The food has been eaten, the gossip has been told… it’s now that time of the party where the crowd is starting to wind down, and people are looking around for something to do.
How do you spice things up again?
Whip out a board game! Board games are absolutely notorious for breathing life back into deflated parties. If you’ve never seen a board game made specifically for parties in action, you’ll be surprised how effective they can be.
But of course, you’ll need to know which ones to choose. Here’s our picks from our favourite party board games!
The 5 Best Board Games For Parties
Settlers of Catan is a critically acclaimed board game that has garnered widespread praise from all corners of the globe. We’re really not exaggerating when we say this is one of the games that should be on everyone’s party list.
Basically, the game revolves around three core mechanics: Producing, Trading & Building. You get cards which represent resources, and have to barter either with other players or the bank for more resources.
The object is to use those resources to build roads and settlements in order to win the game.
It can get pretty rowdy, but hey that’s the whole point, right?
It’s a game about manipulating supply and demand in order to dominate the marketplace and become the richest person in the Empire.
Kind of like real life, actually.
But the game itself is surprisingly fun and has robust group mechanics which make it work as a people-gatherer. Players take the role of manufacturers of various kinds of goods, like corn or grain.
As the game develops, they’re supposed to gather different kinds of resources, which they can buy from other players. This makes things tricky, of course, as players set their own prices.
Captains of Industry can be played by 3-5 players, and typically takes 1.5 – 2 hours to play. If you like games with a cutthroat atmosphere that have you wringing at each other’s necks, this is the game for you.
At first glance, Airlines Europe seems like the kind of casual, laid-back game which you could play with your kid cousins; but beneath the surface, it hides the opportunity for deep strategic tactics.
Airlines Europe involves players fighting for control of the skies by plying air routes and wresting ownership of airline companies from each other.
It starts out fairly innocuous, but certain strategic elements thrown in mid-game allow players to pull off devious traps, like cutting off an opponent’s dominant route.
More often than not, you’ll see your friends cry for blood or cry for mercy.
The best part about Airlines Europe is that it’s welcoming to both beginners and experienced players; so you’ll have plenty of chances to witness the hopes of your friends’ being crushed.
This is an easy pick-me-up game which strikes a good balance between depth of play and let’s-play-a-game-you’ve-never-seen-before. It’s not a very meaty game, so there’s not much in the way of cunning strategic tactics.
But it makes up for that by being extremely fun.
Players have to place tiles which match their adjacent surroundings; so for instance, a tile with a road can only be placed next to another tile with a road.
This immediately makes each move that every player takes relevant to future tile placements, leading to interesting outcomes and colourful language.
There are only 18 tiles in all, which means the game finishes fast – but it’s exactly the kind of fast-paced fun that is perfect for a party setting.
Ticket to Ride is a game about train logistics. In the game, players try to buy up railroad lines in order to connect two cities. Connecting cities gives you points, and the person with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride is a decently enchanting game which doesn’t require too much upfront learning. You can set it down and get newcomers rolling the dice in 5 minutes.
It also holds the latent potential of pissing off your friends when you cut off a route they’ve been building up towards. Which is part of what makes parties fun, right?
The game supports 2-5 players, and can be finished in as quickly as 30 minutes. It’s the kind of game you’d break out while waiting for a barbeque to roast, or while waiting for other friends to arrive. You could see it as a tangible alternative to the Xbox in the corner.