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Best Party Board Games for Adults – My Games for Pure Fun

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Sometimes you just want to sit at the table with your friends, have a few drinks and have fun. Maybe you’re just not in the mood, are too tired or you have someone casual along who is not interested in a more complex board game. I have researched what are the best party board games for adults currently on the market.

You can’t go wrong with any of the games on the list, but my personal favorites are mentioned in the conclusion of this article.

All of these games are easy to pick up, have simple rules and you can be competitive the first time you play them. Therefore, are an excellent choice if you want to include players, unfamiliar with board games (like your grumpy uncle).

For more information about prices on amazon, click on the pictures of the games. I may earn a small comission (no extra cost for you), should you buy something.

 

Trivia/Quiz Games

Competing with your friends in knowledge is always fun, even more so if you’re any good at it and you listened in school. Game mechanics are similar in these games: you move on the board (by die or by points) and you answer questions of different categories (i.e. history, sports, geography, popular culture). Answering correctly makes you advance faster.

Just be careful, if one of the players, is too smart (or contrary) – that can kill a game.

Trivial Pursuit

The classic from 1981 is synonymous with the genre. Players move on the board by die and there are six categories of questions (geography, entertainment, history, arts & literature, science & nature and sport & leisure) – collect all six pieces of the pie and win.

Wit’s End

Similar, in this game players, also progress by die, but here their goal is to reach the center of the circles by answering correctly. All categories of questions exist, focus is on analogies, slogans and definitions.

 

Guessing games

Trying to guess a hidden word or words is the point of these games. One of the players, is trying to “show” the word to other players, by pantomime, drawing, explaining, singing etc. and other(s) is/are trying to guess it.

Charades

Popular since the 16th century, you don’t have to buy anything to play this. One of the players, comes up with the word, slogan, title (or whatever house rules you decide to play by), tells it to the next player who then tries to express the phrase by pantomime (or sound effects). Remaining players, try to guess it. For the next round the role moves to new winner.

We played this a lot couple of years ago with my friends, down to the point that we got too good for it. I remember one time the guess word was “Four riders of the apocalypse”. To a disbelief of all of us, it only took a couple of minutes to guess.

Taboo

Another Classic. Players draw cards in turns. On a card there is a word or a phrase they must describe to their partner, who must guess it. Trick is, that on the cards are five more “taboo” words, which the explaining player is not allowed to use. Of course, these words are usually the ones, who describe the first word most easily.

Activity

Players form teams who compete against (moving on the board). Phrases are drawn from the cards and are communicated to others by drawing, pantomime or explaining. In activity2, players can wager on how hard they want to play.

Guesstures

A faster version of charades. Players choose from easy and hard words (drawn from cards) and have limited amount of time to guess, before the card is eaten by the timer machine.

 

Action and Reaction Board Games

Common theme here are two phases. In the action phase, a card is drawn or a sentence is said, and in reaction phase players, react to this either by answering or playing cards. Results can be scored, but the main drive are the hilarious combinations that arise.

Cards Against Humanity

Card Czar chooses a black card, which has a question or fill-in-blank, and other players, pass their white cards (answers) to him. Czar then decides on the answer he likes the best (is funniest, most cynical or sarcastic) and that person receives a point and games moves on to the next Czar.

What makes the games special are the topics it covers: taboo subjects like race, gender, religion, torture, poverty, drugs, sex, child abuse, black humor etc. The more controversial the topic (and your answers), the merrier. Just play this with (good) friends.

That’s What She Said

Almost identical rules as in Cards Against Humanity, only that this one focuses mainly on the dating/sexual topic. This is better for a group that is not yet acquainted (Cards Against Humanity would offend them) with each other.

The Game of Things

Draw a card with a topic like: “Things zombies do when they’re not eating people.” or “Things a proctologist nicknames his finger.” and each player writes a response. After a good laugh, you try to guess who wrote what.

