Seeking games for seven people with poor attention spans
February 26, 2014 3:17 PM   Subscribe

A group of friends and I get together every couple of weeks to eat dinner, hang out, and play games. We're looking for some new and fun games, with some... let's not say requirements, but instead desirable qualities.

In no particular order:
  • There are seven of us, so games need to be viable and fun with that many people, without having to form teams.
  • All players remaining in the game is highly desirable. It's no fun for someone who gets kicked out early on and then sits and watches.
  • Minimal setup. No Mousetrap!
  • Short learning curve - we should be able to pick up and play without having to peruse a rulebook for more than a few minutes
  • Relatively short play time - maybe an hour, tops. (Games where one can play multiple rounds or that have other natural stopping points are good for tuning the duration.)
  • Games that encourage interaction and drive conversation and/or trash talking are good (but that doesn't have to be explicitly part of the game. We can manage to insult each other in an unstructured manner.)
  • The game shouldn't require too much attention. Thought provoking and engaging - good. Constant, intense concentration - less good. The game is important, but we're there to yap and hang out.
  • There should be an element of skill - entirely random or subjective games aren't optimal.
Games that worked well in the past:
  • Cards Against Humanity (although that's kind of offensive sometimes.)
  • The Resistance - this was fun. Easy to pick up. "You're a liar!" "No, you're a liar!"
  • Mexican Train - this is a perennial favourite
  • Yahtzee - who doesn't like Yahtzee?
  • Trivial Pursuit
Games that have not worked well:
  • Anything involving drawing, e.g. pictionary.
  • Risk - waaay to much hassle.
  • Bang! - people get kicked out.
I realize this is somewhat vague, but any/all ideas are welcome. Thanks in advance!
posted by buxtonbluecat to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (42 answers total) 68 users marked this as a favorite
My first thought is Apples To Apples, or maybe Taboo, Scattergories, or those types of more word/conversation oriented games.
posted by Sara C. at 3:21 PM on February 26, 2014 [6 favorites]

Apples to Apples sounds perfect.
Recently tried Dixit - a little harder for some people to pick clues that worked but pretty good
Fluxx - game is a little slow with seven and maybe too much luck but we like it.
posted by metahawk at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2014

Apples to Apples is great. Saboteur is exactly what you're looking for. Citadels looks really complicated to begin with, but a couple of rounds and you'll be flying through it.
posted by joycehealy at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Zombicide Co-operative play that lets you and friends take on the teeming hordes while doing plenty of trash talk.

Dixit. A card game where you, sorta, have to make up a story that goes with the beautifully illustrated cards.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:26 PM on February 26, 2014

I have no attention span for games, so I love Monster Factory. It's just really fun and silly and takes no time at all.
posted by xingcat at 3:26 PM on February 26, 2014

Spaceteam. It's an app game -- everyone needs to have either an Android phone or an iPhone, and be all on one WiFi network and in the same room. It says it's for 2-4 players but if you go into "upgrades" and then "experiments" you can enable Massive mode which is up to 8. I've played with 6 with much success.

It's basically a collaborative spaceship flying game -- everyone has a set of knobs and levers on their screen, and everyone gets individual commands -- but they may or may not have the knob or lever to control that thing, so everyone has to yell at commands and all around have a rolicking good time.

Everyone is on one team, and if someone messes up there's no way to know who it was, so it's just about doing as good as you can all together without being able to blame anyone if it goes badly.

It does require a lot of attention, but rounds are relatively short and since it's so active you generally want to take a few minutes to laugh and chat between rounds anyway. And once you all download the app and set it up the first time, set up time is so short that you could play a round at every game night or whatever.
posted by brainmouse at 3:27 PM on February 26, 2014 [11 favorites]

My family likes 25 Words or Less (sic) as a more strategic version of Taboo. That and Outburst. Good large-group games. (Though it looks like both games might be out of print...)
posted by supercres at 3:28 PM on February 26, 2014

Wits and Wagers is super fun, quick (~30 minutes or so?), and for exactly seven players.
posted by wats at 3:29 PM on February 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Farkle is a risk/reward type of dice game. It may be similar to Yahtzee. You can buy a set of Farkle dice or just use 6 6-sided.

