Skip the traditional dinner party, and invite friends and family over to have some game night fun. Options for board games include Sequence, Pictionary, Taboo, Cranium and of course handy dandy playing cards.
I love board games, and have extremely fond memories associated with them.
- Playing Pictionary with friends the middle of breaks between classes in university.
- Staying up all night playing Taboo with cousins in the candle night in the middle of an electricity breakdown.
- Starting a game of Risk with the siblings only to have it accidentally tipped over just as one player is about to win.
As a family, we used to play board games on instances where the family was gathered together – summer vacations, family weekend or just random sleepovers on long weekends. But as family moved away, got married, had kids our gatherings got infrequent and the board games gathered dust in the cupboard. However, about a year ago, a group of university friends were figuring out what to do and decided to have a random gaming night. The competition was SO intense that we now have regular gaming nights, not just with friends but with family too. Below are some of my favorites. Play them with your siblings, or invite friends & cousins over to have some game night fun.
My 5 favorite board games:
An even number of players are required for this group, with at least 4 people playing. Players are divided into two teams. One clue-giver is selected who makes the rest of the team guess as many keywords as possible in an allotted time. The trick is that he/she has to make his team-members guess the answer without using certain ‘taboo’ words in English or Urdu (a necessary local house-rule). Using the taboo word or passing cards will lead to negative scoring. Best played with people who are aware of popular culture and have good general knowledge. Some of the words can be PG-13, so either skip or don’t play with younger children.
At least two teams again, with an even number of players. The clue-giver draws on a piece of paper or a whiteboard and the team-members guess. A common misconception is that pictionary requires artists, but no, what it requires is team members who can guess what scribbles you made. Honestly with the timer ticking, it’s all about who can draw quickly not the details. Clues can be as simple as ‘laboratory’ or as difficult as ‘story’.
If you win in this game, you are an all-rounder who knows something about everything! It’s pictionary, charades, the spelling bee, sculpting, spelling, singing and much much more! It’s not for children. Not because of any rated content, just that one needs quite a bit of knowledge to play this game. We are in our 30’s and we were stumped at more than a few questions. I mean, having to act out the word ‘blowfish’ with my eyes closed? Funny yes, easy no! Again requires at least 4 players, with an even distribution in all teams.
Game of Life:
If you want to give someone a brief overview of just how complicated life can be, this is the game to play. In the space of an hour, you get to decide whether you want to go to college, select your career, get married, have kids, buy a house, get multiple paychecks on the way and retire at the end of it all. There are twists and turns around the way, with competitors stealing your salary card, or you having a mid-life crisis, or your house burning down; but the player with the most amount of money wins in the end. It’s a bit difficult to play with children around, because the board requires a lot of elements to set-up, and you don’t want kids to put them in their mouth. However, it can be played with only 2 players also, though the more the merrier.
My Bhabi (sister-in-law) introduced me to this game a couple of years ago, and it’s a hit with whomever I have played it with. It’s a combination of strategy and luck with the first player or well team to make a sequence wins! The board itself is made up of face-up playing cards, and players place chips based on the Sequence cards that they have in their hands. Simple enough to be suitable for most age groups and game options that allow it to be played between 2 people or a group of 12 people.
Why we love our gaming nights?
Mostly because they are so casual, and unlike the typical dinner or movie. We host it at someone’s place, so there’s no worry of the waiter telling us to vacate the table, or diners getting upset if the kids are crying. Instead of spending time on our phone, we would be fighting, taunting each other, and just having a lot of fun. The food is simple; either ordered from outside or a one-dish at home to keep it affordable and easy. After all, the focus of the meetup is playing games, not to sit down to a fancy meal. In case you don’t have board games, there are always playing cards – trump, rummy, bluff and more!
Do you love board games? Have you hosted gaming nights? Let me know in the comments below.