Tell Us Dammit: Party Games

Image: Nintendo

A couple of my best friends held their house warming the other night, and while it was hot as fuck it was also a good opportunity to break out a few video and board games to fill in the time.

Party games are always good to break the ice, but you quickly discover that certain types of games work for various personalities better than others. Mario Kart for instance, can either be a winner or a surefire way to get people to start yelling at each other.

I mean, it's Mario Kart. You know you're going to get blue shelled at some point. Don't blame me for sending one your way. It's your fault you were leading the pack.

Something else I discovered: there are certain types of people who get really abusive over Codenames. I still think that's one of the best party games ever designed, but then again people really don't like losing.

Curiously, Guesspionage from the third Jackbox Party Pack is a good icebreaker: it's straightforward, easy to understand, and everyone can get behind how annoying it is having to deal with facts pulled from random surveys in the United States.

What party games do you whip out whenever friends, family or strangers are other?


    I found Nintendoland to be great as everyone was on a team against the person with the GamePad who had an advantage so it evened out pretty well.

      Was about to comment the same. Nintendoland is insane amounts of fun with the right people.

      There's an amazing game in game&wario where one person has to steal fruit in a crowd while the other players try to work out the identity of the thief.

      It doesn't require any extra controllers, it works for up to 8 players or something, and it's very hard when you're drunk.

    I got codenames for my birthday last year and hands down it has been the best party game I've played. Works a treat for gamers and non gamers alike.

    Guitar Hero with all the instruments :)

    Even non gamers can "sing" and it's fun to pretend you're in Flock of Seagulls with those plastic synth drum kits.

      I swear i'm not an old mate, it's just that Vice City made me appreciate some things from the 80's.

      Oh man, Mike Score was so high when they filmed "I Ran (So Far Away)". One of my favourite Sing Star songs.

        Heh, we may have talked of Mike before :)

        He looks like a stand-over man now though...

    Poy Poy 2!! On the PS1 with 4 player adaptor. Awesome fun. Running around trying to beat each other up.

    We pretty much always crack out a few rounds of Quiplash and/or Drawful whenever we have a gathering.

    Jackbox is a staple now whenever we have parties, it's easy to learn and all people need is their phones, which they already have, and everyone who wants to join in can!

    Otherwise, 8 player smash bros can go down well in more gaming inclined groups.

      Not using a normal controller makes things so much easier for non-gamers. Ease of entry is key for party games, and having to firstly own then be able to use multiple controllers puts up huge obstacles for many people.

    Haven't been to a party in years, but my choices for the most fun multiplayer games would be Mario Kart and Rock Band.

    As for non video games, I've always wanted to play Cards Against Humanity.

      Cards Against Humanity can break the ice REALLY quickly, particularly when people haven't played it before.

      Cards Against Humanity: The Funniest Game For People Who Don't Know what "Funny" Means!

    Most recently was Overcooked. Wow that's a messy game (in terms of people working together)

    Board game: Telestrations. For bonus points, Telestrations Against Humanity (Telestrations played with Cards Against Humanity cards. It's... wrong. In a good way.)

    Video games: Drawful 2. Mount Your Friends.

    Besides the usual games of Smash Bros, Mario Kart, CaH and Codenames we also play Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and Hidden in Plain Sight. KTaNE has been a massive hit with my non-gaming friends

    I concur with what everyone else has already said, but a simple, fun game, that's always a hit, no matter the group, is a game we dub "celebrity".

    Just get a piece of paper, rip it into small pieces and get each person to write the names of 7-10 celebrities (alive, dead, fiction, non-fiction), the only rule being it has to be someone everyone knows (can also be a friend).

    They all go into a bowl, and then the game starts. There a three rounds, and you can a minute per go.

    First round - describe the person to the player on your left. only rule is you can't say "their name rhymes with". Keep going until 1 minute is up. The giver and guesser both get the amount of points correctly guessed (no skipping).

    Once all have been guessed put all the names back in.

    Second round - go the opposite way around the circle, but this round you can only say one word (as everyone now knows who is in the bowl)

    Last round- is charades and you describe it to the person second on your left (as you generally haven't played with this person yet).

    That's it. Whoever has the most points wins.

    You're welcome. Simple - only need a pen, paper, a bowl, and a timer (your phone)

    The three "chase" games in Nintendo Land are probably the greatest party video games ever created. Probably my biggest disappointment with the WiiU is that Nintendo did NOTHING to build on the concepts of those games. I was 99% sure at the console's launch there would be 2 or 3 new games in that style, or at the very least DLC with new arenas. But nope. Nothing.

    You know what else I've found to be massive hits with groups of people? SingStar and (particularly) Buzz. Franchises that Sony has both watered down and completely killed over the past console generation.

      I don't think I can even see the word 'SingStar' without getting a slight twitch of suppressed rage over the fact that Sony deemed it acceptable to mandate its presence on my PS4 home screen.

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