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Christmas Cheer Entertainment Games

Favorite Games at Holiday Parties? 87

Posted by Cliff
from the simply-having-a-wonderful-christmas-time dept.
An anonymous reader asks: "Somehow, I got volunteered to take care of activities for the adults at my company's holiday party. For those of you who actually go to parties, what games have you played that were a lot of fun both for the geek and just the average person?"
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Favorite Games at Holiday Parties?

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  • Easy one... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:32PM (#7673803)
    Wife swapping!
  • Party Games (Score:3, Informative)

    by AnotherFreakboy (730662) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:33PM (#7673819)

    Anything that involves a lot of people screaming at each other usually goes down well at parties.

    Charades, Pictionary, are good examples.

    Also Balderdash goes down well also for smaller groups of people.

  • by fputs(shit, slashdot (645337) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:35PM (#7673839) Homepage Journal
    For those of you who actually go to parties.
    You never heard of Lan parties?
  • Hrmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by SLot (82781) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:36PM (#7673854) Homepage Journal
    I would say that of all the holiday parties I've ever gone to, I've never even seen a game played - unless you count rampant gossiping, overdrinking and womanizing a game.

    What the other people in attendance do is their business. :)

  • booze (Score:3, Interesting)

    by E1v!$ (267945) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:36PM (#7673857) Homepage
    if there's alcohol, a good game for later would be twister.
    • Re:booze (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bakes (87194)
      if there's alcohol, a good game for later would be twister.

      I prefer to combine the two. Get a few dozen of those tiny spirit bottles, and put one on each dot. After you spin the spinner, you have to scull the drink first then put down your hand/foot.

      Standing the bottles up can be a little dangerous though. Who knows how you might fall on one?
      • Standing the bottles up can be a little dangerous though. Who knows how you might fall on one?

        ... it was a million to one shot, doc... a million to one...
  • games? (Score:3, Funny)

    by dev0n (313063) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:40PM (#7673913) Homepage
    Er, unless "convincing the boss to give me more drink tickets" is a game, I don't think I've ever played a game at a holiday party.
  • Mafia!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jatbrowne (182386) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:48PM (#7674017)

    The greatest party game in the world... I'm sure everyone has one tho... It involves logic and psychological games and I think it is great for geeks.

    It works best with more than 5 people people - so lets say you have 8. Take 8 slips of paper, write the letter "M" on three of them and "C" on five. The "M"s are mafia and the "C"s are citizens.

    Then, on instruction (choose a games-master for this), everyone closes their eyes and when the games-master says "mafia open your eyes", the mafia do just that and see eachother. Everyone then closes their eyes, and then everyone opens their eyes at the same time. The object of this is that the mafia know who is a citizen and who is not, and that the citizens have no idea and consequently live in fear.

    Then the game begins. People talk and interrogate eachother until someone announces they beleive that someone else is mafia. They can then call a vote to "kill-off" that person, and if the vote is carried he/she is out of the game and they have to reveal whether or not they were mafia. The object of the game for the mafia is to kill all the citizens, and for the citizens it is to stay alive until all the mafia are dead.

    Give it a go - it really works. Lots of tension builds up and all sorts of weird mind-games happen....

    • Re:Mafia!!! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ondo (187980)
      There's a good page about the game at []. Has the rules and links to other pages about the game.

      • Thanks so much for that link! I wonder how the game found its way to Europe... One small point, we play with no moderator and no "seer" and no proscribed day and night phases.
    • Have you actually done this at a company party? Sounds like an interesting game... for friends.

      You'd be committing job suicide by doing that at a company party.

      Not just because of the possible cultural offense - some Italian-Americans would get upset - but because the concept of employees killing other employees, even just pretending to do so, will scare people, like you said. That's not "fun." People will get upset.

      • Yeah, you are probably right: not suitable for offices unless it is VERY relaxed... Although, I have played in situations where as group of friends we introduce a stranger and it has always been a great way of making them feel less uncomfortable. I've never known anyone to be truly upset. I guess it depends what type of company you have.

        I take your point about cultural offence. Real-life mafia are not part of our history in Britain, so please forgive me the transgression... You could choose any name, like

      • Bleh, I have an italian name (one or two great granparents, I do not remember right now) and think people randomly acusing me of having mafia connections is funny. But I don't have a stick up my ass.
    • Re:Mafia!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by HoldmyCauls (239328) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @07:33PM (#7674525) Journal
      A French student taught a bunch of us a similar game, but we call it "werewolf".

