Personally, I love board games. Be it new-age card games, Cluedo, Pictionary or just plain old Snap, my favourite type of party is a games party.
Except Monopoly. Monopoly can go dive off a cliff.
After a recent night in – with both alcohol and non-alcohol drinkers – I decided to make a list of board games that I think are fun for the whole gang. Ready, set, GO!
A rocket science based card game focused on teamwork. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to be scientifically minded to play this game. What it really comes down to is communication. The deck is divided up between all players (an expansion pack will be needed for +6 players) which includes cards such as problems, tools and parts of the space rocket itself.
The point of the game is to get through all the problems until the space rocket is assembled by using each other’s tools to get the job done. But beware, not all the problems are for engineers; that “the floor is lava!” card is a tricky one!
Ages 10+, 2-6 players (expansion packs needed for extended play).
Also available in iOS or Android form.
Another card game, produced and designed by cartoonist, The Oatmeal. Except this one is about the opposite of teamwork – screwing your playmates over so you’re the last one standing! The game revolves around the namesake cards, the Exploding Kitten and the point of the game is to avoid getting blown up, thus exiting the game.
There are counteracting cards though – the Nope, the Shuffle, the very handy Skip card and, above all, the Defuse card. Defuse is the only card that will guarantee your safety against the infamous bomb cats. So avoid the inevitable end by stealing opponents’ cards, blocking their best moves and overall, just being a dick!
Ages 7+ (though there are some really gross cards in there!) 2-5 players, expansion packs needed for more.
A classic! The ultimate group video game available on most Nintendo consoles (N64 for the win!) For up to four players, this wacky racing game features characters from the Mario Bros universe. It can be enjoyed from any age to any age, even for those who may not be the best gamers.
There are so many options in gameplay too, with team or versus races with umpteen tracks and worlds to choose from. Beware the quiet ones – they’re usually the most profane when the competitiveness kicks in. Maybe have a drinking/swear jar clause to make things more interesting?
Probably recommended for 4+ but if your 3 year old can handle a Wii Kart wheel with some precision then sure go for it! Up to 4 players per console.
Jenga is another classic party game, which incorporates both strategy and coordination. Want to make things a little more interesting, though? Why not make it into a drinking game Jenga?! Recently for a friend’s party, I brought along a standard wooden set and a bunch of Sharpies. Everyone was invited to write a game rule on a blank block and put it back into the game. When a ‘rule block’ was drawn, the player would have to act on said rule.
We had drinking rules which included ‘Waterfall’, ‘Pick A Drinking Partner’ and ‘Take A Shot’ as well as less drink orientated rules like ‘No Pointing’, ‘Use your elbows on your next go’ and even ‘Do Not Say *insert often used phrase here*’ (‘like’ or ‘yes/no’ are usually good ones). This version can also be adapted for non-drinking parties – just increase the non-drink related rules!
Suitable for all ages (drinking game dependent) and any number of players, though up to 10 is probably enough.
Irish Snap (Extreme Snap)
Snap is an age old card game that everyone knows, it was probably the first card game you ever played! Have you ever played Irish Snap before, though? Now I’m not sure what makes this version of Snap specifically ‘Irish’ (the Irish aren’t exactly known for their maths), but this is how I was introduced to this version. It’s also sometimes referred to as ‘Extreme Snap’, which may be a better name.
It’s basically the same construct as ‘normal’ Snap but with some extra rules. Not only do you have to try ‘snap’ matching numbers but you can also match numbers that add up to a proceeding number eg. a 2 is draw, followed by a 5 and then followed by a 7, this sequence can then be ‘snapped’. Like in other card games, Ace = 1 and coloured cards (King, Queen and Jack) = 10. This can get a bit messy and you need to keep your wits about you, especially if drink is involved, but it’s good clean fun! If you are incorporating it as a drinking game, generally if someone mis-snaps, they take a drink!
All ages (drink dependent) though I’d recommend 8+ with the extra maths.
Anyone ever heard of Spoons? This is a game I genuinely think my family made up, or was at least made up in my local area in the Borderlands. It’s a card game where the cards are just a means to an end. Everyone is dealt four cards and in the centre of the table are one less spoons than players. Yes, plain old stainless steel, breakfast-eating spoons. So if there are 5 people playing, there are 4 spoons in the centre.
The dealer then starts by picking a card from the deck and either keeping said card or passing it along. If they choose to keep the card, they have to pass another card along. Each player may only have four cards at any time and the aim is to collect four of a kind (4 x Queens, 4 x 6’s) or four of the same suit (clubs, spades etc) Once someone does collect a four of a kind, they yell “SPOONS!” and each person dives for a spoon. The person who ends up without a spoon is out. Then lose a spoon and start the game over until the champion is left standing.
Warning: you may lose a finger or a significant other. This game ain’t got nothing on Monopoly.
So what are your favourite party games, drinking or otherwise? Let us know in the comments!