Fun Party Games for Groups of Adults
make 'em yourself, or buy them in the store?
Games are booming. It was true last year and before, probably still be true the next. Naturally, party games are booming too and I couldn’t help but notice games I used to make myself getting a professional makeover.
Question is, which is the better party game for adults? DIY or store-bought?
You can download a lot of Print and Play PDF’s online. Those are PDF files with printed cards that you have to print, cut up into cards and if you have some time on your hands: sleeve (putting the piece of paper in a plastic cover).
Let’s look at some of our favourites. We put our own creations all the way at the end, completely free to try.
SPECS?Time: 10 – 30 minutes (depending on # players) Age: 10 and up
HOW?Using some good ol’ playing cards and bottlecaps. Each card corresponds to a certain character you’re assigned (e.g. we used clubs for the werewolves, hearts for villagers, etc) you might require a little shared cheat sheet to keep track of all the roles, but once you memorize them you’re good to go!
VERDICT?pro: free! endless variations possible cons: no expansions no artwork so: if you want the basic game, you might as well use playing cards
2. Black Stories
If you haven’t played this one yet, it’s pretty simple: a narrator describes a vague situation, more often than not a gruesome one. The other players take turns guessing the details. The one who solves it, draws and narrates the next card. Repeat ad nauseum.
# players: 2 – 15
Time: 20 minutes (depending on # players)
Age: 12 and up
Again, a camp classic: tell a riddle, the others can only ask yes-or-no questions, add some gore and/or insane details to spruce it up
pro: you don’t need anything on you, it might inspire you to be a little more creative
cons: you need a REALLY good memory if you want to remember all those crazy scenarios
so: Buy a copy only if you want to play an entire night or want to play it competitively (store bought means the difficulty of cards is much more balanced) otherwise, stick to your own child-like imagination, it’s a precious gift
# players: 6 – 8
Time: 30 minutes
Age: 16 and up
Use pen & paper (lots of it). Each player writes down (on different pieces of paper) 5 fill-in-the-gap sentences, and 10 words that might fit in those gaps. Create standard fill-in-the-gap sentences but use offensive words to contrast them.
The sheer amount of cards makes it next to impossible to create your own version that will be as good as the original. Luckily, a free print & play is available.
4. Time's Up!
Each player gets 5 scraps of paper to write down whatever comes to mind (don’t show these to the other players). The scraps are folded and placed in a reciptical. Players put themselves in teams and draw every piece of paper each round until there aren’t any left. Then points are counted (1 for each paper) and all pieces are placed in the reciptical for the next round. Repeat for every round.
# players: 4 – 12
Time: 60 minutes (depending on # players)
Age: 12 and up
Scraps of paper, pen and some kind of bag/box (best: velvet pouch with golden tassles, but an empty chips bag works just as well). Play 4 rounds in this order:
- Explain the word normally (no rhyming or translations)
- describe using only 1 word
- Use only sounds (this is the best round)
pro: you get to choose what’s on the cards! That means inside jokes, personal references, risqué stuff, random absurdity > whatever you (and your friends) think is funniest.
cons: that awkward moment when you’ve finished writing yours while the others are still pondering ‘what the perfect card would be’ while you’re shouting at them ‘Write anything! Let’s start the game already’.
so much better if you make it yourself. I recommend the store-bought version only if you’re playing with kids or total strangers you might have nothing in common with.
5. DEER LORD!
Duel other players while simultaneously ‘doing things’ obvious enough that other players see it, but don’t be too obvious or they might catch you in the act by yelling: DEER LORD!
# players: 4 – 8
Time: 30 minutes (depending on # players)
Age: 12 and up
Download the P&P, cut the cards and voila! The download comes with 6 different expansions, tailored to player personality types.
pro: best game of the bunch. Available in a lot of different languages
cons: Takes time to cut up all of those cards
Game of our own making. Ideal to break the ice at a party or as a pre-game before a board game night. Make sure you have the right expansions though.
5. Sound of Sirens
Let sirens sing in 4 music genres to attract ships and send ’em crashing on the cliffs!
Sabotage the others, loot treasure and conjure sea monsters. Wreck a ship and win the game!
# players: 2 – 4
Time: 10 minutes / player
Age: 10 and up
Download the P&P, cut the cards and maybe sleeve ’em. Possibility to go all out 4 this one since you can download files to create your own components with a lasercutter.
pro: Great for all ages, beautiful artwork. Free PDF to download the Sound of Sirens (check the bottom of the page)
cons: Prepare to refill the colour cartridge on your printer after printing the PDF.
Homemade game. A lot of effort went into this one…