Slide 5 is more fun the more people you have. You can go up to 10.
posted by expialidocious at 3:31 PM on February 26, 2014

BoardGameGeek might be a good place to look. Not the prettiest website, but TONS of games and TONS of details about them. Looked up The Resistance, looks cool!
posted by parallax at 3:32 PM on February 26, 2014

Pass The Pigs
posted by Sassyfras at 3:34 PM on February 26, 2014

Kill Doctor Lucky is fun and fits your criteria.
Incan Gold is super light and rounds play fast. People can end up out of a round early (by their choice), but they come back for the next round, so they're not eliminated from the game.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:41 PM on February 26, 2014

Last Word is like scattergories but with yelling.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 3:43 PM on February 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

You'll probably like The Great Dalmuti. It's awesome. It is really a simple card game, but also satisfies your condition of sparking conversation and especially trashtalking. I strongly suggest you play it with ridiculous hats, as suggested by the rules.
posted by leopard-skin pill-box hat at 3:45 PM on February 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Balderdash sounds EXACTLY like what your looking for. Game comes w/ six tokens but we've played with as many 10 people using additional tokens/pieces.
posted by KingEdRa at 3:49 PM on February 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dixit, Saboteur, and Incan Gold are all great. (Apples to Apples is a lot of fun, but might feel tame compared to Cards Against Humanity.)

Bohnanza would also be really good for your group: quick setup, requires thought but not crazy intense thought, plus the trading part can get pretty lively.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:51 PM on February 26, 2014

The Resistance: Avalon is my favorite 6-7 person game. It has minimal pieces and the game is fun. It is pretty much all about lying for 5 rounds. The focus is on reading the people around you and looking for tells.
posted by just.good.enough at 3:54 PM on February 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you're willing to deal with a learning curve of about 15 minutes, 7 Wonders is pretty easy to learn, is actually best with a lot of people, keeps everyone in until the end, and has a lot of opportunities for yelling at your neighbors.
posted by tautological at 3:56 PM on February 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

I almost forgot about Anomia. I've played w/ 6 people using the two pack edition, so I can't see why going above 6 players w/ the party edition wouldn't work.
posted by KingEdRa at 3:57 PM on February 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Fluxx, all variations. The basic rules are super-simple and the rest of the rules change constantly based on the cards in play; everyone gets to play until one person wins (or, in the case of Zombie Fluxx, the Zombies win); there are many variations from family Fluxx (small deck, easy rules, no jokes) to Zombie Fluxx (huge deck, challenging rules, lots of jokes.) Lots of themed decks (like the Wizard of Oz deck) thick with in-jokes.
posted by davejay at 4:09 PM on February 26, 2014 [5 favorites]

Oh, and if you're making conversation and paying less attention to the game, distracted players are punished in fun ways for their inattention (such as the Zombie Fluxx rule-in-play that you must groan like a zombie before taking a certain action, and if you forget to groan and someone else calls you on it, you lose cards.)
posted by davejay at 4:10 PM on February 26, 2014

Seconding scategories! There is so much trash talking while playing in my group of friends. Some concentration is required but in short spurts. I don't think we ever played for over an hour. It's definitly my favorite game.
posted by missriss89 at 4:53 PM on February 26, 2014

I would recommend Dominion.
posted by dgeiser13 at 5:35 PM on February 26, 2014

7 people could play Illuminati, if you were willing to buy one of the expansion sets.

Easy to learn, and everyone stays in the game right to the end.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:39 PM on February 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Next time there are only 5 of you: Fiasco.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 5:45 PM on February 26, 2014

posted by Kwine at 5:48 PM on February 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Resistance is great for largish groups (5-10 people). Some other games that would work well:

Category 5 aka 6 Takes
Jungle Speed
Two Rooms and a Boom

Seconding Dixit, Citadels, and Incan Gold.

If you want something more involved, but really chaotic and fun with a lot of people, RoboRally is a good choice.
posted by Paragon at 6:14 PM on February 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

We have had a lot of fun with Dicecapades. There are some cards that ask for drawing, but we generally change the rule to choose either drawing or charades, works just as well.

I also love the card game Mao - it's arguable about how much attention span you need to play it (especially if you explain the rules to everyone going in instead of the variation where people have to guess), and there's a learning curve, but it's definitely the most fun large group game I know.
posted by Mchelly at 7:36 PM on February 26, 2014

I'd like to second tautological's suggestion of 7 wonders, it's really a fantastic game that plays quickly and handles large groups extremely elegantly.

