Do you love a game night with friends and family? Or are you in charge of party games for a baby shower, hen do or even an office gathering? We’ve listed out the best icebreakers and board games for kids and adults that will get the party started!
Christmas is coming and this year, there are likely to be a lot more celebrations. The thought of entertaining, whether at a party venue near you or at your home, can be a bit daunting. After all, there’s party decor to think of, catering to consider and lots more. To top it all, if you need to think of some party games to break the ice, there might be some frantic last-minute scrambling and Googling.
Kids’ birthday parties often have entertainers who specialise in child parties and there are always fun and easy games that you can organise. But when adults of mixed-age and interests are involved, party entertainment can get difficult. We’ve made life easier for you and compiled this handy list of party games, including easy-to-buy board games (some are Hong Kong special board games) and those that require no props except your imagination and enthusiasm. Since travel is still restricted, we also have a selection of games that can be played remotely, so have your family join in virtually to be part of the fun. Go on and party hard!
5 All-Time Favourite Party Games (Including Board Games And Games Needing No Prep)
These games are evergreen party winners, for kids of all ages and adults too. You could adjust the level and make it easier or more difficult depending on who is playing the game.
You don’t need to prepare anything for this game. While you get ready-to-play board boxes and party tins which have themed cards you can draw and then enact, the guests at the party will probably be happy to come up with their own suggestions.
Ages: 3 years and up
Requirements: Just some space to act
Can guests join in remotely: Yes – as long as there is a video link that allows them to see the person acting
Draw out the word you’re assigned! If you have the Pictionary board game at home, you could use that for a fairer and more balanced game. However, the game master could also sit this one out and assign players words to draw out, based on their age and ability. You could also have everyone write a few suggestions on chits and let it be the luck of the draw (pun intended!).
Ages: 5 years and up
Requirements: Just some paper, whiteboard, blackboard or a digital device to draw on
Can guests join in remotely: Yes! In fact, there is also an online multiplayer drawing game, similar to Pictionary – Drawise. This is an option if you have friends or family quarantining and you are trying to keep them entertained remotely.
This is always popular with kids and adults. There are plenty of online quizzes available or if you have a very enthusiastic game-master (*sheepishly raises her hand*), you could even tailor-make one for the occasion. Adjust the scoring and difficulty to suit the players.
Ages: 5 years and up
Can guests join in remotely: Yes! Through COVID, Zoom and remote pub quizzes have kept friends and family together.
This “game of unspeakable fun” is one of the most popular games of all time. A player has to get his or her teammates to guess a word or phrase without using the word or certain taboo words associated with it. This popular board game is usually played with a standard set of cards, though there are always local versions (Taboo game sets bought in Singapore have places like Raffles Quay and those bought in the US have references to East Coast Time, Pacific Time, etc.). If you are really enthusiastic, as this Sassy Mama has established she is, you could also choose to customise and make your own cards (check the image above of the baby shower themed Taboo cards she designed!). A word of caution – the arguments between teams can get quite hot and heated, but it’s all part of the fun.
Ages: 10 years and up
Requirements: Taboo board game from toy stores or stationery stores
Can guests join in remotely: Yes, you could use Playtaboo online, but it isn’t quite as much fun unless you are a die-hard Taboo enthusiast.
Who/What Am I?
A game where an individual player doesn’t know who/what he or she is. This can be done by writing names of famous people or animals on sticky notes and slapping one on a person’s forehead. Each person has to guess their identity asking questions that the others answer truthfully. It’s especially hilarious when the tiniest person in the room becomes an Arnold Schwarzenegger or beefiest bloke becomes a unicorn!
5 Card And Board Games For A Game Night (And Where To Buy Them In Hong Kong)
Other than the games mentioned above, there are a few board and card games that are a whole of fun. We especially love it when these games are Hong Kong-themed. Depending on the amount of time that you have, you can choose to play a short and snappy game or have one that takes up the bulk of the evening.
There’s a reason why Monopoly has been a best-seller since 1935! The classic version of this board game is supposed to be for 8 years and up but with the newer versions (Frozen, Spiderman, etc.), you have kids as young as 3 years joining in. Our favourite is the Hong Kong edition (but naturally!).
Ages: 3 years and up
Requirements: Monopoly board game (available at toy stores across Hong Kong and online)
Sassy Mama tip: If your kids are really into Monopoly, take them to visit the world’s first Monopoly-themed attraction at The Peak.
This a fun game that will have all participants in splits (literally!) as they bend and distort themselves and try to keep their hands and feet on the mat.
5 Second Rule
A fun game where each player has only five seconds to think of three things associated with the card that’s been drawn. Naturally, hilarity ensues because you never know what someone will spit out under pressure! The game is supposed to be 10+ years but our Sassy Juniors have been playing this since they were 7 years old!
This is a nice, peaceful game that requires imagination and the ability to draw people into yours. It won’t lead to much screaming and fireworks but all players will be completely hooked through the duration as they take turns to be storytellers. The trick of the game is to be able to describe a card “well enough” to confuse them. There is also a kid’s version, Dixit Odyssey, available. While some toy stores stock the Chinese version, since these are only cards, once you have followed the instructions (view online), you will be able to play with an edition in any language.
Hong Kong 5-in-1 Card Games
Love playing simple card games like Memory or Go Fish? This Hong Kong version has five easy to play fun games in one pack.
Ages: 5 years and up
Requirements: This card game is created by and sold at The Lion Rock Press
Other favourite card and board games include:
Scrabble – a favourite amongst wordsmiths
Jenga – widely available and a favourite in many play areas of kid-friendly restaurants as well
Uno – A popular card game for kids of all ages (and their parents!)
Sassy Mama tip: Don’t want to buy too many board games? We understand! How about heading to a board game playroom cum cafe? It still makes for a great game day with friends and family.
5 Party Icebreakers And Drinking Games For Adults
When grown-ups who don’t know each other meet, it isn’t as easy to mix and mingle (though alcohol helps!) as it is with kids. And that’s why we need icebreakers. Here’s our pick of party games for adults, including some for baby and bridal showers.
Mad(e) For Each Other
This is a game that’s perfect for couples and is often a standard for engagement and wedding celebration parties. Split the group into couples and give them some paper and pens. First, ask all the men some questions about their personal preferences and they write their answers. The women write on their paper what they think their other half prefers. After the men’s turn, we switch and do the same with women. Then we compare the answers to see if the partners really know each other. It’s often the couples with the least PDA who know each other the best!
Two Truths And A Lie
This works well when the party guests don’t know each other too well but are not complete strangers. Each person makes three statements – two truths and a lie and a person picked at random has to guess which is the lie. Successful guesses earn a point and if you can’t guess, you have to take a shot.
Mum’s The Word
Perfect for baby showers, this game continues for the duration of the party. It doesn’t allow you to say any version of Mum through the party – mum, mama, mother, ma, mom, amma, mummy, etc. All party guests have to be extra vigilant and if they hear anyone say these taboo words, they claim and get a point. The one with the most points wins.
Pull out some category names, such as animals, cities, etc. Form a circle and start with a person who names one in the category, say lion. The second person repeats the first and another – lion, monkey. The first person who forgets or repeats a word has to take a shot.
Great Minds Think Alike
Give everyone in the room a paper and pen. Call out a word and ask everyone to write what they associate with it. After a few rounds, compare what everyone’s written – the idea is to try to find common ground and those who had the same idea as most score the highest points. After a few rounds, the person who thinks most like everyone else wins (they say that fools seldom differ too, but we’ll allow them to believe they are great minds!).