Help with party games?

Hi -

I’m hosting a Mardi Gras party quite soon, for around 15-20 people (all adults, late 20s to mid 30s). There will be dinner and plenty to drink, and afterwards I want to have several games lined up if needed. It will be quite crowded (everyone in the living room).

Does anyone have any good game ideas for this sort of setting? I’ve already thought of Pictionary and a game where you have to guess which famous person you are. Oh, and the guests don’t all know each other - there are two separate groups of about equal size which I want to mingle together. Any suggestions for “punishments” for the losers are also welcome.



I’m thinkin’ “party games”… I’m thinkin’ “darts”… Hey, Sue Duhnym, can you help out here?

[sub]Sue, I know I am forever bringing up your darts game, but I found it quite intriguing. I’ll stop soon, lest I be accused of stalking.[/sub]

Well, there’s a game called Guesstures that is pretty fun for groups. It’s basically a trumped-up version of Charades. Charades is fun too, and a good ice breaker. Plus you don’t need anything to do it. Either one is good because it gets people moving and laughing.

The guessing which famous person you are game (where you have the name taped on your back) is fun but only if you don’t make it too hard. I played once where my person was Golda Meir and nobody knew who she was, what she did or even if she was alive or dead. As a result, nobody wanted to talk to me. Better to use easy stuff like t.v. characters, etc.

As for the “punishments” thing…hmmm…I’ve never done that before. You could make them tell an embarassing story or say who they would ask out or something like that?

Is this the game referred to in the SB thread? What was this? Stop teasing us…

Strip Twister is always a blast, but it might not be appropriate for your party. :wink:

Another more universal game we used to play is “I Never!”, but again, that could (and generally does) also lead to some racy situations.

There’s always “Pin The Tail on the Donkey” or “Bobbing for Apples” if you want to stay away from that.

Long time RGMWer and ardent AOLer

Taboo is a lot of fun, and is a good choice when you’re too crowded for something like Charades. (The premise is Charades-like - you get a word or phrase you’re supposed to get your team to guess, and five words that you can’t say).

Mardi Gras Party? That can cover sooooo much ground…

I might be able to give ya some ideas, but it would help to know what type of party it will be. High-brow soiree, basic run-o-the-mill neighborhood hang out, close friends topless-girls-are-okay-to-throw-beads at party, you know. Lots of great games out there, but need to know the level and/or limits of debauchery you want to hold :slight_smile:

p.s. If it’s a “bead throwing” one… Can I come?? :slight_smile:

Thanks for the ideas so far!

The party is hopefully going to be pretty wild - masks, booze everywhere, extremely flamboyant clothes (my dress is so short and so low I don’t know which end to tug on). However, since the guests don’t all know each other, it might take a while to warm them up. I’m hopíng that it will degenerate into a drunken bead-throwing frenzy - but sorry Tequila, no topless girls (unless my dress slips). :wink:


Jenga—and it’s always better when the players are tipsy as well.

We always play the “safety pin” game too. Each person is given a safety pin when they come in and if someone catches another crossing their legs they get their pins. The person to wind up with all the pins wins a little prize. It’s really not about the pins but it gets everybody interested in what others are doing.

This would be really fun with beads instead of pins. You could punish the “losers” by having each person write down a small punishment and place it in a bag. When you lose your beads, you draw a punishment.

I used to wrack my brain for ideas for party games, until I came up with this one. It was always a big hit at my Halloween party. It’s kind of hard to describe, but I’ll try.

As people come to the party, divide 'em up into small teams of approximately equal numbers. 4-6 to a team is good. Do this however is convenient - ie, have them draw cards and each suit is a team, have 'em pick number, whatever. Don’t mention to people what the teams are for, that’s part of the fun.

Once the party is going a little bit, and people have had some drinks, you start the games. You randomly pick one group, then take them aside. Their mission is to come up with a game that all the other groups have to play. At the end of the game, the original group gets to pick a winner, and the hosts provided small prizes. The important part of this is that anything goes, and if you’re a participant, you HAVE to play.

Believe me, this can result in some GREAT games. One group decided to do a game where each of the other groups had to pick one person as a blindfolded eater, and then the other groups had to feed them gross food. The group that came up with the grossest food got a prize, as did the person who had to eat it.

We also had singing contests, dancing contests, etc. etc. The more people drink, the better the contest get. It was always great fun!

How about Outburst? Teammates try to guess 10 things in a category… lots of hollering out answers. Much laughter is inevitable.

Twister is a great suggestion! I’ve never played strip Twister, but co-ed naked Twister is fun… :smiley:

My favorite mingling party game that doesn’t require buying a boxed game is um … I don’t have a name for it. But anyway, it’s played like this.

Prior to the game, prepare questions that people will answer about themselves. They should be general questions that all people can answer, such as “what is your favorite cartoon character?” For a party that has a theme, like Mardi Gras, you could think of questions like “if you could give your beads to one movie star, which star would it be?” or “what is your favorite movie/book/play that takes place in New Orleans?”

Make copies of your quiz (I would say about 15 - 20 questions is a good number) and give a copy to each guest as they arrive. Instruct them to write in their answers to each question without discussing the questions with other guests. After everyone has arrived and written down the answers, explain the rules of the game.

