8 or up to 12 people. My personal opinion is that you need at least 6 players to make this fun. You can’t easily add extra players here because the game comes with materials that each player needs – a whiteboard style flip book with dry erase markers and erasers. Players write their names on the front of their flip books. A single card is passed out to each player, and the group chooses to play with either the blue or yellow side (listed on the cards as “This Side” or “That Side”). A die is rolled. Players look at the clue on their card that corresponds to the number that was rolled, and writes it secretly on the first page of the book. Then a timer is flipped, and the player draws a representation of the clue. When time is up, the book is passed to the player next to them. That player looks back at the picture that was drawn, and guesses what the clue was, writing it down on the next clean page of the book, and passing it to the next player. When everyone has passed their books, the timer begins, and that player draws a picture representing the clue that was written by the player before them. Play continues in this fashion until the booklets make it back to their owners. Then, you have a fantastic time going through the booklets as a group seeing what happened, laughing, and handing out points. Points can be done in a lot of different ways. We like the method of giving a point to the best drawing and a point to the best guess. And of course a point if your clue made it all the way around correctly.
There are lots of other fun party games (Cards Against Humanity, Scategories, etc), but these are my favorites. What are some of yours?