Best Party Games

Humans are social creatures by nature. That doesn’t mean we’re all extroverts or need constant stimulation from others. Personally, I love a good night out with my friends, a trip to the pub, even the (very) occasional club night. But I value just as much those blissful days when I’m left alone to stare at a wall, hurkle-durkle in bed for a while and/or watch a film I’ve already seen eighteen times because it’s comforting and I don’t want to be judged for it.

But there’s a nice middle ground somewhere and, to my mind, it’s having a few friends over for a catch-up, maybe some drinks and the big match (which may be a sporting contest but could just as easily be an awards ceremony) and cracking out a few board games over the course of the evening.

There are few hobbies that capture the community spirit we intrinsically need more than board gaming. If you’re reading this, the chances are you don’t need much convincing. Your gatherings might involve a heavy game or two, and that is perfectly brilliant – literally, as I’m writing this I’m sat in a pub and two chaps across the way from me are playing a very involved game with minifigures and what can only be described as a quarry of dice.

But not every combination of friends or social occasion is going to be quite right for that. So here are a bunch of games that are perfectly pitched for a nice casual party setting!

Wavelength

One of our favourite pastimes as groups of friends is trying to figure out how well we know each other. Not content to simply be friends and be grateful for it. No. We must be SEEN. We must be UNDERSTOOD. We must be on the same…Wavelength.

In this game, you’ll split into teams. A wheel is spun which features a coloured section, each of those colours denotes a particular point score and is covered up so your team can’t see it. You’ll then pick up a card that will feature a prompt indicating a scale of some form – for example, “Mildest Cheese to Strongest Cheese”.

You have to pick something, then, that will indicate to your team where exactly the wheel has stopped. Let’s say it’s stopped far to the right and you pick “Stilton”. Your team natter amongst themselves, trying to find not only the “right” answer, but also take into account what you might think of said category.

Once they’ve placed the dial, the other team can decide whether they think the real answer is further either side of the dial. Then, all is revealed, and you will celebrate and agree that Stilton is very strong indeed, or argue heatedly that in fact a more appropriate answer would be Roquefort. I’m hungry.

Wits and Wagers

Some people absolutely love a trivia game. I’m one of them. I know very few things that help me be a functional adult, but I know MANY bits of utterly trivial information and I delight at the opportunity to put them to something close to use.

But Wits and Wagers provides an alternative to the sometimes dry question-and-answer format, in the form of a betting element.

A question is asked – “How many metres long is a football pitch?” – and you write your answer, placing it face down on the betting mat. If you reckon you’ve got it spot on, place a bet on your answer!

But if you’re sat there without a single clue what colour Chelsea play in and you know Sullivan Beau Brown is salivating at the mere mention of the sport in question, you can make a fairly educated guess that he’s gonna be pretty close to the right answer. So put a bet on him instead!

The closest answer – without going over, in classic quiz show style – pays out! So you can be a winner whether you know a single answer or not! It’s much better in this game to know the people around you than it is to know anything that might fill the pages of an almanac.

It’s an incredibly simple game, easy to explain and even easier to pick up. Iy doesn’t take long to play at all and can even be played by a group as large as 20. Super low key, super low stakes, super high fun.

Fun Facts

A great game for a group of people who sort of know each other, Fun Facts is a personal trivia game with a co-op element that is as much about getting to know more about your friends as it is playing a game at all.

Each player has a marker and a little coloured arrow to write their answer on. A question will be asked, to which the answer is a numerical value. You’ll write your personal answers on your arrows and place them face down.

Now we come to the game element – you go round the table and place your arrows in what you believe will be ascending order. You want to try and figure out how your friends will have answered, but with no guidance from them, just vibes. Often it goes slightly wrong because someone’s dropped a rogue answer. But when you nail it…oh goodness me, there are few feelings of euphoria quite like it.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Long before I ever entered Ravenswood Bluff I was an avowed Werewolf fan. Probably the drama student in me, honestly, which incidentally is the reason that I have unsuccessfully lobbied to have NRB film a Zip Zap Boing tournament.

This One Night version is a nice and speedy edition of the classic, for 3-10 players, and where everybody gets a role – Werewolf, Troublemaker, Seer, etc – each with a special ability that can help or hinder the group in their hunt.

The game has no night phase, operating instead on a single morning, during which you will all use your abilities to try and root out the cause of the grizzly terror in your village. You only get one kill, but then that’s all it takes in this version of the game!

While the classic Werewolf is a great deal of fun, some players can often feel a bit left out when they’re taken out of the game. This version is played at such a lightning quick pace that you avoid that entirely, and as a result the replayability factor is high. It’s perfect for filling a gap in the evening’s proceedings at any time.

Top of the Pops

A brilliantly inventive use of licensing by Big Potato Games, who are outstanding at that particular milieu, this is a very fun and really quite silly game. It comes with a kazoo in the box, so you already know it’s going to be a good time.

As in Big Potato’s movie-themed classic Blockbuster, here you’re battling against friends to give clues about all things music. You’ll need to give a set of three clues for three different artists. Each clue has a different challenge – one word to describe the artist; lyrics from a song; and the best round of all, you’ll need to use the aforementioned kazoo to play the melody of a song by the final artist.

So use strategy properly. Because as much as you think you’re playing “thank u, next” perfectly on that kazoo, the non-plussed, exasperated expressions on the faces of your teammates will leave you wishing you’d just said “ponytail” instead, because Brandon on the next team is going to play a beautiful rendition of Staying Alive on their kazoo.

If you want to pick up any of these games, check if they’re in stock at Zatu. Buying them there supports No Rolls Barred via our affiliate partnership. Read more here.