Each person must find another person who answered the same for any given question. This will get people talking to each other, as you will have people walking around saying “Oh come on, someone must have said Jessica Rabbit for favorite cartoon!” The winner is the person who is the first to find a match for every question, or, the person who has the most matches after a certain length of time. There might be a special prize for the two people who matched the most of each other’s answers. I played this at one party where two people who had never met answered 18 out of 20 questions the same!

Depending on the group, you can make the questions as tame or as racy as you want.

Cranium is great-- but buy the Booster Box because the cards with the game are WAY too easy.

if you guys are looking for some active stuff. Everybody think of Famous Couples or pairs… (Burns/Allen, Abbot/Costello. Anything… ) Write these on stickers and mix them up. Put it on peoples foreheads so nobody knows who they are. You then just mix up like a “normal” party and everybody needs to give clues to everybody else so they can figure out who they are. Plus they have to figure out who their partner is. (You can also figure out the pairs to start out with so nobody knows any of the couples. Put the sticker on their head when they walk through the door and they have all party to figure it out. They never know exactly if what you’re saying is a clue or not.) It’s pretty fun, especially when there’s breaks in the other stuff you’re doing.

My friends and I also play this game called Mafia… which is a little tough to explain but I’ll try because its really fun.

You need some playing cards. Pull out the same number of cards as there are players. Be sure you have 3 Aces 1 Queen and then the rest are number cards.

Shuffle the Cards and hand them out randomly. (NOBODY SHOWS ANYBODY ELSE THEIR CARD)

Here’s the deal. The Aces are Mafia. The Queen is the Informant. Everybody else are Peasants. (The informant is basically a peasant with a little power.)

The goal of the mafia is to kill the peasants. The Peasants want to kill the mafia.

Game Play–

Round one- Game starts with one volunteer Moderator for the first round only. He says “Everybody asleep” Everybody closees their eyes. He says “Mafia Wake” All the mafia look around the room and find out who the other ones are. Mod says “Mafia sleep” and mafia close their eyes. Moderator says Everybody awake.

At this point game play begins. Somebody has to accuse somebody else of being mafia. Round one is basically a guess. Keep in mind mafia are trying to kill peasants and protect themselves though. So you can gather clues as to who mafia is. Mafia want to present themselves as peasants during game play. eventually somebody gets voted on. A majority vote and their dead. They turn over their card and show whether they’re mafia or not.

Round Two- Whoever just died is now the Moderator for the rest of the game. Mod says “Everybody asleep” all close their eyes. Mod says “Mafia awake” Mafia now kills somebody while everybody sleeps. They all agree on one person by pointing at them. Mod says “Mafia asleep” mafia close their eyes. Mod says “Informant awake” Informant points at one person and the moderator nods his head yes if they are mafia or shakes his head no if they are not. So the informant can find out who is mafia. Mod says Informant asleep and everybody goes to sleep.

Game play begins again the Everybody wakes up when the moderator says so and the moderator lets everybody know who died during the night. Now there are more people dead and you can start to figure out who is mafia. (Based on how they voted, acted, who accused who in the last round. (Did the person who just die accuse somebody who ended up surviving? Maybe he was getting too close. Or maybe mafia is just clever.)

Game continues as Round Two until all the mafia are dead or all peasants are dead.

In reading this explenation it sound spretty lame. But its really fun. We play it all the time! Trust me.

I know this is not exactly what you had in mind, but since you want it to ultimately become a large drunken stupor, why not start off with some drinking games?

There are tons of fun multiplayer drinking games that involve dice and/or cards with simple rules. They make people interact and are a blast when played with lots of folks. There’s nothing like a good game of Three Man or Hurricane to get a group of strangers laughing and playing and drinking together :slight_smile:

Just a thought…

Ooo! I think I may have just the game for you, provided you have enough space. It’s an old parlour game from the 19th century called “wink”. This works best if you have roughly the same number of men and women. The game starts off with all the women sitting in a circle of chairs with the men standing directly behind, one man to a chair. However, one of the chairs is empy. The man behind that chair winks at one of the women in a chair, and she zips across the floor to the empty chair, where, before she sits, the gentleman kisses her on the cheek. The fellow now with an empty seat in front of him winks at another lass, and the process repeats. However, if the gentleman whose lady has just been winked at doesn’t want to loose her, he quickly places his hands on her shoulders, gently restraining her. To show that she really had no intention of leaving, she kisses him on the cheek. The winker needs to try another person. Of course, to make this fair, the men need to start with their hands at their sides, not hovering over the ladie’s shoulders. When you get tired of this, switch so the men are sitting and the women are winking.

It’s a lot of fun, and sounds like it would fit in quite well with your party. It’s an excellent icebreaker. And just about everyone gets a smooch. It’s particularly fun if there’re actual couples involved, watching them watch each other, and they don’t generally stick to just the cheek!

Give it a whirl.

This was actually a commercially-produced game at one time, but I think it went out of print a while ago…

Before the party, make up a bunch of slips of paper with semi-common words on them – things like ‘love’, ‘help’, ‘chain’, ‘break’, et cetera. Divide up into teams. The point of the game is to sing no less than eight words of a song that has that particular word in it. When one team sings their song, then it’s the other team’s turn. The first team that can’t come up with a song with that word in it loses a point. Go to ten points (or whatever).

Oh Lord… ENCORE! Oh how I hated this game. it was my mom’s favorite and playing it became similar to torture. Others liked it though so it could be fun. I just remembered another game…

It may be hard to find but its called “Malarky” Really fun! And again, Cranium! I realized I didn’t give it really enough props in my first post. It is really a great game.