Do people still play Trivial Pursuit? (I mean, it’s fine if it’s taking the form of a Pub Quiz, but as a family?)
My recollection of Trivial Pursuit was playing it at slumber parties in the 1980s and being completely unable to answer any of the questions because it was a game carefully engineered for Baby Boomers, not Gen X’ers. (Not that anyone was calling us Gen X’ers yet, at that point.) Of course, these days they’ve got editions that are carefully engineered for Millennials…look, the bottom line is, if you’re my age, they never intended that stupid game to be for you, so check out one of these games, which are actually designed for anybody.
All these games use the same simple, easy-to-understand, basic mechanic. In case you’re not familiar with it: each round, one player puts down a randomly chosen card. The other players look at the cards in their hand and look for a card that’s a good fit.
If you’re playing Apples to Apples, you might be matching a card that says something like “scintillating” and be choosing from cards that include “Princess Di” and “red Ferrari.” If you’re playing “Apples to Apples Junior,” you might be matching a card that says “scary” and be choosing from cards that say things like “roller coasters” and “cotton candy.” If you’re playing Cards Against Humanity, you might be matching a card that says, “What does Dick Cheney want for his birthday? And be choosing from options like “a mime having a stroke” or “not giving a shit about the Third World.”
These are fun and easy to play. Do I need to tell you that for Cards Against Humanity, you really need the right group? Seriously. Take a peek at the cards before you suggest it to the wrong group.
In theory, this game is for six people, but you can play with lots more if you have some spare white boards (or scrap paper). You flip two cards for an adjective-noun pair, like “Fashionable Vegetable” or “Funny Thing you’d find it a bathroom.” Then everyone writes something down that they think fits. You goal is to match with at least one other person at the table.
Disclaimer: This is the only game I’ve ever played that got me into a political argument. At a game meetup, I wrote down “Sarah Palin” for “Outrageous Politician” and a random passer-by wanted to argue with me about it. Normally, however, this game will require less careful crowd-picking than Cards Again Humanity.
Like Pictionary, but you get an array of little three-dimensional pieces to communicate your word. You’ll need pairs of people for the teams in order to play this. Simple and fun. (The earlier editions, Morphology and Morphology Junior, are currently insanely cheap on Amazon but I expect that deal will vanish as soon as they run out.)
It’s theoretically possible to win at Curses, but in fact most games end at the point when everyone is laughing too hard to continue. The main point is to “curse” people with cards that require them to talk like a pirate, interrupt with a matching animal noise any time an animal gets mentioned, stop using their thumbs, etc.
You can get this in six, eight, and twelve-player versions. It’s like Pictionary Telephone. You start with a word or phrase, and draw a picture of it on your little dry-erase flip book. The next person at the table looks at your picture, makes their best guess as to what it is, writes that down, and passes it along. The next person draws a picture of that, and so on. Since there’s a flip book for each player, everyone’s writing, or drawing, at the same time. When you’re all done, each person goes through their flip book and shows everyone how things mutated.
In theory there’s scoring, but that kind of misses the point of the game, which is yelling, “WHAT? You thought that was a TOILET? In what sense did that look like at toilet?!?” at your brother-in-law.
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