If you’re hanging out with a bunch of friends and want to play fun games with few rules and a lot of social interaction and capable of producing hilarious moments, then you might need a few party games.
Many modern party games are based on parlour games from the Victorian age when the middle class would sit in their parlours and play word, logic, drawing and deception games. In the 20th century these parlour games started to be published and sold in boxed form and this continues today.
Often with party games, the game may indicate that you should keep score or that there is a winner at the end. But take our advice, with party games as long as you’re having fun, the points don’t matter.
So here’s a few party games we love and think you should try out the next time you meet up with friends.
Designed by Inka and Markus Brand . Published by KOSMOS in 2016.
Word Slam is a game where payers are split into two teams. One player on each team tries to get their teammates to guess a word by using a limited number of word cards. There’s great interplay between the two teams, and the cards are always obscure enough to keep people guessing. What do you think a “space job” would be? How about a “white black horse”?
Designed by Alexandr Ushan. Published by Hobby World/Cryptozoic Entertainment in 2014.
In Spyfall all players know a location except one player who is the spy. The players ask questions of each other to try and discover who the spy is, while the spy is trying to figure out where they are. The questioning process really brings out the strangest parts of people’s minds! Favourite part of a job in the theatre? – “the gravity of fluids”. Everyone was sure this was an allusion they were missing so the nonsense babble went unchallenged. Slipping a sly location hint past the spy is sweet, and the periodic 5 minutes of panic and confusion when you are in the role of the spy are great fun.
Designed by Vlaada Chvátil. Published by Czech Games Edition in 2015.
In Codenames players are split into two teams and each team has a spymaster who aims to get the other members of their team to guess certain cards that appear on the board, by giving a word and number which correspond to how many cards relate to that word. It takes a minute to teach, but creates a mind-reading challenge for everyone.
Codenames won the Boardgames Australia Best International Game award in 2016. There are also Disney and Marvel versions and one with pictures instead of words, as well as an adult version which encourages innuendo.
Designed by Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko. Published by Libellud/Asmodee in 2015.
Mysterium is a game where up to 7 players work together to win. One player takes the role of a ghost who can only communicate using beautifully illustrated dream cards; the other players play as psychic detectives trying to discover who killed the ghost with what and where. If the detectives can uncover the mystery before the game time runs out, everybody wins. Players are working together but the inability of the ghost to communicate easily causes some hilarious moments.
Two Rooms and a Boom
Designed by Alan Gerding and Sean McCoy. Published by Tuesday Knight Games in 2015.
Two Rooms and a Boom is an incredible party game where there are two teams and each player has a role. To win a team needs to get their player with the bomb role to be with the leader of the other team, through bluffing, deduction and strategy. It works extremely well with player counts from 8 to 20 and is infinitely replayability with countless roles and options included so that every game is a unique experience.
Designed by Peter Sarrett, Published by R&R Games in 1999.
Designed by Alex Hague and Justin Vickers. Published by Palm Court in 2015.
Times Up! and Monikers are based on the game Celebrity, which is basically Charades, but you can speak. Players form teams of two (or more) and try to get their teammate(s) to guess the name on a series of cards. In the first round you can say as much as you like (except the name on the card), in the second you can only say one word per card and in the final you can’t speak at all. As you play your group will end up creating in-jokes about some of the cards based on players’ reactions and it’s a great game to bond with new and old friends.