Loaded Questions

Asking questions like “What do you consider your nicest feature?” and “What cartoon would you like to be a character in?” and then guessing who wrote which answer will test who well the players, know each other and provide a lot of laughter and embarrassment. For even more of the latter, check the Adult Version or the Party version.

Spontuneous

This one is not for everyone, since I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with singing. But if you are not of those, this one is great. Players try to find a song containing a “trigger-word”, and the first one to sing a five word portion of a song containing that word gets a point.

Mad Gab

Mad Gab is all about pronunciation. Your team gets a card with some funky word like “Abe Each Dwell”. One player reads that out loud and others try to guess what he really said – in this case “A beached whale”.

Dixit

Storyteller makes up a sentence from a picture on one of his 6 hand cards and says it out loud. Each player then gives a card of his own to the storyteller (one he thinks represents said sentence the best). Story teller shuffles the cards and places them face up on the table and players, bet on which card was storyteller’s, earning points.

Social Deduction Board Games

Players are given secret roles (often unknown to others) and are trying to complete their agenda while guessing who the others are and what they are trying to do. These games are slightly (but only slightly) more complex; they require a bit of deduction, social interaction skills, bluffing and deceiving.

The Resistance

Inspired by the Mafia/Werewolf, in Resistance, players, are split into two teams (Imperial Spies and Resistance Operatives). Round starts with discussion and attempts to guess other players’ identities and gain trust.

The leader then sends some players on a mission (passing them cards) and all the players vote to approve the assignment. When the assignment is passed, chosen players, decide to support or sabotage the mission in secret, giving point to either Resistance or Empire.

The Resistance: Avalon is a version based in the medieval world with King Arthur against Mordred. New addition is Merlin, who knows the agents of evil. Avalon is stand-alone game, but can be combined with The Resistance.

 

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Another role-playing game, this one can be finished in ten minutes. Players assume the roles of numerous characters, each with a special ability, and in a single morning decide who is the werewolf. Or the werewolf wins if they fail.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf can be combined with One Night Ultimate Werewolf: Daybreak, but either of the games can be played alone.

Secret Hitler

Can you get more controversial than having the name of Nazi leader in the title? Secret Hitler is a role-playing game, where players, assume the roles of fascists versus liberals and one player is Secret Hitler. Roles are partially hidden and each turn President and Chancellor are elected trying to pass policies to enact Hitler or assassinate him.

Codenames

Codenames is towards the top of every party game list out there, and justifying so.

Two teams are trying to guess the names of their agents (25 words on the table). Each team has a spymaster, who is guiding his team by giving them hint words (and adding how many of agents this word affects). First team to guess all their agents, wins.

Codenames is on the top of every party game list out there. There is Pictures version available, an adult version as well as Disney, Marvel and Harry Potter versions.

Uncategorized

Exploding Kittens

Interesting wording in the title, but the game is very simple – think of Russian roulette. Players are drawing the cards from the deck and the one that draws the exploding kitten, loses. Trick is, that the deck also contains cards, that allow you to peek before you draw, shuffle the deck or force your opponents to draw more cards. Game intensifies towards the end when fewer cards are available and the exploding kitten card inevitably comes up.

Personal Favorites

I promised you to give the ones I like best and here they are (in no particular order):

Do you have any favorites of your own? Do you agree/disagree withy my choice? Let me know in the comments below.

Vasilij

20 thoughts on “Best Party Board Games for Adults – My Games for Pure Fun

  1. Gaming have been a very vital aspect of bringing friends and family together in many situations. Over time we all have this family or group game we love playing together and the gun it brings to us is priceless. In recent time my friends and I have grown to love playing monopoly just to prove who is a better in managing his affairs.
    Over 3years and still counting we have had just one champ and it’s time to try something new looking at Trivial Pursuit, its seen quite easy, but from my experience with dice, there are chances of anyone winning. I’ll love to give it a try. Best regards

    1. Trivial Pursuit is not affected by luck much. Sure, you can get lucky and get an easy question (or contrary), but vast majority of the time, the player with the most knowledge will win. That can be unsettling as well. 😀

  2. What an absolutely fantastic post, these are some great ideas for when we have family and friends around, there are some of these games here that I have never even heard of but after reading up on them they do look vary interesting, board games are very good to have in the house, they are there as a sort of back up for when the barbecue is finished and we go indoors when the light starts to fade, I’m tempted to buy a few of your board game recommendations here, I like the loaded questions one and the cards against humanity, in fact I’m finding it difficult to choose because they all look so good and interesting, thank you for sharing this post.  