      Take a standard poker deck, pull out a Joker, a Jack and a Queen, and numbered cards for the remaining players.

      The person who gets the Joker is the werewolf, The Jack is the Fortune Teller, and the Queen is the little girl.

      Everyone falls asleep (closes their eyes). The Fortune Teller wakes up, and can see one of the other players' cards. He then falls asleep again. The Werewolf wakes up, and the little girl can if she wants, but can choose not to be seen by the werewolf instead. The Werewolf then kills a villager by selecting his card and it is turned over.

      The dead are not allowed to speak (though they will, of course, be slack about it so long as they don't give everything away). The Werewolf and the little girl fall asleep again, and the town wakes up to see who's dead.

      The villagers then arbitrate and then vote on who dies, and if the Werewolf is not chosen, another round ensues.

      Variations I learned as he taught us and we played:

      Cupid: usually the King of Hearts, he can select any two people to be in love. If one of the lovers dies, the other does as well, whether by the Werewolf or the villagers.

      The Witch: (I forget which card) can choose to kill or revive anyone during her part of the night.

      Two Werewolves.

      Of course, you can't bring up a new topic without a Google: -8&oe=UTF -8&q=Werewolf+card+game&btnG=Google+Search
    • you forgot about the cops...have the cops wake up right after the assassins, and let them choose one person to "check". The moderator will then nod or shake his head, revealing whether or not that person is an assassin. The cops don't have to reveal that they're cops, either (they're likely to get killed by the assassins if they do, so they usually talk late in the game, and try to influence votings indirectly).
    • This game makes absolutely no sense to me. What sort of interrogation questions would people ask one another to find out if someone was mafia or not? There is definetely a missing element to this game, that you haven't shared with us.

      • No, I promise, we play it exactly as I have written it. The fun bit is that when you are mafia, it is very diffucult to not be nervous and make mistakes. In effect, you can carry on with your normal conversation and try to trick people in to slipping up. Give it a go: it really works.

        Other people in this thread have suggested other elements to the game, but we really do play it as is. A typical game with eight people will last half an hour or so. The more beer involved the longer the game takes, of course.

    • --I've played that game; it was fun (and a little tense.)
  • This game's pretty fun:
    Give each person a piece of paper.
    Everyone writes a name, folds it over so no one can read it, and passes it to the person next to them.
    Then everyone writes an activity, folds it over, passes it on...
    continue with a place, a time, a reason...

    Then we read each one out to everyone. It gets pretty silly after you've done it a couple of times. Even geeks can have fun with it.
  • by travail_jgd (80602) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:49PM (#7674034)
    Are you making activities for a holiday party, or a company pep rally?

    If it's the former, let all the "games" be optional. The holidays are stressful enough with vacations, shopping, planning, etc. The last thing most people want at the holidays is forced team-building.

    For what it's worth, none of the company holiday parties I've attended have had games of any kind.
  • You got volunteered, huh? That sucks. Listen, this might sound like an easy/stupid job but you'd better put at least a little thought into making sure you don't screw up. I like to think I'm a fun-lovin' and sometime outrageous guy but I hold myself in check at office parties. You never know when you're going to do something that will give your co-workers a bad impression of you that will last for years. You haven't told us anything about the type of people who are working at this company except that i

    • I read in another one of your postings that you work for a defense contractor. I did too, worked for Litton until we were bought out by Northrop-Grumman and let the layoffs fly... I've also been stuck arranging the amusements for the office Christmas party.

      You got volunteered, huh? That sucks. Listen, this might sound like an easy/stupid job but you'd better put at least a little thought into making sure you don't screw up. I like to think I'm a fun-lovin' and sometime outrageous guy but I hold myself in

  • Doom - nothing quite like fragging the boss with a rail gun. (Although that might put a damper on the ole career path ?!?)
    • I'm an obsessive pedant. And I don't give a flaming lizard tail, either.

      Doom does not have a railgun!!! id Software's first game with a railgun was Quake 2 (unless you count unofficial mods).

      Ack! I nearly choked when I read the original post.

      Welcome to Slashdot 8-}
    • We had an office party and played Red Faction. I took great pleasure in attaching det packs to my boss and then blowing him up after a few seconds. Unfortunately when lay offs came I was the first to go. It was still fun though.

