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The Summer Games: Best Board (and other) Games for your More (or Less) Adult Friends

sleepin a bucketBoard games have come a long way in recent years in terms of creativity, fun and let’s face it, even perversion! Cards Against Humanity broke barriers when it rose to popularity a few years ago, and there are many other great ones out there to entertain a houseful of summer guests. What are the hottest games for summer to play with friends and adult family members, preferably with a drink by your side?

What do you Meme?
If you think you’ll play this while the kids are still awake, think again. With reviews like, “I laughed so hard I had a six-pack of abs the next morning,” be prepared for hysterical but potentially raunchy pairings of captions with memes. Up to 20 of your BFFs can play this game together and you can make the game even more fun by printing pictures of the people with whom you’re playing the game ahead of time to pair with game-provided captions.

Sleep in a Bucket
This party game can also accommodate large groups of people and is a variation on “Would you Rather?” You can come up with situations on your own for free or just buy them. A rotating judge gets a card from each player and chooses what he or she would least like to do and the person who gave them that card gets a point. For example, would you rather have all children under the age of six trying to kill you or have to maintain eye contact with your best friend whenever they had sex? Laughs and inappropriate convo guaranteed.

Fact or Fiction
This is a fun game that you can play anytime, anywhere. It’s also best to do this with people who know you, but not TOO well, so playing with friends (girls weekend?) is better than playing with family members. It’s a great game to find out more than you wanted to know about people and you can come up with your own rules such as “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” meaning anything you learn about your game-mates stays there! Everyone comes up with two things about themselves that may not be believable but are true and one thing that is not true. Everyone has to guess which of the statements is fiction. For example, which of these three things about me is not true? 1. I have ridden an elephant bareback, 2. I have my pilot’s license or 3. My now-97-year-old grandma gave me lingerie for Valentine’s Day a few years ago. A little bit of planning ahead of time goes a long way to making the game the most fun as it can be hard to think of things on the spot.

Joking Hazard
Described as “extremely not for kids,” you’ve got to put three cards together at a time to build a comic strip that your other players like. Popular phrases people use while playing this game are “OMG,” “That’s disgusting” and “I think I gave myself a hernia.” Expansion packs are available and most reviews say they’re needed after playing the game a handful of times so prepare to make the small investment if you like the original version.

Smartass is a fun game that includes everyone in each hand, keeping your whole crew engaged. One person picks a card and starts reading off clues about a person or a place or a thing, for example. People can shout out their answer whenever they want and the card-picker keeps reading down the list of clues until someone gets it. Clues start off very vague and difficult and get easier as the reader moves down the list. Fun for trivia buffs, this is one of the “cleaner” games on this list.

I actually have no idea what this game is called and I have no idea where I learned it, but it is literally one of the best games I have ever played with kids and/or adults (or both). You need at least 4 people for this game and up to 12 comfortably. Everyone gets a sheet of paper and a pen. Each player starts off by writing something at the top of the page. It can be anything; a line from a song, nonsense, something funny about the person to your left or right...then everyone passes the paper at the same time to the person on their right. That person draws a picture based on what is written. Before passing it to the right, everyone folds over what the original person wrote so the next person only sees the picture and they have to write a sentence based on what they see in the picture. Then the paper gets folded over again (over the picture) and the next person draws a picture based on the visible sentence (and so on). You do it until it gets back to the original person if the group is large or you can do several rounds with a smaller group. Everyone gets to read all of the Storylines (there’s no winner or loser) and it’s always hilarious! Adults, of course, tend to make the game a little grosser and more risqué. Kids tend to keep it clean with the exception of fart and poop pictures and sentences.

Beyond Balderdash
Although this game is only sold used on e-bay or through Amazon third-party sellers, it is by far my favorite game to play with a group of 4-8 fun adults. It’s a game of bluffing and creativity. There’s one real answer that the rotating dealer writes down, and every other player writes down their bluff or what they think is the real answer. There are five categories from which to choose: people (who was this person/what did they do?), movie titles (what is the plot of the movie?), dates (what happened on this date in history), acronyms (what do these initials stand for) and definitions (what does a certain word mean?). For example, one person chooses the definitions category and the word is “furfur.” They write down the true definition; everyone else writes down their proposed definition, then the person who knows the real answer reads all possible answers aloud and everyone has to guess the real answer. A point is given for guessing correctly AND a point is given if someone else chooses your answer, even if it’s not the true answer. For example, furfur might mean: 1. A type of moustache popular in the Victorian era, 2. A Siberian squirrel with 5 stripes down its back, 3. Flakes of dandruff, 4. A sea snail or 5. An edible South American fruit. Which is it?

flickin chickensFlickin’ Chicken
This popped up as an Amazon suggested purchase right before Father’s Day so…so bought it! In fact, the reviews were so good that I bought two!. It’s a great backyard game or beach game. Flickin’ Chickens is basically like golf except you throw a disc to a random landing point and then everyone has to hurl their chickens towards the disc hoping to hit it in the least number of hurls. The chickens themselves are hilarious. They are made out of high-quality rubber and have substance to them, and there really is little funnier than flying rubber chickens. Okay, so maybe it’s not really like golf, but it’s a great game nonetheless.

This is a game for a smaller group of people, like just two of you, or maybe two couples or a few friends. You all have to work together to save the world from deadly diseases. What’s nice about this game is that it requires cooperation and you either all win or all lose to a deadly epidemic. It’s suspenseful and the game has varying difficulty depending on what cards are chosen and what moves are made. Definitely a traditional board game that you’ll keep coming back to whether you win or lose. And not many laughs with this one; it’s super intense.

Cards Against Humanitypandemicgame
Still haven’t played this after all the hype? Do yourself a favor, add it to your game bin and hide it from the kids. It’s described as “the game for horrible people.” It’s quite distasteful so the square mother-in-law might not be the right player for this game but it’s funny and sort of sick all at the same time. One person reads a question and the rest have to answer it with their choice of prewritten cards in their hands. The reader chooses the best answer (subjectively) and that person gets a point. It’s a really creative game and many others are based on this game.

cards against humanityHave you played any of these games? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Do you have any favorites not listed here? Comment below!

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