6+ Games for Fun & Interactive Thanksgiving Gatherings & National Games Week
It’s no accident that National Games Week, an annual event invented by Mark Simmons (former publisher of Games Quarterly magazine) to promote forms of socially interactive games, falls on Thanksgiving week. What better time to gather with friends and family, have fun, and share some laughs over a game than after you’ve finished off the pumpkin pie? So, in keeping with the theme of socially interactive games, I’ve chosen 6 that I think perfectly suit the occasions – both Thanksgiving and National Games Week. All are sure to make your Thanksgiving gatherings fun and interactive.
We Didn’t Playtest This At All
We Didn’t Playtest This At All is a crazy game that takes only minutes to play, so you can play again and again. The rules say it all: The objective of the game is to win! If you lose, you have not won, and you are in fact out of the game. If everyone except you has lost, you win!
Everyone starts the game with two cards. On your turn you draw one and play one. Just follow the directions on the card, they’re quite simple. Some cards can be played anytime. For example, Puppy Ambush: Puppies attack (cancel + discard) any card that was just played! Some cards can also be played on your turn for a different effect. For example, Puppy Ambush: on your turn, attack the draw deck and steal 3 cards. Puppies and Kittens can never ambush one another. There is a treaty.
Some cards have you call for a vote like Cake or Death or a Rock-Paper-Scissors battle: On 3 everyone throws rock, paper, or scissors! In which case you call for the vote or RPS battle, then reveal the results. We Didn’t Playtest This At All is a silly, fun game you can play in just a few minutes with the whole family. It is also family friendly. For added fun, try the stand-alone expansions We Didn’t Playtest This Either, We Didn’t Playtest This Pasted On Theme and the Legacy version!
Wits & Wagers
You don’t have to be a trivia buff to succeed in the trivia game Wits & Wagers, ’cause you can bet on anyone’s answer. One player reads a question from her card and everyone writes down a numerical guess to the question. When everyone’s ready, players reveal their answers and place them face-up on the betting mat, then everyone bets on which guess is closest to the correct answer.
Think you know the correct answer? Bet on your own guess. Think you know who the expert is? Bet on their answer instead! A fun game for the whole gang.
Telestrations & Telestrations After Dark
Do you remember playing the Telephone Game when you were a kid? You’d whisper something in your neighbor’s ear, they’d whisper it to the next person who’d in turn repeat it to the next and so on until the last person said it aloud – usually completely wrong – and everyone burst out laughing? Well, Telestrations is the Telephone Game sketched out.
Everyone chooses a word or phrase from their card, writes it on the first page of their dry erasable sketch book, turns to the next page and sketches it out. You don’t have to be an artist, stick figures will do just fine. When you’re done, pass your sketch book to the next person, who turns to the next page and writes down what he thinks you drew. He then passes your sketch book to the next person, who reads what the previous player wrote and sketches that, the next player guesses, the next player sketches, and so on until your sketch book makes it back to you. Then it’s time for the reveal – when all the laughter and hilarity ensues.
The instructions provide rules for scoring, but we never bother. A new adult version of Telestrations debuted this year: Telestrations After Dark.
Time’s Up! & Time’s Up! Title Recall
Over 1000 famous people, both fictional and real, are crammed into Time’s Up!’s box. It’s up to you figure out which 40 or so made it into your game. In the 1st Round, you can say anything! (Hint: it’s a good idea to use a gesture, too, if you can think of one.) Your teammates can guess repeatedly, but you can’t pass. Round 2, you can only give a one-word clue, but you can gesture all you want and make sounds; your teammates only get one guess and you can pass if you want. Round 3: you can’t say any words at all. Just act it out! Your teammates get one guess and you can pass on cards you don’t want to waste time on.
In the first round, don’t worry if you don’t know who someone is, try to find other ways to get your team to guess. After all 40 cards have been guessed (all players work from the same deck), you’ll review them and make sure everyone knows who each person is before playing Round 2. So, yes, there’s a memory component to the game, too! Time is ticking… in this interactive, modern Charades-style game that plays best with teams. Prefer guessing things to people? Check out Time’s Up! Title Recall.
Hold your breath as the illustrations are revealed! They all have something in common: an enigmatic title given by the current storyteller. Can you figure out which picture is the storyteller’s? Use your intuition and knowledge of the storyteller to identify the correct picture, while avoiding the other players’ traps (their pictures).
If the storyteller’s title/picture combination is too obvious and easy, and everyone guesses which is the storyteller’s card, you only score 2 points and the storyteller scores nothing. If the storyteller’s title is too enigmatic and no one guesses correctly, you’ll all score 2 points and the storyteller gets zero. However, if you’re among the few that guess correctly, you few and the storyteller each earn 3 points. You’ll also earn an additional point for each vote your picture got. Ha! They fell into your trap!
That’s Dixit: a surprising, interactive and exhilarating game to enjoy with your family and friends. The artwork is simply amazing! The numerous expansions for Dixit – each adds 84 new images – keep this award-winning game fresh and interesting. The latest: Dixit: Memories just released this month!
Cards Against Humanity & Crabs Adjust Humidity
The party game for horrible people. It says so right on the box! It plays like Apples to Apples. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and the other players answer or fill in the blank with one of their funniest White Cards. However, whereas Apples to Apples is generally family friendly and G-rated, Cards Against Humanity is definitely not! It is designed for Adults Only with adult R to X-rated humor. Consider yourself warned.
Cards Against Humanity is so wildly popular and players have clamored so much for more, that the designers made 6 expansions and a third-party publisher produced several more that can all be mixed in with the base game – the latter, under the strange name Crabs Adjust Humidity.
You can buy Cards Against Humanity and Crabs Adjust Humidity, along with all of the other games described in this article, at Here Be Books & Games right now. So, grab them now before you forget and find yourself staring at the walls instead of playing fun and interactive games at your Thanksgiving gatherings during National Game Week.