      If you want to play FPS at an office party then I recommend Serious Sam, Diablo or some other game with a co-op mode so no one has to kill the boss.

      Don't get me wrong, taking your boss out (especially creatively) is a lot of fun during a game, just not good for your career. Som
  • by NickFusion (456530) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:59PM (#7674175) Homepage
    Great for small groups! Discovered this game a couple of weeks ago, and am now officially obsessed.

    Google it, or see [] the second entry on my homepage for a list of rules and materials.

    Played this game until my sides hurt from laughing.

    • I know my opinion really doesn't count much around here, but I think that this game made for one of the most fun times I have had in recent memory. I am a bartender at a local country club nestled in the foothills of the Ozark mountains, and we have played this a few times when the nights were slow or dull. It has gained some notoriety, and is really fun. Of course, to reinforce the points made a few points up by another, if you are unsure of the dynamic of the group, set some rules that prevent overly bo
      • Yes, one of the coolest things I've found is that different groups make a totally different game of it.

        It's fascinating from a game design standpoint to watch the dynamic.

        But it's more fun to play the Compassionate Conservatism card on someone, or Scatalogical Bonus Round. Or Zebras...};^)
  • Might be too late for Xmas, but one of the games at [] is bound to be a hit. I've played 'Kill Doctor Lucky' and hear that the card games 'Agora' and 'LightSpeed' are both good. Best is, as the name promises, they won't break the bank. (Please tell me you aren't asking about computer games.)
  • Nuke War [].

    Gotta be Nuke War [].

    Got change for 25 million people?
    • I second this. You have to love a game where frequently, nobody wins (ah...I loves my Final Strike!)

      There also also two expansions available: Escalation and Proliferation.
      • Got'em both, and a second copy of NE given to me by somebody.

        I love seeing the look in those Magic: The Gathering weenies eyes when I show them how big my Nuke deck is! "I see your Force of Nature, and raise you an MX with a 100!"
        • Just avoid that Triple Yield.... ouch.
          • Bah - we had one of the "blank" cards supplied written up with the following rule:

            Cobalt jacketed bomb
            Triple yeild (applies to each warhead on MX)
            May be applied to 100M on final strike for automatic destruction of world.

            Made a great deterrent force:
            "OK, folks - See this: 100M , cobalt. Do not target me."

            Of course, you still had to "spin the spinner, call your shot, Nuke War ties your genes in a knot". Really frustrating to get a Dud or Out of Fuel.

            But it was GREAT on an MX-100!
  • Scrunchy Face (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jonadab (583620)
    This scales really well to groups of various sizes containing persons of
    various ages. Just make sure that when you split teams you don't put all
    of something one one team (e.g., all of the geeks, all of the sports fans,
    all of the young people, whatever). Split all the demographics across
    both teams, and it works better.

    Here's how to play: Everybody writes names of famous persons on a bunch of
    little slips of paper, folds them once, and throws them in a big bowl. These
    can be names of current celebrities, h
    • > a person from the other team can examine the slip and confirm that
      > it's illegible

      Or if they think you're just being a wuss about the legibility, they can
      wisper to you what it says and you have to get your team to say it.
  • The greatest group video game ever. You live and die with every twist, turn, wormhole, and inadvertent hyperspace. Check it out here []. As fun as it is for one player, it is infinitely more entertaining when you have a bunch of good players and one with really bad aim who always turns the power down to 20 and kills himself by accident.
  • Get a biggish bucket (pail) that has a flat top that can be covered, and fill it two thirds with water. Get a sweeping broom and a pair of portable ladders.

    Climb up the ladders, hold the bucket against the ceiling, and challenge someone.

    "I bet you can't take that broom, push it against the bottom of the bucket, and hold it there for ten seconds."

    Of course, that sounds easy, so give them the broom and they do it while you let go of the bucket. Et voila.