Wits & Wagers as mentioned above is pretty decent, although it can feel pretty light.
posted by kavasa at 7:44 PM on February 26, 2014

Apples to Apples is almost perfect, but what you really want is Other Foot. Basically, it's do it yourself Apples to Apples. Go buy a bunch of blank half size index cards and go nuts writing cards the first time out. Mr. booksherpa and I played this regularly with 2 other couples over several years, and probably had over 1000 cards at some points\. We did a regular cull of cards as the deck got huge. We also made sure that we had cards with our names on them; those were often some of the most fun rounds.
posted by booksherpa at 8:24 PM on February 26, 2014

One Night Ultimate Werewolf The fun of werewolf without anyone getting kicked out of the game and in a much shorter timespan. My friends and I play over and over again.
posted by shesbookish at 10:00 PM on February 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

PIT! Probably an eBay purchase or there's a 'new' version that looks like it could be a similar set up. So much fun!
posted by W.S (disambiguation) at 10:54 PM on February 26, 2014

Coup, by the creators of The Resistance. Very simple rules and almost nonexistent setup, takes 5-10 players. Players do get eliminated, but it's a fast game (about 10 minutes) so you're not out for long.
posted by phoenixy at 1:01 AM on February 27, 2014

Aw man, I misread the box for Coup and it turns out it only takes up to 6 players. Darn. Well, maybe a good game for your group when one person can't make it.
posted by phoenixy at 1:07 AM on February 27, 2014

Risk - waaay to much hassle.

Change the rules! Throw out rules you don't like. Make up new rules. Create a new game using existing pieces.

For instance, instead of being out of the game, you join the team of the person who conquers you. You eventually have two teams with everyone still playing, but now it's two teams putting their heads together to beat each other.

The conqueror is the leader of that team, but the other team members continue to take turns rolling dice and moving pieces. And maybe make a way for the team leader to be replaced. For instance, instead of taking a normal turn, a team member can declare an election and roll dice against the leader. This means the team leader needs to be good or people will waste turns trying to oust the bad leader.

Also, try drawing a new map. If there's a table you always play on, make a map as big as the table (with space in the sea for drinks and stuff to sit). Copy the normal map or set it anywhere else.
posted by pracowity at 1:26 AM on February 27, 2014

Sequence. It works for my ADHD friends and me!
posted by dubious_dude at 2:20 AM on February 27, 2014

We played Are You the Traitor? at the last DC meetup and it was tons of fun even though I was SUPER bad at it. It gives you a lot of good chances to shout about who the evil wizard is.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:07 AM on February 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

The last time my family had seven people present, we played Unexploded Cow (from the makers of Kill Doctor Lucky).
posted by Tool of the Conspiracy at 8:36 AM on February 27, 2014

Agree re Apples to Apples and Taboo. Taboo is the greatest. Catch Phrase is also quite fun. Also Things--everyone writes an answer and then you guess who wrote which. That would be fun with a group such as yours where everyone knows each other well. Celebrity is also a blast, as Kwine said, and requires very few materials and little set-up. The "alternative play" section of that Wikipedia entry is the best way to play it. Last suggestion--Heads Up. So fun! It's an app, basically like Catch Phrase except all the cards, timers, etc are managed for you by the app. Costs 99 cents. Have fun!!
posted by reksb at 8:54 AM on February 27, 2014

Great Fast Games But With 6 Players ( :S ):
-KING OF TOKYO (we call it Monster Yahtzee ).
-Flash Point Fire Rescue (coop fire fighting game).
-City of Horror (backstabbing game of sometimes cooperative but in the end somebody has to be pushed into the zombie hoard)

Only Game I can think of that actually fits your requirements:
-Formula D (stock car racing with strategic dice rolls. Plays fast. We once had a game with 9 players and it didn't get bogged down.)
posted by eurasian at 9:01 AM on February 27, 2014

I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet! You want Telestrations. It's essentially telephone meets pictionary, which provides ample room for trash talk. It works best with 8, but 7 is definitely doable. It is also the game that all of the non-gaming people want to play.. there's no half hour of rule explaining, or millions of tiny pieces.
posted by valoius at 7:04 PM on February 27, 2014

If you like The Resistance, One Night Ultimate Werewolf combines similar levels of deduction and deception with a very short playtime (10 minutes per game).
posted by Paragon at 6:27 PM on April 16, 2014

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