Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and you can have an awkward meal with your in-laws, but the whole time doesn’t have to be awkward because there are party games that everyone from the crazy uncle to the clingy aunt can enjoy. Now, might be a little bit […]
So, early on I did a post on different types of board games, and I’ve been wanting to come back to that topic, but I’ve been distracted by other posts, time constraints, and forgetting about it from time to time. Now is the time, though, where I’m going to be running a more in-depth look at board games and the different types of board games.
The first category that I want to touch on, keeping with the theme of Board Game Nights, is party games. Party games don’t have to go along with a specific board game night, but can be worked into a lot of different get-togethers.
What Makes Games Fall Into This Category?
Party games are generally games that can be played quickly, can be easily incorporated into the social side of a party, and are easy to pick up. You don’t want to stop the interactions to get the game rolling, but when there is a lull in talking, or as people wind down, you can pull out these games and add some energy back into the room.
What Are Some Examples?
I would say that some of the most common and classic examples are games like Scattergories, Catchphrase, and Apples to Apples. These games are the ones that my parents had, along with games like Taboo and Guesstures. These games are aimed at getting you to speak with other people and laugh as you try to get other people to guess a word, and are generally for keeping people entertained.
There are some games that have continued in that line which have come out recently. Games like Stipulations, which was just kickstarted in 2015, and Wits and Wagers have built upon the concepts of previous party games, and games like Cards Against Humanity have taken them to a darker place.
But these aren’t the only types of games that would fall into the category of party games. There is a card game series (each a stand-alone game) that is themed many different ways — the game Fluxx. This game, and its various versions, is a fun simple game where the rules are always changing, so you can’t plan ahead and make any strategy. And another example, Zombie Dice, is a game where you try and collect the most brains and avoid being shot, just by rolling dice. There’s also Tsuro, which Kristen wrote an article on recently; it is another fun game that goes fast and is always changing. And finally, We Didn’t Playtest This At All is a game that can last as little as five minutes, and you can play it over and over and over again. These are all great examples of games that you can play instead of games that fall into the more classic party game category.
Finally, there are games like Telephone Pictionary that you need nothing more than paper and pencil to play. And any game that makes you act out something or do something silly works well for a party. Cranium is the combination of Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, and charades; most people have heard of this one, but a similar game, Dicecapades, is a fun dice-based twist on that. These games keep you active and involved more than other games.
Do They Get Old?
This is an important question that you probably won’t think of all that much, but if you play these games often, especially the ones from higher on my list, they do get old. Catchphrase, while a fun game, has a limited number of options, and eventually, it seems like the same thing over and over again. Even Cards Against Humanity can get old. With a limited set of cards, you end up playing the same cards over and over again, and the variety eventually runs out. Thankfully, they are putting out expansions, but even those don’t change up the game greatly. But a lot of the games further down on my list have higher replay value. Fluxx changes every time, as the name would suggest, and Tsuro has some different strategies while going by quickly. We Didn’t Playtest This At All runs into the same issues as some of the other games on mylist, but they offer you some twists to the usual format. I think the most important thing is knowing your group. If you have creative types playing, games like Scattergories and Stipulations are going to get a much longer run for you.
If You Were to Recommend a Couple of Them, Which Would They Be?
The top three that I would recommend are Fluxx, Tsuro, and Zombie Dice. These games offer you a variety of playing styles, and are luck-based games. And most other people have some of the “thinking” party games like Scattergories. The nice thing about Fluxx and Tsuro is that they are easy to transport, so if you want to take them along to someone else’s place, you can do that.
What party board games do you like?
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