After what feels like years holed up in a cave, finally, we emerge to sunshine, socialising and, at long last, social board games.
If that copy of Cards Against Humanity is getting a little tattered, here’s some new party games to ease the initial awkwardness of learning how to be around people again.
If you’ve ever played Mafia in high school drama classes, you probably know the feeling of getting killed by the mafia in the first round and having to sit there, bored, watching everyone else have fun for the next twenty minutes.
With its accompanying app and fast playtime, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a modern version of the old classic that spans—as the name suggests—only one night. Everyone gets one of a dozen different secret roles—from the Seer, to the Troublemaker, to the Werewolf—each with its own unique ability. Maybe you get to peek at another player’s card. Maybe you get to switch your card with another player’s. In the morning, all players wake up and try to deduce who can be trusted. Since you cannot recheck your cards, there’s no guaranteeing you’re the same innocent villager you started as. Watch in horror as you figure out you’re actually now a Werewolf and must shift the blame away from yourself if you want to win the game.
Playing anywhere from 3 to 10 people, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a fast and fresh hidden role game for parties of all sizes. If you’ve been playing lots of the videogame Among Us in lockdown, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is the party game for you.
Check out One Night Ultimate Werewolf Here
Maybe you like party games where you get to flex your brain. You’re quick-witted, intelligent, sharp as a dagger—and you need to prove it.
Like a trivia night but better, Anomia is a party game that asks to recall random mundane knowledge you have accumulated over your lifetime. A one-hit wonder. A frozen food. A brand of toothpaste. And sure, I bet you named some in your head right now. But can you do it under pressure?
The game is a breeze to set up and even breezier to play. Going around the table, each person draws a card off the top of the deck and immediately places it face up in front of them. There’ll be one of those random categories—dessert, for instance—plus a weird symbol. But no time to investigate your own card—watch the cards other players flip. If any of their symbols match yours, you must shout out the answer to their card before they shout out yours!
You’ll surprise yourself when even your quick wits fail to think of a dog breed (despite the fact you have three dogs) when someone else is yelling “APPLE PIE!” in your face.
Check out Anomia Here!
So everyone knows you love blueberries. You order a blueberry muffin on your way to work every day, you put it in pancakes, in smoothies, on ice cream. But if you had to put it on a scale, where would your love fall?
With its stunning box and gameshow-esque glittering pop-up dial, Wavelength is definitely the flashiest of all the party games on this list. To play, players split into two teams. One person from one team spins a panel behind the dial and peeks at where the bullseye falls, whether it’s all the way left or two-thirds right or slightly left of centre. They need to get their team to spin their needle onto the bullseye. But the clue they give must fall within a binary. Perhaps they draw the card ‘believable vs unbelievable’ and they say the clue, ‘astrology’. Some people might fall way over to the ‘unbelievable’ side. But what about the clue-giver? What does she think about astrology?
And here lies the magic of Wavelength. This rainbow box and glittery dial is a board game, yes, but it’s also a device to help you get to know people—perfect for post-lockdown catch-ups.
Check out Wavelength Here!
Bundled in this adorable pocket-sized pink box, A Fake Artist Goes to New York is a game where players are artists working on a collaborative picture. However, like in many of the horror games discussed in a previous post, one of you is an imposter! A fake! A fraud! The Question Master will set a category for the image—job, food, country, etc—and then write a word from that category on dry-erase cards passed out to each player. However, one player will just get a big fat ‘X’. The fake artist.
Each turn, you can only draw one line on the page. The beauty of this game is figuring out how much to draw on your turn to prove to everyone else that you’re not the fake, while also not giving enough away that the actual fake artist will be able to catch onto the word.
So cute and small you can literally fit it in your pocket, A Fake Artist Goes to New York is a party game you can take anywhere.
Check out A Fake Artist Goes To New York Here!
Unlike all the other games on this list—and many games not on this list—Don’t Get Got is a game played in the background of life.
Imagine this: you’re talking to your friend—let’s call him Gene. He’s got a pretty cool hat. It looks like an octopus sitting on his head. A friend from the other side of the room calls him over so he takes off the hat, leaves it unattended on the table, and walks away. You stare at the hat like a ticking bomb. It’s a cool hat. It’s crocheted and looks like a freaking octopus. You have to put it on. As soon as the crocheted tentacles settle against the sides of your face, you feel something itching at the top of your head. You remove the hat and reach inside. A card—one that feels scarily similar to the six cards you currently have in your secret wallet. You turn to see Gene maniacally grinning. And you hear the dreaded words:
You. Got. Got.
If that little scene (inspired by the scene in Shut Up and Sit Down’s video review) made your fingers itch to play, here’s a rundown. Give each player a wallet filled with six secret missions. Be the first to complete three and you win. But beware. If, in the process of trying to complete a mission, someone asks the dreaded question, “Is this from the game?”, you immediately fail that mission. It’s soul-crushing, believe me.
If you’re looking to gamify your next party and feel like an undercover spy, Don’t Get Got is your perfect post-lockdown party game.
Check out Don't Get Got Here!
In summary, if you want to...
Lie to your friends? One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
Yell mundane trivia? Anomia.
Learn new things about your friends and family? Wavelength.
Make terrible drawings together? A Fake Artist Goes to New York.
Gamify your party and feel like a spy? Don’t Get Got.
And there we have it! Our 5 best party games now that we’re out of lockdown! What do you think? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!