You’re at a dinner party with peripheral friends with whom you don’t have a ton in common. You’ve already talked about siblings, the weather—hell, even the democratic primaries. You glance at your phone and realize you’ve only been here for 25 minutes—it’s way too early to quietly dash for the door the second everyone’s distracted. If only, you think, we had some sort of game to play. Not, like, Twister, but a game that would get the crowd loosened and livened up. It’s time to invest in an adult card game (like one of the 18 below) that’s guaranteed to be a hit with friends, family and random people whose invite you only accepted because you’re new to the neighborhood and you made the mistake of saying you were free tonight.
1. Cards Against Humanity
This O.G. adult card game has more than 45,000 ultra-positive reviews on Amazon. In each round of this self-proclaimed “party game for horrible people,” one player asks a question from a black card (example: “Dude, do not go into the bathroom, there’s ___ in there.”), and everyone else answers with their funniest white card. This original pack contains 500 white cards and 100 black cards for maximum replays. It’s worth noting that, as an adult card game (recommended for ages 17 and up), the material can get a little risqué. Per one reviewer, “It’s fairly common knowledge that this game is very offensive. So, if you’re easily offended, it’s a no brainer that this is not the game for you.” Still, if you’re up for a little grown-up fun, go forth.
2. Drunk Stoned or Stupid
Remember high school yearbook superlatives? This is like that, just for adults. Drunk Stoned or Stupid includes 250 cards to decide who in the group is most likely to... “#1 Wake up with half a burrito in bed,” “#27 Have 20-minute conversation with Siri” and “#147 Shame people for going to bed.” Because people have to advocate for their choices to win, you’ll also get to hear your friends’ craziest stories as they fight for the W. Just make sure everyone you’re playing with can take a joke.
3. What Do You Meme?
In this game—which was created by the folks behind the FuckJerry Instagram account—players compete with their friends and family to create the funniest memes. Each What Do You Meme core game contains 435 cards: 360 of these are caption cards and 75 are photo cards. Keep in mind that all of the photos are memes from the past few years, so if you’re playing with a crowd that’s not checked into social media trends, the humor might be lost on them. If you’re playing with friends you share memes with on Instagram all day, it’s incredibly fun.
4. Exploding Kittens
The family-friendly edition of this game was the most-backed project in Kickstarter history, but this version is definitely not suitable for playing with your grandma. It’s basically a strategic take on Russian roulette where the goal is to avoid drawing the Exploding Kitten card, thereby ending the game. So, how do you do that, you ask? By using Defuse Cards (like laser pointers and kitten yoga) to distract the kittens, or deploying other game-shifting cards (like skipping your turn).
5. Bad People
Similar to The Voting Game, this party activity will reveal what your friends actually think about you. Players take turns reading a question card aloud and then vote on who fits the descriptor. With question cards like, “Who gets paid too much for what they do?” and “Most likely to become a drug mule at some point in their life?” this is a game for close friends, only.
6. Joking Hazard
Here’s how the people behind this “extremely not-for-kids party game” describe it: “Joking Hazard is an offensive card game where you compete to finish awful comics. It’s a game that is equal parts creative storytelling and feeling bad about yourself. The damaged minds behind Cyanide & Happiness created it, so don’t let grandma play unless you want her to die of a broken heart.”
7. F**k. The Game
This Aussie card game is all about f**king with your mind. How? “Players take turns to flip over a card and shout out what they see. Depending on your card, you might say its background color, its text color or a swear word. Keep playing until someone f**ks up and is forced to pick up all the cards,” the creators explain on their website. The winner is the first player to get rid of their cards. As an added bonus, the game’s creators claim it has therapeutic benefits—specifically that it lets you let off steam by innocently shouting profanities without offending anyone. Since this one requires your brain to be at least semi-working, it might be best to play it earlier in the evening before having too many glasses of wine.
8. If You Had To...
In the vein of “Would You Rather,” If You Had To… includes 250 cards with horrible and hilarious situations that players have to decide between. Think “All children under the age of 6 are trying to kill you,” or “You can talk to animals but they all hate you.” Each round, you and your friends argue to the designated judge that your scenario is actually the worst. The person whose card the judge picks wins the round.
Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents, but their teammates know the agents only by their codenames. Using one-word clues, spymasters must try to get their teammates to guess all the words in a table that correspond to their color on a tiny grid that only they can see. Get it right, and your team could unlock a handful of related words all at once. Otherwise, your team might guess something for the other team—or worse, guess the assassin, thereby ending the round.
10. Unstable Unicorns
Dubbed as “a strategic card game that will destroy your friendships...but in a good way,” this party game is recommended for ages 14 and up and can accommodate up to eight players. The first person to build an army of seven unicorns wins, but you might have to betray your friends and family to get there. Want to take things up a notch? Check out the NSFW expansion pack.
11. Search History
Don’t worry, this one doesn’t entail exposing your most embarrassing Googles to your nearest and dearest (that’s what we thought at first). Here’s how it works: One player draws a card with three prompts, like “Will you die if you eat…” and “I hate it when my dog…” From there, the players compete with each other to anonymously create the most believable search query. Then they take turns guessing what the most commonly searched phrase is, and you score points if your answer is guessed by others.
12. New Phone, Who Dis?
This tech-adjacent game is pretty similar to Cards Against Humanity, but with text messages. Players rotate drawing a sent (or “inbox”) card while the rest of the group competes to play the funniest reply card. Once everyone in the group has played their chosen reply card, the judge decides which combo is the funniest. The person whose card is chosen gets a point. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins. Per one satisfied customer, “In a huge group, especially with a couple drinks involved, it was perfect, relatable, and easy to join in during any party.”
13. Fear Pong: Internet Famous
Based on the hit YouTube series Fear Pong, this game was made to be “a way to test the boundaries we have with friends, family and the ones we love.” Don’t worry, it’s a lot less serious than it sounds. How does it work? The game comes with 100 waterproof dare coasters, with 2 dares on each coaster (200 dares total), and two red ping-pong balls. To play, you set up a game of beer pong, with six cups on each side. Shuffle the dares and place one underneath each cup. Once a ball lands in your opponent’s cup, they have a choice: Do one of the dares and keep the cup—or refuse the dare and drink the cup. The first player to lose all their cups loses the game.
14. These Cards Will Get You Drunk
With a name that pulls no punches, These Cards Will Get You Drunk is—you guessed it—a card game with a focus on imbibing. Meant for two to eight players, ages 21 and up, it’s super easy to play: Draw a card and follow the rules on said card (“Tell a joke. If no one chuckles or laughs, you drink.”). As one reviewer puts it, “A really fun game that doesn't require much thought, and mostly an excuse to drink with friends while your favorite Spotify playlist plays in the background.”
15. Never Have I Ever
You probably remember playing this game in your teenage bedroom. Now you can continue the hilarity (and embarrassment) well into adulthood. Which one of your friends has spent a night in jail? Or angrily thrown a drink in someone’s face? Find out things you never knew about your friends in this game where you use cards to discover your crew’s deepest, darkest secrets. Hanging out with your mom friends? Shake things up with the “parenting pack.”
16. The Voting Game
How well do you really know your friends? In this risqué pick, players are asked to vote on the “most likely” candidates for a number of hilarious scenarios. For example: “Who would you ask for help if you needed to leave the country?” “Who could win a drag show?” “Who snoops through their significant other’s phone on a regular basis?” Consider this the ultimate party game test of your friendship.
We love card games, but sometimes they can be hard to play with a group because there are just too many rules to keep track of. Enter this easy-to-understand and fast-paced game where all players have to do is shout out the first thing that comes to mind in each given category. Here’s how it works: Three or more players take turns drawing cards and flipping them over. When two cards match, players have to shout out an example of someone or something in that particular category (like “rhymes with booze”). No repeats allowed.
18. Hot Seat
Ever wanted to be on a TV game show? Well, here’s the next best thing. Find out which one of your friends knows you the best in this fun game. To play, one person sits in the “hot seat” each round and has to answer questions about themselves (like “What will my gravestone say?” or “What has the power to make me instantly horny?”). The other players also have to answer the same question as if they were the person in the hot seat, and then try to guess the correct response. Note: This game is not recommended for those who have something to hide.
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