Whether you’re getting your closest friends together or having a competitive date night with your partner, these games are sure to challenge your mind, test your luck and entertain everyone during the child-free late evening hours.
Party for two
ApartmentTherapy.com writer Taryn Williford recommends Z-Man Games’ “Carcassonne” as a stellar choice for an intimate game night with your partner. In this tile-laying game, you and your partner strategically place your own roads, fields and cities on the game board while attempting to prevent one another from achieving growth by stealing away followers. The game is ultimately won by the player with the best strategy and most followers, but nobody loses if you add this exciting board game to your collection.
If you and your partner would rather pool your strengths to conquer a game instead of competing against one another, Williford suggests Z-Man Games’ “Pandemic.” Together, you and your partner will work to curtail the outbreak of potentially world-ending diseases. With multiple available expansions and stand-alone spin-offs — including the popular “Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu” — no two games will ever play alike, making it ideal for multiple evenings in.
Group game night
If you prefer to entertain those near and dear to you on game night — or to humiliate them with a good-natured, yet soul-crushing, defeat — you can get together with a larger group and indulge in a rousing game of Imholding Games’ “Draw WHAT?!” Teams of two or more will race to be the first to the end of the game board by drawing or acting out words and phrases on corresponding cards. Be warned, however, that the words and phrases in “Draw WHAT?!” are not for those who blush easily.
If you fancy yourself a cat person, or if you are inordinately interested in “explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats,” you’ll no doubt relish a game of “Exploding Kittens.” At one time the No. 1 most-backed game ever on Kickstarter, this card game deftly mixes strategic gameplay and quirky concepts for what is sure to become a staple of many get-togethers to come.
For your friends who cannot part with their phones even for a millisecond, Uncommongoods’ “Game of Phones” is genius. According to ApartmentTherapy.com writers Guerrin Gardner and Mat Sanders: “The premise is simple: everyone grabs their smartphones. One player picks a card and gets to judge that round. The rest of the players have 60 seconds to respond to the card’s prompt with the funniest/weirdest thing they can come up with on their phones.”
Another app-based game recommended by Garnder and Sanders that is sure to please a diverse crowd is “Heads Up!” You may have seen this game (available on Google Play and the App Store) on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Like the classic “Who Am I?” drinking game, “Heads Up!” requires a player to hold a smartphone against their forehead or above their head while other players give them clues about the word, name or phrase displayed on the screen.
When the kids are off to bed, you can unleash your inner child with your closest friends and family by playing these and other games. Whether you prefer the challenge of competitive strategy or fun word-association, options abound. Just make sure you keep the noise down somewhat while the little ones are sleeping.
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