Quick, Simple, Fun. Party Games in a Nutshell

In some games you build an empire. Some games don’t need to be so complicated and you just sell Pleasure Butter to a beach bum.

Howdy, friends! Board games come in all varieties. Tons of games have loads of depth and strategy with each turn either making or breaking the hours of time you’ve invested. But sometimes you don’t want all that. You want to get a group of friends together and argue and bicker over who is the Imperial Hitler Werewolf Princess.


Coup is a competitive bluffing game with hidden role mechanics.  Each player is given 2 hidden role cards, each with a special ability usable by the player. On their turns, players will do 1 action.  Either the base actions available to all players, regardless of role, or use one of the actions granted to them by their role cards. However, because role cards are hidden, players are allowed to bluff and claim they have a role card they don’t actually have, to use that role’s special action.

If a player believes another player is using a special ability of a role card they don’t actually have, that player can Challenge to force that player to reveal if they truly have that role card. If the accused player was lying, they flip one of their role cards face up. If the accused player was not lying, the player who made the accusation flips up one of their cards.

Once a player has both of their role cards face up, they are eliminated. The last surviving player wins!

Why Is Coup Fun?

One of the main reasons Coup is so great is because is plays so quickly. Games with player elimination tend to be a dicey choice for game night, but with a game that plays in maybe 10 minutes, it’s much less of a problem.

On top of that, the gameplay is clean and easy to understand. Each player has a reminder card with every role’s ability so it makes it easier for newer players to know which roles to lie about having.

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Codenames is a team-based word game. The game starts with 25 word tiles in the play area, each with a different word. The Spymasters for each team are given a card showing which cards belong to each team. The goal of the Spymasters is to get their teammates to correctly pick out which cards belong to their team.

On each team’s turn, the Spymaster will say a word and a number. The chosen word is meant to connect to the words in the middle, which belong to that Spymaster’s team. The number notes how many cards they want their team to pick. So, a Spymaster might say “Hot, 2” in an attempt to get their team to pick out “Dog” and “Sun” from the words in the middle. The first team to correctly identify all of their team’s words wins!

Why is Codenames Fun?

Codenames is great, if for no other reason, than the ‘A-Ha!’ moments which so often pop up in this game. The Spymaster will come up with some hugely clever word and be so proud of themselves, only to have their team totally misunderstand the intent and go in complete the wrong direction and get it totally wrong. It may sound frustrating, but trust me, it’s hilarious every single time.

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Snake Oil

Snake Oil is a please-the-judge game where players are attempting to sell a bizarre product to a hopeful consumer. Each turn, one player becomes the customer by drawing a card from the customer deck to determine what sort of customer they are: Priest, Jock, Beach Bum, Rock Star, etc.

The remaining players take their cards and combine two of them into a product worth selling. The product cards each have a different noun on them: Money, Virus, Lightning, Butter, Vomit, Cannon, etc.

Why is Snake Oil Fun?

I’ll admit I was skeptical of Snake Oil at first, but if you follow our Twitch channel, you’ll know how much fun it can be.

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Resistance is a team-based hidden role game with betrayer mechanics. Each player is secretly determined to be either on the Resistance team or are Imperial Spies. The game plays out over 5 missions. On each mission, one player will choose which team members to send on the mission. All players get to vote on if that team will go or not. Both teams want to make sure their team get to go on the missions. The Resistance wants to missions to succeed, while the Spies want the missions to fail. When on a mission, players will get secretly play a ‘Success’ or ‘Fail’ card. If even one Fail card is played during the mission, the mission is a failure. The first team to 3 missions going their way wins!

Why is Resistance Fun?

Resistance hits that perfect medium between being too quick to get invested in the game and not too long that it drags on. The betrayer mechanic isn’t for everyone, but with the right group Resistance can provide a great game night experience.

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What’s your favorite big group party game?

  • grenstauf

    The DND adventure system board games are great for a light rpg feel without too many rules. Great for not scaring off noobie tabletop gamers.

  • Mr.Gold

    I would recommend “Dobble” to anyone who asks… a fun little game that is easy to pick up and play…

  • Damon Sherman

    exploding kittens is another good one.

    • Tothe


  • zeno666

    Love letter is great

  • Agree with all of the games listed here.
    I also really like Jamaica. It’s a Pirate Racing game for up to 6 people and teached in 5 minutes tops.
    And for the less-than-politically-correct I very much recommend Cards Against Humanity and Red Flags.

  • Tothe

    Secret Hitler is phenomenal. And you can get a free print-and-play version direct from the publisher!