Essential Games Library – Big Groups

3 great games for big groups

Game Name: Shadows over Camelot
Designer: Serge Laget & Bruno Cathalla
Publisher: Days of Wonder
Players: 3-7
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suitable for: Families (ages 10 and up); adults
You’ll love it because: Take your place at the Round Table in the Court of King Arthur! You brave knights will band together to defeat the many threats facing the kingdom. The game is unusual because the players must co-operate, and everyone wins or loses together…. except… that sometimes one player is a traitor conspiring with Mordred to overthrow King Arthur! The feeling engendered by your desperate struggle against impending doom will leave you unable to erase the suspicion that one of your “trusty” comrades is really a traitor.
Game Name: Catch the Match
Designer: Reinhard Staupe
Publisher: Playroom
Players: 1-8
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suitable for: Ages 4 – 8
You’ll love it because: Catch the Match is an observation game requiring matching of shapes and colours. There are fifteen oversized cards, each with the same fifteen objects such as a duck, shovel and boat. Each object is illustrated in two colours such as blue-green or yellow-blue – but the colours of the objects on each card are different. Only one object is coloured the same on any pair of cards – can you spot it first? It is trickier than it sounds because the objects vary in position and rotation between cards, so comparing the colours of two butterflies when one is upside down and the other on its side can be a challenge. This is a game where children will often beat adults – always fun for them!
Game Name: Apples to Apples
Designer: Mark Osterhaus & Matthew Kirby
Publisher: Out of the Box
Players: 4-10
Playing time: around 30 minutes
Suitable for: Gamiles (ages 8 and up); adults
You’ll love it because: This is a party game of zany fun. Each round one person is the judge and flips a green apple card which specifies a quality such as “round”, “furry” or “stinky” and all the other players put in one face-down red apple card with a noun describing a person, event or thing. After mixing the cards so the judgement can’t be biased, the judge makes her deliberations and selects a winner. The winner gets to keep the green apple card, and the player with the most green apple cards at game end is the winner. The possible combinations of cards are enormous and the results are always fun and often plain silly!