    1. Ther are thousands of other (yes, better than those in this article) board games out there, I just focused on the ones that are easy to pick up and anybody can play.
      Be careful with Cards Against Humanity though – their language is … profane, putting it mildly.

  3. Wow, seeing this article the first thing that came to my mind was sharing it to my dad, I won’t say he’s grumpy but he’s shit of fun, all he does with his friends is to watch handball matches. Board games are really good for seniors as it helps catch fun and relax their body nerve through the exercise of playing it, it also work on their mind and thinking. I like the board games in this article, they are full of fun I must say, my favorite is Secret Hitler, its interesting. This post is really entertaining and fun filled, I love it.

  4. Awesome write-up.

    I got the trivia pursuit classic for my son not too long. He is really into Trivia and prefers it so much  than any other board games. He is eight and I’m mostly able to go through and find questions he can answer, depending on the category. He might be slightly ahead of your average eight year old, but in general a lot of the questions have little hints built into them and if you go through a few, it seems like I find one that is in the realm of what he can reasonably answer. He just asks me whatever question comes up and I’m able to get a fair number of them.

  5. Getting board games for adults that speaks of fun and also combine it with such sleekness as you have presented here is very rare to see in my area and it has been long that I have gotten to play such board games. Wow! I will try to revisit and try to get atleast three from the list you have provided here. thumbs up to you for bringing all these here.

  6. Hi Vasilij,

    I really enjoyed reading your article on the best party board games for adults. I think its a great idea to try these for a change. 

    The only ones I have played are trivial pursuit (a brilliant game and also great in the family versions) and exploding kittens which I must admit we didn’t enjoy much.

    Are any of the games suitable for older children? We often like to play games as a family especially at Christmas. Thanks in advance, Andrew

    1. Exploding Kittens does have a peculiar taste of humor, so I understand you position. 🙂

      Try Forbidden Island – It is a cooperative game (so you can work together as a team) for up to 4 players and it is for ages 10+. I have just recently discovered it and can highly recommend it.

  7. Gaming has been a means to challenging each other in my house and with such contest, my siblings would always go for a trivi a game than any other game. We play monopoly a lot, but since it’s a kind of luck game with dice, it’s been removed. I feel the Trivial Pursuit game would be one we all can agree to. Thanks of sharing .

  8. Right from time, I have always been a big time lover of the trivial games and that is the area I will focus my attention more on here. This is really great to see here and the fact that in this age where digital and video games have taken over, we could still get such awesome games as these. Thanks for sharing all these.

  9. Oh, this is pretty cool. Not the regular chess or snake and ladder. LOL. I think i need to get myself a couple of these not because i would like to play with my family for because my friends say i will be hosting them pretty soon and i was googling the ways t be a good host and the idea of bringing in fun games came up. I will like to try the role-playing games out. Would be very cool. Thanks.

    1. Role playing games are great for parties, especially when people already get slightly “relaxed”. 🙂

      The ones on my list are also specifically selected not to have too complicated game mechanics, so even non-gamers can pick them up quickly.

  10. I am a big fan of board games, i really really love them and i am very happy that you could share some of the great ones. I am more interested in roleplaying board games because i have not played them before and i was told about how awesome they are. Even you have mentioned that here. Which do you think is beginner friendly. Do you have a post dedicated to role-playing board games?

    1. All social deduction games (I think that’s what you meant with role playing games) on the list are beginner friendly. I might add Love letters, check that out.

      I don’t have a specific post for those games yet, but stay tuned!

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