Top 5: 5+ Player Games
We’re up high enough in numbers now that I think that we should just go beyond five and wrap up the list with games that work best with five or more players. I wanted to do just a five player list, because there are a lot of good games that go up to five players, but I can’t say that they are best at that count, so something like Smallworld, which is good at any player count.
Tsuro would have actually just made it on a five player list. Five or six players is where I think it works best as with more players the board can end up being a little bit tight and the action is forced immediately, and you run out of tiles immediately. With that five or six player count, you can play keep away, or you can push the conflict, the choice is yours. But Tsuro is a very strong large group game and what I would call an ice breaker game where everyone can understand it and play it easily.
4. Not Alone
I really enjoy this game, though I know it’s not for everyone, or at least my wife. In it, one person is a monster and everyone else is the crew of a crash landed spaceship. They are trying to survive and signal for help to get a rescue ship to show up, while the monster is trying to prevent that. I think with more players it adds in more strategy, at a lower player count, the crew of the space ship don’t have to plan out their moves, but if there are a lot of players doing a few actions, the monster and hone in on where they are going to be, and the action might not be as effective. It also has a fun mechanic, where the crew can discuss what they are going to do as much as they want, but they have to do so that the player playing the monster can here them.
3. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
Now, I like this one with more than five as I think having a larger pool of investigators and getting the accomplice and the witness into the game really make it shine. Deception is a very good social deduction game where you have one person who is the forensic scientist who is handing out clues as to what the murder weapon and a clue at the scene of the crime were, but they can’t speak, so they are just giving it out as a report. Everyone else is trying to use the clues to figure out who the murder was, and what the forensic scientist is trying to point them towards. It’s a fun game, and having more players doesn’t make the game take longer.
2. Sushi Go Party!
This one is good at the higher player counts. I would say that I prefer it with five or above simply because you get to see more cards, not just rotate hands of cards around. Though I do think that can be interesting. But with a higher player count you are more often racing to try and find that last card that you need to complete your set, and you’re hoping that the person sitting next to you isn’t going to draft what you need. That tighter economy works very well in the game.
1. Ice Cool/Ice Cool 2
Now, you need to have the “expansion” for Ice Cool in order to be able to play it at the higher player counts, otherwise it’s just four, but this game is a blast with even the full eight players. You are having a silly time flicking penguins around, either as the hall monitor trying to catch the truant penguins or as the truants who are just trying to get a fish snack. The giant set-up for the game also gives you a ton of room so that you don’t feel like you’re trapped in by the hall monitor. The game goes fast, it works well with kids and adults, and it’s an active game. This one I’d highly recommend with the full eight players because turns go so fast, and you really get that party atmosphere with the high player count.
What are some of your favorite games with 5+ player counts? I know there are some not on my list that might surprise people, like Seven Wonders, but I prefer Sushi Go! Party to that. I also wanted to put Say Bye to the Villains on the list, but I actually think, while it isn’t bad at higher player counts, it is better with lower player counts as the down time can be a bit long. Still really enjoy the game though.
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