October 9, 2013

{Simple Hospitality, Day 8} 9 Great Board Games for Breaking the Ice


 This is day 8 in a series about simple hospitality.  Click here to see more.

Board Games are a great excuse to have people over.  Chatting and learning about a near stranger over a good board game can take some (but not all) of the awkwardness out of the evening.  It can fill the occasional silence, give you something to bond over, and a chance to laugh together.  The best board games to play with guests are fun even when you're losing and don't take a day and a  half to play (so that rules out the boardgames of my youth: Risk and Monopoly.)

Here a 9 great boardgames to play with guests, tested countless times around our own kitchen table:

1. Settlers of Catan.   There are several versions of this game, but the classic is still my favourite.  With a modular board that is different each time, the game never gets old. (3-4 Player, more if you have the player expansion packs.)
 
2. Carcassonne. This tile laying game, although admittedly confusing at first, is quite easy once you've played it through a couple times.  It's the kind of thing you stay up all night playing "just one more game"!  (2-5 players)

3. Ticket to Ride.  Each player is trying to build train routes to various destinations, and nobody knows what routes the other players are trying to accomplish!  This game is easy to learn and easy to clean up. (2-5 players)

4.  Killer Bunnies.  You spend  the whole game trying to collect as many carrots as you can in hopes that one of them will be the "magic" winning carrot revealed at the end of the game.  Strangely not as silly as it sounds.  Although still pretty silly.  This game has lots of rules....I don't recommend trying to learn it with a squirmy toddler on your lap.  Just sayin'. (2-8 players)

5. Apples to Apples.  This is a great game to play when you need something relatively mindless.  Unlike #4  above, this one can totally be played with a squirmy toddler on your lap.  Often funny, and casual enough that you can carry unrelated conversation while you play, this is one of my favourite games for large groups.  (4-10 players)

6. The Game of Things.  In large groups this game is kind of a fail, because you have to remember a lot of answers and guess who said what.  But with 4-6  players this game can be down right hilarious, especially if you don't know one another very well. Also, this game can be played lounging comfortably in the living room drinking coffee instead of around the kitchen table.  (4+ players)

7. Quelf.  If you have a large group of good sports, this is the game to play. With ridiculous trivia, clever lists, and cards telling you to stealthily keep your hand on the table for the entire game, to put a shoe on your head, or to sing a silly country song without bursting out in laughter, what's not to love?  (3-8 players)

8. Bohnanza.  This game makes me a little sad because it reminds me of great friends who moved away. It's a strategic trade-making game that never really seems to get old and doesn't have a ton of complicated rules.  Highly recommended.  (2-7 players)

9.  Telephone pictionary. Technically not a board game, this is a fabulous party game and only requires scrap paper and some pens. 
Here's how to play:  Make as many stacks of small scrap papers as people playing, each stack having as many pieces of paper as there are players.  So if there are five people playing, you have five stacks of five scraps of paper.  Everyone writes a phrase on the top piece and passes the stack to the next player.  Then each player reads the words they've just received, flips that page to the bottom of the stack,  and draws a picture of it on the next page in the stack.  They pass it along to the next person who sees only the picture that was just drawn, flips it to the bottom of the stack and writes a phrase that describes it.  Keep going in this pattern of pictures and phrases until each stack of paper makes it's way back to it's original owner and the original phrase is back on top....  at which point each player has a hilarious story to tell of misinterpreted drawings!  (Best for 5-15 people....and it's FREE!)

These are some of my favourite games to play with friends, old and new. What did I miss? What is your favourite?

***this post includes affiliate links, which means that if you click over to Amazon and buy pretty much anything, a small portion of your purchase supports this  blog.  Just sayin'. **

20 comments:

  1. We have so many of those games and I agree that they are GREAT! We have a weekly game night that my husband started before I knew him with his single friends. We continued it after we married and although many of the friends have changed, and several of them have married and moved away, we still have it, four kids and 12 1/2 years later. =)


    I'd add Maori, Scotland Yard, The Farming Game/The Construction Game, Acquire, Eye to Eye. I also really like the Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit card games, even though I am terrible at the Trivial Pursuit board game (I'm not old enough yet...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weekly game night sounds WONDERFUL!

