Long time, no see! How have you been?
I entertain often, and happen to have a cabinet full of *hysterical*
interactive games. Our group is a well-educated and rowdy bunch, so
these may suit you just perfectly.
First up: Apples to Apples. Grab at least 4 people. Deal 7 Nouns to
each player (some are proper nouns, like people or place names, others
just plain old everyday nouns). Flip up an adjective. Then it's up
to the players to select a card from their hands that they think is
best described by the adjective on the table. Extra effort to impress
(or flatter) the judge always helps, and the better you know the
judge, the better your chances of successfully claiming the hand are.
For instance, if the judge has turned up "torrid", you stand a good
chance of winning the hand if you play a card like "My Love Life"
("My" always refers to the judge.)
The core game goes for just $20.
Apples to Apples
Next: Mad Gab. I love this game, particularly after we've made a
pitcher of 'ritas. Draw a card, read the gibberish phrase aloud. Ask
Rude Arrive Her?** Huh? What's that in English? (Answer at the
Everyone attempts to "translate" the phrase, first one to do so
correctly wins the round.
$16 at Amazon
I have *never* played loaded questions with the included board and
die. It seems to take the fun out, and it doesn't work as well with
the board if you've got more than 6 people.
Draw a card with an outlandish question on it: "If you were going to
hold a protest rally, what would it be against?"
Everyone writes down a ridiculous answer to the question, and hands
their slips to a designated reader (not you). The answers are read
aloud, and you get to try to guess which answer belongs to whom. Game
play passes to the left. We don't even bother to keep score - we're
too busy laughing at each other to even try!
Loaded Questions will set you back about $25 at Amazon, but
occasionally runs on sale for around $20 at Target.
Balderdash has occasionally caused a bit of trouble - we've had a
neighbor come down and tell us to pipe down, because we've howled just
a bit too loud.
Choose a card, read the question aloud. You write down the correct
answer, while everyone else makes something up on the spot. All slips
are handed in, you read them each aloud, and everyone votes on which
is correct. You score points for being correct, and you can also
score points for being a great bluffer. Hilarity often ensues when
someone turns up an answer that sounds like complete baloney, and it
turns out to be the right one. Heard at our table: "That *must* be
your answer, because you're so full of BS!"
Balderdash is $20 at Amazon
A favorite requiring only a couple decks of playing cards, and a
handful of spoons ( N players, N-1 spoons) is often played at our
Socials, and it usually leads to hilarious outbursts as the speed
picks up and the number of spoons decreases. The concept is simple
enough - get 4 of a kind, and grab a spoon without anyone noticing,
then sit back and watch the scramble ensue while everyone else dives
for the remaining spoons.
No spoon? You're out, and one spoon is removed from the table. It's
kind of like musical chairs, only with spoons and cards, and is
actually quite a lot more fun than any description can show. Rules
There's a more complicated variant here:
...and a couple variants called Pig, which are played without spoons, here:
Last, because this game is a "one-off" (once you've played it with a
group of people, you can't really play it again until you get some new
people), is a game called "Lovers in the Park". This takes two rooms
- one to keep everyone not immediately participating in, and one to
Name a "moderator", and select two participants. Shoo everyone off
into the other room and close the door. The moderator explains to the
first two: "We're going to play a game of statues. Our statue is
called 'Lovers In The Park'." Have the two participants join hands.
The moderator will then bring in *one* person from the other room, and
tell them "We've installed a new statue in the park called 'Lovers in
the Park'. They don't look very loving, though, so it's your job to
rearrange them and make them look more loving towards each other."
The new player is to move the "statues" into a new position. When
he's finished, the moderator will have him switch places with one of
the statues - he has to assume whatever pose he had placed the
previous player in. The player who has been switched out is now free
to remain in the room and watch the proceedings, but must not spill
the secret twist!
Repeat until everyone has come out and played "artist".
It's especially hilarious to watch this one. Some people gleefully
arrange their friends into...um...compromising positions, and then are
shocked to find that they must switch! Red faces, raucous laughter
and funny pictures always ensue.
Of course, once everyone has played, the surprise is gone, so save
this one for a large gathering. It can always be brought out again at
a later time, if a majority of people have never played it before.
I hope these games suit your group! Please do ask for clarification
if you'd like more recommendations!
Search terms: None. Went to my game cabinet.
**The Mad Gab answer: A screwdriver
Clarification of Answer by
03 Dec 2003 11:23 PST
One of the reasons I like working for you is that you say really sweet
things! That your questions are pretty interesting is a nice bonus.
Malarky is remarkably similar to Balderdash. Like Balderdash, you can
dispense with the board and playing pieces and just keep score around
the room with a pad and pen. One player knows the correct answer,
everyone else fakes it, and players vote on which is most likely to be
Malarkey is $17 at Amazon, but I've seen it for $13 at K-Mart.
Remember those games in school, where the teacher would hold up a
picture and tell everyone to look carefully and remember as much as
they could about it? The s/he would take the picture away after a set
interval (30 seconds or less?) and ask questions about what you saw?
That's Stare. Choose a card, stare it down for the chosen interval,
then hand it back to an opponent (or an opposing team!). You'll be
asked a series of questions about the image - the more things you
remember, the further you'll progress.
This is a fun icebreaker game, and great played in teams.
Stare is $30 at Amazon
If your group enjoys clever word games, they'll be all over Wise and
Otherwise. I don't own this one, but I've played at my sister's, and
we've had a great time with it. As with most of these games, you can
safely ditch the board.
Stare consists of 500 cards, with 5 obscure sayings each. On on side
is half of the saying, which is read aloud. The other players try to
come up with the correct ending. Like Balderdash and Malarky, you
score points by either having your answer voted as the best one, or
actually guessing the correct ending.
$35 at Amazon
Wise and Otherwise
Players with a knack for culling the BS from the truth will get a
charge out of Strange But True?, a game which asks you to read a
series of outrageous headlines, and determine which is fact, and which
are a steaming pile.
Best played in teams, simply because the discussions over which
headline is real are often hysterical.
Strange But True? is a steal at $10
Strange But True?
A twist on the Balderdash concept is Personalitease. How well do you
know your friends? The better you know them, the better you'll score.
Choose a card, read the question aloud, and everyone writes down a
*truthful* answer (questions include "What do you really enjoy, even
though you know it's wrong?""). Hand 'em in to the moderator, who
reads each answer aloud, and everyone tries to guess who wrote what.
Score points for guessing correctly, score razzes from your friends
Personalitease is $15 at Amazon
Hope these help!