Party Games
December 12, 2003 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Holiday Party tonight...any ideas for (relatively tame) games or entertainment options?
posted by davidmsc to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could you say a little more about the crowd that'll be there? Square, upstanding citizens? Funky boho types? People from work? Judgemental family members? Any little kids to include? Nerdy gamer folk? Is it a big bunch of people? Are you in a home or a large gathering space? Finding games and entertainment activities should be pretty closely aligned with the guest list and the environment they're in.
posted by majick at 2:08 PM on December 12, 2003

You probably don't feel like going out to a game store, but if by chance you do, the game Apples to Apples is so much fun, it ought to be illegal. One player supplies adjective cards, and other players decide which of their cards embodies the adjective best (or which totally doesn't). I once played a game where the winning player, desperately low on options and faced with "Fascinating," opted to play "Wheat."

I can't tell you how funny we found that, and no, we weren't stoned.
posted by Skot at 2:16 PM on December 12, 2003

Response by poster:'s actually a military medical unit -- about 100 people, with a few young'uns. Not a "hoo-ah" Marine group -- Air Force medics...pretty mellow and easy-going, but there are lines that we can't cross.
posted by davidmsc at 2:16 PM on December 12, 2003

Dirty Santa is always fun except it might be a little late to call 100 guests and ask them to bring a "gift" left over from their last garage sale.
posted by oh posey at 2:19 PM on December 12, 2003

You can try Werewolf or Spoon. (The Spoon version I played lasted longer than the game in that link because lack of a spoon at the end of a hand only cost the person a letter. Elimination came when S-P-O-O-N was reached.)

On preview, I see you might have too many guests for either game. Auction off a $20 bill with the condition that you receive both the top bid and the next highest bid. When the bids are below $20, encourage the bidders by reminding them that they can't lose money on the deal. When bids get near and/or go over $20, remind the second-place bidder that he will lose his money no matter what, so he should keep bidding to cut his losses by the $20 he gets when he wins the auction.
posted by joaquim at 2:29 PM on December 12, 2003

people don't do charades anymore anywhere? (you don't need props or equipment, and it's usually funny) or team charades, where each person acts out a different word of the title? : >
posted by amberglow at 2:43 PM on December 12, 2003

Response by poster: Ooh...the $20 auction might work -- and CHARADES is a great idea, amberglow! We can focus on holiday things, movie, songs, etc. Dirty Santa -- great for next year!

So - is everyone else as addicted to AskMeFi already as I am...?
posted by davidmsc at 2:48 PM on December 12, 2003

If folks are up to trying something a little odd, might I suggest a few rounds of 1000 Blank White Cards?

And yes, I'm finding Ask thoroughly addicting. It's like crack for smug know-it-all types.
posted by majick at 2:53 PM on December 12, 2003

A great party game (and a good icebreaker, too).

What you'll need:
many many blank 3x5 cards
dark marker
length of ribbon (long enough to tie around the head)

1) have every person in the room write down the names of 3-4 very famous people (real or fictional, living or dead) on the top portion of a 3x5 card. Make sure they keep the names secret, and drop them in a hat or paper bag.

2) Select one person to go first. Said Person ties the ribbon around their head (above the eyebrows and ears, so it ties at the back ... think a groovy 60's headband look). Said person draws a name from the hat. Said person (or helper -- a helper is useful here) puts the 3x5 card in the headband, so the name is visible to everyone in the room except the Said Person.

3) Said Person now asks questions of the other players to try and figure out who they 'are' (i.e. "Am I living?" "Am I a man?" "Am I an author?" "An actor?" "A famous web designer?"). Other players can only answer yes, no, or I don't know. Players may not lie, but they are encouraged to be quite literal.

No real "winner" -- Said Person just keeps asking questions until they get it, and then another person has a go. In the right group there's lots of laughter and some learning.
posted by anastasiav at 2:56 PM on December 12, 2003

A similar question showed up on Ask Slashdot recently. Ask MeFi can so kick Ask Slashdot's ass though.
posted by Galvatron at 2:58 PM on December 12, 2003

Time's Up is my gaming group's game of choice. It's great in that it combines knowledge (pop culture, literature, history, etc.), recollection ability, and charades in a cooperative environment. Better yet, once you burn through the standard deck, you can make up your own clues just as easily using index cards.
posted by Danelope at 3:32 PM on December 12, 2003

Here's a game I don't think anyone else will be familiar with. It's sort of a thinking person's version of HOT and COLD.

1. Break up into teams of two.

2. When it's your team's turn, one of you leaves the room and the people on the other teams write down something that the person has to do when they return.

3. The person is called back in and, without using any words or physical coaching, their partner has to get them to perform the task on the piece of paper.

They will basically just return to the room, you'll start the timer (if using one) and they will just start doing stuff (clapping, jumping, moving towards other people/objects/etc.) till you encourage them that they're going in the right direction.

4. The only encouragement you can give your partner is a snap of your fingers to indicate they're going in the right direction. For instance, if the instruction is "jump up and down on his left foot" then you could snap when the person lifts one foot off the ground or you could snap when the person jumped. Hopefully, the person will be able to string all the snaps together to come up with the correct action.

You would be amazed at the things you can get someone to do. I once got my partner to lie on his left side, on the dog's bed, and suck his right thumb... all in 2 minutes 20 seconds using only snapping.

5. Scoring can be done a few ways:

a) you could set a time limit of say 2 or 3 minutes and if the person isn't successful, they get 0 points. highest score at the end wins.

b) you could have no time limit and just let people go until they get it or give up, at which point you mark down their time. at the end of the game (say 3 rounds for each team), you add up all the times and the shortest time wins. (you would have to have a minimum time given for giveups, say 20 minutes, to encourage people not to give up after 1 minute just to get a low time).

Depending on your players/audience, you can vary the risque-ness of your play, as well as the complexity of actions.

Note: the reason you use a snap is you do not want anything that can vary in enthusiasm, for instance the human voice or clapping. If you have a respectful group of people and they can all agree, you could substitute a single but "irrelevant" word, say, "dobbs", said calmly, instead of snapping.

If you find you like the game and will play it more in the future, I recommend getting one of these, which is what me and my friends use when we play (it's made for dog training, which is what i was doing when I came up with the idea for this game).
posted by dobbs at 3:58 PM on December 12, 2003

How about the classic "key" party theme?
posted by Quartermass at 8:31 PM on December 12, 2003

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