      Delete
  2. We like Scattergories, Chicken Foot (domino game), and Catchphrase. The last one you have to pay attention...it has been literally been CATCHphrase before! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you play CATCHprhase like we do.. literally throwing the game across the room lol

      Delete
  3. These are all my favorite games!! Haha, it's like you looked through our game closet and read off all the titles. :D And I agree, games are one of the BEST ways to break the ice with people. My family was never much for games, but my in-laws play games all the time. We have played countless games of Farkle (which they call 10,000), Yahtzee, Skip-bo and other card/dice games. Another good game for groups is Tripoli. I love that game so much. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This picture reminds me my childhood and I still love all these games.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh :) "Saboteur" can be really fun (good gnomes digging for gold get sabotaged by - whom?). And probably THE most played party game in Latvia, "the mute show": one person writes down a word on a piece of paper, and someone else gets the piece of paper, and, without showing it to anyone, the person has to act out the word. No speaking. The people who guess can shout out their suggestions until they get it right, and you get maybe a minute to show the word.
    Last time we played I laughed so hard as one guy was trying to show "laser" ha ha ha :D.
    And this game is free.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My husband and I love playing the following games with our friends about once a week: wizard, euchre, imaginiff, pictionary, funglish and scattegories. We love to have a potluck and play about 3 different games each time we get together.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jenga is a great game for small groups!! So much fun and easy (if a bit loud when the tower falls)! We also like Uno which can work with larger groups too. I LOVE Taboo, which we do not currently own, but used to play with friends of ours. It is a great game for 3-4 couples as you have to play in pairs!! It will get everyone laughing!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like mot of the games Kelly suggested (some of them I haven't tried yet though). We also like Scattergories, Imaginiff, Catchphrase, Scrabble, Boggle, Outburst, and Phase 10.
    There is a great game one of my friends at university had that we used to play and really enjoyed called Balderdash And Beyond. It has different categories (words to define, plot summary of an old movie title, names of famous people, famous dates) and each player tries to write out a convincing interpretation of whatever card is pulled and then players guess on which is the right answer. It is actually tons of fun, but I haven't been able to find it in any stores... maybe online though.

    ReplyDelete
  9. One of my family's favorites is Spot It, the o there's that are always fun in groups are Jenga and Chairs (a Jengaesque game of chair stacking) Ingenuous (which is technically a four player so you have to play teams) and Blockus. . . My mom and dad collect board games and my uncle buys them new ones every year for Christmas, which they then proceed to play for hours and hours Christmas day. . One of my moms favorites is coyote, buy I hate that game!

    ReplyDelete
  10. We are Catan lovers. We have also started playing Pandemic, which is a nice change of pace, since it is the humans working together (as sort of the CDC) against evil plagues and you win or lose together.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You included Killer Bunnies! We love that game, and have gotten everyone we've forced to play to love it, minus one (but only because he thought way too hard about it). Great list!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Killer Bunnies was illustrated by my cousin. Awesome game! We got all the expansions and specialty cards for Christmas every year from him.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We called that last one "The Picture Game" and played it countless times with a group of friends in college. To this day (10+ years later...eek!) we still have inside jokes from it. So ridiculous...so fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Okay, I seriously like your choices for games. Killer Bunnies, Catan, Carcassonne., and Apples to Apples are some of my favorite games. I have always wanted to play Quelf. Thaks for the other suggestions!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yay! We love board games and many of the ones you have listed are our favorites. We also like Bananagrams, Dixit and Small World. Happy gaming!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This post makes me want to find game playing friends right now! My husband and I used to have weekly game nights with our friends in Florida but haven't found anyone yet since we moved across the country. We LOVE Ticket To Ride and Apples to Apples. When it's just us two, we often pull out Rummikub or play 10 Penny, a crazy addictive card game my grandparents taught us.

    By the way...thanks so much for your hospitality series...I really want become more open and brave about inviting people and this series is gently inspiring me. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mad Gab, Mille Bornes (a card game), Ticket to Ride (we have the German one which is a bit confusing if your guests have no Ticket experience), Bananagrams...I love games and just realized we just don't play them enough!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I love Mille Bornes! Uno is great fun, and my husband and I met over a game of Taboo.

      Delete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...