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8 games to play with 8: the best party games

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In honor of our upcoming game night, I thought I’d post a list of our favorite party games.  I’m not including classics like Pictionary or Cranium because, well, everybody knows those already.

We’ll do this as a countdown.

Number 8

Zombie Dice: 2-8 players, 10 minutes, ages 10 and up, 2010, weight of 1.1.
A fun push-your-luck filler where you try to eat as many brains as you can before getting hit with three shotgun blasts.  Some kids don’t like the artwork, but others are fine with it.

Number 7

Tsuro: 2-8 players, 15 minutes, ages 8 and up, 2005, weight of 1.3.
A nice and fairly simple game where you simultaneously build a path and travel along it.  Players are eliminated when they either run off the edge of the board or collide with one another.  Good fun, and quick, too. 

Number 6

Eat Poop You Cat (EPYC): 3-10 players, 20 minutes, ages 8 and up, weight of 1.0.
Remember the game of telephone, where one player whispers something to their neighbor and it goes all the way around the circle, often with hilarious results?  Well, this game is a lot like that, only (a) everyone plays at once, and (b) players alternate writing and drawing.  So everybody writes a phrase on a piece of paper, then passes it to their neighbor.  Then everybody tries to draw the phrase that’s written, folds the phrase under, and passes it.  Then everybody tries to describe the picture, folds the picture under, and passes it.  And so on, until the paper gets all the way around the table.  Much easier to play than to explain, with the right crowd this game is really a hoot.  Just be prepared for a lot of references to poop.

Number 5

Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow: 8-18 players, 30 minutes, ages 10 and up, 2001, weight of  1.3.
An update on the classic game of Mafia, this game can be played with or without the special cards included in the new game.  Wikipedia’s overview is quite concise:

Mafia (Russian: Ма́фия, also known as Werewolf, Assassin or Witch Hunt) is a party game created in the USSR by Dimitry Davidoff in 1986,[1] modelling a battle between an informed minority and an uninformed majority. Players are secretly assigned roles: either “mafia”, who know each other; or “townspeople”, who know only the number of mafia amongst them. In the game’s “night” phase the mafia covertly ‘murder’ a townsperson. During the day phase, all of the surviving players debate the identities of the mafia and vote to eliminate a suspect. Play continues until all of the mafia have been eliminated, or until the mafia outnumber the townspeople.

Highly recommended in either its original or its new form.

Number 4

Bananagrams: 1-8 players, 15 minutes, ages 7 and up, 2006, weight of 1.5.
Just imagine Scrabble where everyone is playing on their own tableau as fast as they can, and you have a rough idea what this game is all about.  Every player starts with a number of tiles and tries to fit them into a valid crossword pattern — when they succeed, they yell “peel” and everyone, including themselves, has to draw another tile.  A very fast-paced word game that comes in a cute banana-shaped pouch.

Number 3

Word on the Street: 2-8 players, 20 minutes, ages 12 and up, 2009, weight of 1.4.
Two teams take turns playing tug-of-war for the letters in the middle of the board.  When the clue is read, the team whose turn it is tries to come up with a word that uses a lot of the letters still remaining.  One of the players then spells the chosen word, moving each of its letters one step closer to their side of the board.  Capture 8 letters and your team wins.  Both challenging and fun, it really helps to (a) have a good vocabulary, (b) think flexibly and quickly (there’s a timer), and (c) spell well.

Number 2

Incan Gold: 3-8 players, 20 minutes, ages 8 and up, 2006, weight of 1.1.
A push-your-luck party game with a temple-exploration theme. Players choose each turn whether they want to continue exploring (thus putting their treasures in jeopardy) or cut and run (thus keeping their treasures safe). A fun game where kids can be quite competitive with adults.

And the number 1 game to play when you have a large group is….

Pit: 3-10 players, 90 minutes, ages 7 and up, 1903, weight of 1.2.
A manic classic designed to recreate the feeling of being on the trading floor.  Players trade commodities with one another, specifying only the number they’re offering for trade, in an effort to corner the market in a given commodity.  Lots of fun and very high energy, this is one of our favorite closers.

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  1. Heather
    December 10, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Love your list! I bought Tsuro, with high hopes :) Also, yes, Pit is the best!

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