From Monopoly and Risk to the ever-popular UNO, board games have been around for a long time. Without them, many a guest at gatherings would pass out from boredom rather than inebriation. But playing the same old games can get stale fast. With more parties coming your way at the year-end, why not be the good guest who shows up bringing something wickedly fun? Here are four fresh board games to play at your next party.
Cards against humanity
With a name like that, you shouldn’t bank on this one to bring the season’s love and joy to the table. What players can expect instead is a despicable, crude, unpleasant but hilarious time, from the ensuing chaos that is Cards Against Humanity.
Originating from a Kickstarter in 2011, the game’s title references the phrase “crimes against humanity”, reflecting its politically and morally incorrect nature. There are two versions. The first set comes with 550 while the second has 600 cards. But multiple themed expansion packs have been released to supplement and refresh the main sets. Expansion packs cannot be played without the main deck.
The game can be played with four to 20 players. Each session can last about 30 to 90 minutes, making it an excellent choice for large gatherings. Given the nature of the game, it’s recommended that all players are above the age of 17.
The rules are simple. Players start by drawing 10 white cards and each round, one player, the Card Czar, will ask a question from a black card. The rest of the players then give their answers to the question by playing their wildest or funniest white card. The Card Czar then picks the funniest answer and awards that player a point. Just set the number of points required to win the game and you and your dastardly buddies are good to go.
Like Cards Against Humanity, this came to life via Kickstarter. The creators initially sought $10,000USD in crowdfunding in 2015, which was exceeded in a mere eight minutes. A week after the project opened, it surpassed 103,000 backers, setting a new record for the most backers in Kickstarter history.
The basic Exploding Kittens can be played with two to five players with a recommended minimum age of seven. There is, however, an NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) version of Exploding Kittens that’s catered to an older audience.
The adult version is easy to play too. All players start by drawing seven cards, with one card being a guaranteed “Defuse” card. All the Exploding Kittens cards are then randomly shuffled into the deck such that there is one less Exploding Kitten than the number of players. Players then take turns using their cards to cause others to skip turns, steal cards or locate the Exploding Kitten. A player dies when they draw an Exploding Kitten and don’t have a Defuse card to save themselves. The game ends when one player is left.
The singaporean dream
Whether you’re a proud patriot or disgruntled citizen, The Singaporean Dream will hit your soft spot for this Little Red Dot. Created by local social media website and news media company SGAG, The Singaporean Dream is the average Singaporeans’ take on card games. Billed as a game to “ruin friendships”, players take on the roles of instantly recognisable Singaporean characters — the familiar Ah Beng, studious PSLE Top Scorer, modern Influencer — as they attempt to accumulate the most Singaporean Dreams.
The game can be played with two to six players, with a recommended minimum age of 18. Each game takes about 20 minutes, making it a great option if longer, drawn-out games aren’t your thing. Take note, however, that certain cards in the game contain actions that players are required to act out. As such, players who are physically impaired are advised against participating.
The rules of the game are simple and easy to understand, with the play style resembling that of Monopoly Deal. The cards will be separated into two piles, with one housing Dream cards and the other, action cards. Players start by selecting their Personalities, or character cards before proceeding to draw five cards. Each turn, every player is allowed to draw two cards and perform up to three actions before their turn is over. Accumulate the most Singaporean Dreams by paying, stealing and acting your way to the top of the ladder. The game ends when the pile of Dreams is used up and the winner will be determined by the number of dreams that they have.
Don’t say bojio hor. You can get your copy of The Singaporean Dream at these locations.
If you enjoy word games and messing with people, then look no further than Codenames. The spy-themed, language skills-based game was created by Vladimír Chvátil in 2015. It went on to win the coveted Spiel des Jahres for best board game.
Codenames can be played by two to eight players. However, if you’re in the mood to get competitive and prove your dominance, it’s recommended that a minimum of four players should be present. The minimum recommended age for the game is 14, making the game suitable for most people. It’s useful to note however, that the gameplay relies heavily on the players’ skills in the English language and deduction. As a result, younger players might not have as enjoyable an experience as older players. Each game of Codenames should take roughly 15 minutes to complete, making it an ideal game to play if players are looking to kill a small amount of time.
To start the game, players must divide themselves evenly into two teams. Alternatively, a team can volunteer to give themselves a handicap if there are an odd number of players. 25 cards with the codenames (in the form of everyday words) of 25 agents are then laid out in a five by five formation. One person on each team gets to be the spymaster while the remaining players are normal agents. The spymaster then gives one-word clues that can point to multiple codenames on the board. Their teammates have to try and guess words of the right colour in order to win and avoid the opposing agents.
Even if you don’t end up winning, it’s a game that allows players to improve on their vocabulary and deduction skills. Who knows, players might even learn new things about everyday objects in the process.