While it may be true that not many of us are doing much partying right now, sooner or later things will return back to normal. At which point, I’m sure many of us will take full advantage of once again being able to gather together with our many family members and friends. When that time comes you are going to want to be prepared with the best party games in the hobby. But don’t you fret, I’m about to share with you my top 3 party games. It will merely be up to you to get your hands on one or two and have them ready for your next big gathering.
Party games are probably the type of game that crosses over most frequently into the mass market gaming scene. Many of the games sold at these big box stores are either children’s games or party games. Party games are easily identified by 3 things; player count, game length, and the tendency to devolve into an activity. Usually these types of games play best with at least 5-6 people. Very rarely will a game last longer than 30 minutes, leaving time to play a second or third time in the same evening. And depending on the group, often times before the end of the game no one is keeping score anymore because everyone’s just having too much fun to really care who is winning and who is losing.
This is a really tricky game to explain, and maybe one that I wouldn’t quite recommend for those who aren’t at least a little versed in more complex board and card games. Players represent two teams of secret agents, trying to communicate amongst their team while also trying to decipher the other teams clues and prevent them from figuring out your own. At the beginning of the game the players will divide themselves into two teams, with each team receiving 4 secret words. Each round a player from each team will be required to give clues referring to 3 of these 4 words in a particular order. Both teams of players will then attempt to guess the words these clues are associated with. Incorrectly guessing your own counts as a miscommunication token while correctly guessing the opposing team’s will reward you with a interception token. This is repeated until either one team has either two miscommunication tokens, losing the game, or two interception tokens, winning the game.
This may sound kinda difficult. How is your team not supposed to get the clues of the encryptor when they are all 4 words are sitting right there in front of you? Or how are you supposed to get the order of the opponents clues when you have no idea what words are theirs? I know, it sounds crazy, but it somehow works. As the game progresses the opposing team’s clues will start to create a theme, and after all you don’t have to know the original word, just be able to associate the new clues with them. And as the opposing team starts to pick up on the common themes among your words, you and you’re teammates are going to try and give more and more cryptic clues until not even your own team will know what you are talking about. It great. Just get it. You won’t regret it.
If any of these games on this list are going to just turn into a fun, silly activity it’s this one. This game has no theme, none. This may work in favor of your group, making it easier for non-gamers to get into. Each player will receive a little easel and a dry erase marker before the game begins. You will remove from the deck 13 cards that you will use for the game, returning the rest back to the box. Players will then work cooperatively, trying to get as many points as possible, one for each card they correctly guess right. Each round one player will put a card on their easel, facing away from them, and select a number from 1-5. All other players will secretly write a clue on their easel, in hopes of helping the guessing player figure out the word they unknowingly selected. There is one little hiccup though. Before showing the guessing player their clue, all other players must compare clues and any duplicates are immediately erased. A correct guess scores one point, failing to guess (passing) just loses the point for that round, and an incorrect guess loses this rounds point and also discards a card from the remaining deck of cards.
The game really is quite simple. You think of a clue, write it down, and the other player uses all the available clues to guess the word. What makes the game so interesting and fun is the amount of second guessing each player will do in their head. You obviously can’t give the first clue that pops into your head, someone else is bound to write it down. Unless, they too might realize that and write something else down. As the guessing player you will be given a bunch of nonsense clues that make no sense together, or everyone will have put the same thing and you only have a single clue to go off of. Either way, it’s hilarious to watch the guessing player squirm, and terrifying when it’s you having to take a stab in the dark.
The entire game here revolves around a device some might consider merely a gimmick. You see, the game is all about reading each others minds, and this is demonstrated throughout the use of the big, plastic wheel. Once again players will be divided into teams. When it is your team’s turn one player will reveal a card with two prompts, one at each end of a spectrum. That player will then secretly spin the wheel hidden inside the device, an then check where it ended. It is then their job to give a clue that when compared to both ends of the spectrum indicates the location of the scoring section on the wheel. Then once the wheel is closed again, their teammates will move a needle to the location that they feel best matches the clue given. The opposing team is then given a choice to guess to which side of the needle to correct location actually lies. Points are then awarded for accurately guessing the correct location.
This game will definitely be the one that generates the most conversation, it’s impossible to prevent it. Suppose the prompts are “Guilty Pleasure” and “Openly Love”. When your teammate gives you the clue “Smelling your own farts” you have no other option but to point the needle nearly all the way towards “Guilty Pleasure”. Imagine your surprise when your teammate reveals the answer and you where completely wrong, a deep debate about the nature of enjoying one’s own farts will surely ensue before the rolling round begins. My one criticism with the game is that the clues can often be difficult to give based on the prompts and the scoring location on the wheel.
Well there you have it, my three favorite party games. I whole heartedly recommend all three of these. Each one will keep you and your party engaged in meaningful conversation and laughing the night away. In the end though, remember that’s what these games were designed for. None of these where designed to prove one’s intellect over that of their peers. So don’t take the game too serious and make sure you and everyone else has a good time.