Board games are amazing weapons to have on-hand in the face of social awkwardness, boredom or drunken nights. Heavy strategy and highly complicated formats can be a lot of fun and make for some very satisfying afternoons. But, in a lot of cases, grown-ups still crave the simplicity of a Mouse Trap or a Clue Jr., perhaps updated a little bit to make them feel like they're not 8 years old.
A little bit of a dirty theme can help with that, while sometimes it's just about adding some good old-fashioned teasing and calling out your friends. These ten board games, rated from good to awesome, are low-pressure and fun, rolling playfulness and creativity into a party or get-together.
10 Midnight Outburst
Family Feud fans will be into this game. This is a pop culture brainstorming trivia game, where teams try to guess the top ten answers on a card, for a question read aloud by a rotating player on the opposite team. Each card has a "Headline Hint" to help the guessing team choose which card they want to use.
Then, the card is slipped into a reader to reveal the topic and top ten answers. The encrypted cards and slide-in reader are a fun touch, reminiscent of fun 90s kids' games. This is a friendly game where players get to yell and panic over listing answers, and since it isn't strict on who speaks when, can be a fun, loud party game to release some tension.
9 Drunk, Stoned or Stupid
This game is definitely meant to be a drinking game or a late-night activity for when your group is starting to fade a little bit. A rotating judge each round draws a card from the deck, asking which player is most likely to (insert awful, gross, and/or embarrassing thing here). The judge chooses from their friends, then gives that friend the card.
The first person to hold seven cards loses. The rest of the group wins - this is meant to be a game where friends mess with each other. Maybe not the best choice for a more uptight group or people who don't know each other very well. Definitely an adults-only game and very fun in the wee hours of the morning.
8 Cranium Dark
This twist on Cranium is similar to the original gameplay, but in this case, half of the answer is already revealed to the group. On their turn, a player draws an Action card and shows it to the group. Then, they draw a second Cranium card and keep it a secret.
They must then combine the two cards to present two ideas at once to the group. This game doesn't have seriously adult content or anything taboo that would make it exclusively for grown-ups, but rather it makes the game of Cranium a little more varied each time you play, as card combos are drawn at random.
7 Adult Loaded Questions
In this game, players take turns reading a question aloud. Each player writes down their answer, and the reader gathers them and chooses their favorite, also attempting to match each answer to a person. The player who is chosen as the favorite receives a VIP card. First player to 8 VIP cards wins the game.
This is another classic party game with an adult twist - the questions contain a bit more dirty and racy material. The group you play with will make or break the game, as the funnier and more creative the answers are, the better. If you like playing Cards Against Humanity but are sick of preloaded answers and want to make up your own, this game's for you.
6 Midnight Taboo
This version of Taboo follows the classic rules, but with adult-related content on the cards. In this game, players give clues for their team to guess words, until a one minute timer runs out. The cards include forbidden words, that can't be used in clues or descriptions.
If they are, the team gets the buzzer and must move on. The game is a fast-paced, semi-stressful format that is fun for breaking the ice and getting energy up. This game isn't aggressively dirty or inappropriate, there are just some cards mixed in that have adult content on them - so it's not too wild for your accounting friend.
5 Codenames Deep Undercover 2.0
In this game for two or more players, each team has a Spymaster who knows the codenames of all of their agents. Their teams try to guess the codenames from choices laid out on cards, using only one-word clues from the Spymasters. Teams avoid choosing the opposition's agents and most importantly the Assassin, which leads to instant death and loss of the game.
Codenames is less of a silly party game and more of a low-key tone, but it's still very simple to learn the mechanics of the game and is a fun way to get to know people.
4 What do you Meme?
In this game, players choose caption cards from their hands to create memes with the photo card in each round. Players rotate the role of judge, who chooses which meme is the funniest. This is a great game for friends who know each other's sense of humour - each caption should be catered to what will make the current judge laugh the most.
Expansion packs are available for when you need to freshen up the content, including themed packs like "Basic", "Stoner" and "Mean Girls". This is a great casual, lighthearted game to kill time with or pull out at a party. Like all great social games, this is much less about winning and more about enjoying the journey of seeing what captions people choose.
3 Disturbed Friends
This game is social, simple and a little gross. One player at a time pulls a card with a question on it, with multiple choice answers. The player decides which option they feel is the best answer. Then, everyone votes on which answer they think was chosen, and players who guess right get a #WINNING card.
First person to ten cards wins. The art is very simple, but the fun is in how inappropriate the content is. The Cards Against Humanity-style shock value of the questions is fun, while the game remains simple enough for any group to pick up and play. This is a great drinking game.
2 Exploding Kittens
This is a Russian Roulette card game where 2-5 players draw cards with kitty cartoons on them. When a player draws an exploding kitten, they are out of the game - unless they have a defuse card in their hand. Other action cards include Attack, Skip, See The Future & Favor, all adorned with kittens.
Illustrations on the cards are by The Oatmeal, an insanely popular webcomic artist - this game has some of the most fun artwork. This can be combined with any other deck for a group of up to 9 players. This game set a record in 2015 as the most-backed project of all time on Kickstarter.
1 Secret Hitler
This is a social deduction game, like Mafia or Werewolf. For 10 players, this game is the good guy liberals vs. the bad guy fascists (one of whom is secretly Hitler). The aim of the fascists is to pass six of their fascist policies, or elect Hitler as chancellor. Liberals win by passing five liberal policies or killing the secret Hitler.
The art on the game is beautiful and this is a great experience for adults who used to love playing Werewolf in the dark - as long as the subject material doesn't offend. One of the creators was a co-creator of Cards Against Humanity, so you can count on this being a great party game.
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