When I was younger, parties always involved games. I look back fondly on times when a simple game of musical chairs was all it took to bring a room together. The excitement when the music stopped and everyone ran to the nearest spot. Cake and games – that’s what real parties are all about.
Now a supposed adult, I still think it’s a lot of fun to play games. Sure, I love chatting and dancing to pump up songs, but it’s always the games that bring people together. Honestly, if you don’t believe me then just give some of these a try! From Sardines to strip poker, these are bound to get the party started.
This is basically adult hide and seek. It’s a game best played in quite a large house and with a large group of people. It’s not a game that you should play all night, as it can split the group for a while, but it’s a lot of fun, and can be a bit cheeky depending who’s playing it.
One person leaves the room for 10 minutes and goes to hide. When the time is up, the rest of the group spread out through the house to find them. When someone finds the hider, rather than announce it to the group they join them in the hiding place. Eventually you end up with loads of people squashed into a tiny closet or bathroom.
The trick to this game is finding the hider, but also in sneaking into hiding yourself incognito. If the hiders are stashed for a long time, someone may need to run out to get drinks and snacks, and then return to hide, adding more drama. Make sure you know how many people are playing and set time limits so that a couple of people don’t end up roaming around lost all night.
Quizzes are not exactly ideal for when a party is in full flow. You don’t want to break up natural conversation to force everyone to answer common knowledge questions. However, quiz games are useful for the start of the night to break the ice, and for early arrivals to get to know each other.
There are plenty of quiz games out there. From traditional board and card games, to apps and console games. A game like ‘Trivial Pursuit’ may be too downbeat no matter what version you play, whereas a game like ‘Smart Ass’ gets everyone shouting out the answers and bantering.
Fun and interactive quiz games like ‘Heads-Up’, which is basically an app version of ‘Who Am I?’, bring people together. One player holds their phone up to their head, and the app shows the name of a person. They can then ask questions to the group to find out whose name they have.
A good musical quiz game is ‘How Do You Doo’. In this game, you have to hum a song to your partner or teammates using only the word ‘do’. It’s frickin’ hilarious.
For strip poker, you will need cards, chips and a decent pair of curtains so that your neighbours don’t have to see what’s happening. This is unlikely to be a serious game. It’s not the casino, it’s just about having a laugh and embarrassing your friends, and maybe lowering inhibitions a bit.
Although there are no set rules, you can follow strip poker guidelines to get a fun and action-packed game going. You may want to simplify the classic Hold‘em rules and just have one or two betting rounds per hand. It’s more exciting to have fast games with small stacks. In any case, people who lose hands lose a layer of clothing, so pretty soon you will all be down to your birthday suit.
You can also introduce bonus rules to strip poker. For example, pocket Aces could win a layer of clothing back, a full house could mean getting dressed, or a loss could mean having a drink. The winner of each game could create a new rule for the next game.
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There’s a certain type of game that falls under the category of being a little bit ‘risqué’. I’m thinking here of games like ‘Cards Against Humanity’. This is best played with a close group of friends, as it’s often too politically incorrect to bring strangers together, and is more fun when you know each other well.
The rules are simple enough. Each player is given 10 white cards. The person who most recently went for a poo starts first as the Card Tzar. They draw a black card, read it out, and then place it face up where everyone else can see it. The black cards have either a question, or a statement with blanks to be filled in.
The other players have to use their white cards to create the funniest combination. Everyone places the cards face down, and the Card Tzar chooses their favourite. Whoever made the combo gets an ‘Awesome Point’.
Black card: “Hey baby, come back to my place and I’ll show you _____
White card: “A PowerPoint presentation.”
Black card with two blanks: “When you get right down to it, _____ is just ________.
White cards: “An unhinged ferris wheel rolling toward the sea.”, “A windmill full of corpses.”
Peg A Friend
The final game to get the party started on the list is ‘Peg A Friend’, which is a lot more innocent than it sounds. This one’s good because it can be played when the party is in full swing without taking the attention of guests. It encourages movement and interaction, as well as cheekiness.
Take a small wooden peg (or two if you are feeling adventurous). One person is the pegger. This may be announced to the guests, or the pegger may remain anonymous. They have to attach the peg to someone without them realising, and then start a countdown from 10. The rest of the guests join in the countdown, but at the same time have to work out if they are the one who has been pegged.
If the peg is found in time, the pegger has to start again. If not, the person(s) pegged become the peggers. You can incorporate dares and forfeits too to spice it up.
So that’s that. 5 types of party games that are sure to get any party started. Just remember to keep your guests in mind when choosing a type of game. We’re not sure your octogenarian neighbor will appreciate a game of strip poker. Although you never know!