    Now the good part. Climb down the ladder, and carry
    • Fun but the replay value is limited by people seeing the trick. Better to just wait till everyone has been enjoying the liquor for a bit and then bust out the fire hose. Extra points if you bust in on people in the copy room bumping uglies and spray them like dogs on a lawn.
  • My brother snuck off last year during the holidays to "work" on the computer. When we finally retrieved him to our surprise he hadn't been wasting time on /., but instead had typed up a custom list of holiday terms for Pictionary. Unfortunately Grandpa had no idea what "Dah-Who-Doray" meant when he pulled it out of the hat.
  • by rf0 (159958) * <> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @07:31PM (#7674510) Homepage
    Hours of fun :)

  • Cranium is a team board game that is like trivial pursuit, word puzzles, pictionary, and charades rolled up into one game. But it puts new twists on the old ways -- blind drawing, play-doh pictionary, humming/whistling tunes for charades, etc. Each category is suited to different personalities and mental strengths, so it's good to have a diverse group.

    Bohnanza [] is a German card game. You have to plant fields of beans and try to make the most coins. The best part is the funny bean pictures on the cards. :-)

    • I have cranium, and I think its crap. Its just to hard.

      One game that I *do* like is Hear Me Out. Lots of fun, you can play with as many people as you like, goes as long as you like. And is really fun.

      As for Uno: Yeah, its cool, but I haven't played Normal UNO since I learned ULTIMATE UNO. Goes like normal uno, only:

      Anytime someone puts down a 5, every one HITS the PILE. Last one to hit it gets 2 cards.

      Anytime two 7s are played in a row, cards are shifted to the left.

      When a zero is played, the person wh
  • by Syncdata (596941) <> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @07:55PM (#7674831) Journal
    If you have any kind of budget, get a kareoke set up with the classics, sinatra, the doobie brothers, Nas, whatever the people in your office know.
    As someone else mentioned, the office party is for gossip, debauchery, and indiscriminate photocopying, not sitting down for a game of perquacky, or Smash Bros.
    The nice thing about Kareoke is you just need one or two brave souls to get the ball rolling. After that, it's cakesauce getting others to step to the mic.
    Particularly if booze is on tap.
  • by dmr (22497)
    If you've got the budget, I recommend hiring a fake casino. It's a diversion if people want it, and it's neat ambiance for everyone else. When else will you double-down on your $1000 bet?

    We had prizes for the biggest winners, but that led to some collusion. Instead, let people buy raffle tickets with their winnings, and raffle off the prizes.
  • ...with baby oil.
  • Steal a gift (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rsadelle (719824)
    Here's how it works: Everyone brings one gift that cost something under a pre-determined price limit (our department is doing a $15 limit, my mom's book group that doesn't read usually does $10). You write out numbers on slips of paper from 1 to n where n is the number of people in the game. 1 goes first and picks a gift from the pile and opens it. 2 can then steal 1's gift or pick a new one from the pile, and so on up to n. If your gift is stolen, you have the option of stealing one from anyone else or of
    • My family has played this forever -- we call it "crazy bingo" and play it with a few decks of cards (and usually smaller presents).
      It was always funny to see my sweet grandmother get mad when someone stole a $2 gift from her!
  • How about Tabloid Teasers? They unfortunately dont make it any more, but it is still a good game if you can find someone who has it
  • It's a fun game, takes ten minutes to learn, and goes *great* with alcohol. It's endless fun, really.
  • Check out Looney Labs! [] These are some of the most imaginative games I've played in a while. Try out both Fluxx [] and Chrononauts [] especially. My wife and I enjoy Fluxx so much, that I bought a few cases of it and give it out as gifts.

    Both of these are card games which are sort of like Uno, but more complex and interesting. I've played Fluxx much more, so these comments relate to that. Fluxx is a great game because if you are familar with it and good at it, you can plan some good strategies, however, if you'r

  • Similar to the idea of "Steal a Gift", but encourage folks to bring something used from home to give away. Most folks bring something normal or silly. There's always someone sadistic in a crowd, though. I've seen used baby diapers, table scraps, and sofa legs.
  • []

    I guess you could bet on points instead of cash, and the winner can get a prize.

  • 52 card pick up?

  • by DaRat (678130) *

    A good party game is The Pit [] by Winning Moves (or Parker Brothers).

    The Pit is a commodities trading card game that involves 5 to 10-12 people trying to collect all the cards for a particular commodity. The trick is that everyone is trying to do so at the same time by exchanging 1-8 identical cards (face down) and trying to get someone else to exchange an unknown set of the same number of cards with you. Given that everyone is trying to make trades at the same time, games typically involve lots of yelli

  • You could always try the card game Mao []. Unfortunately the only rule you're allowed to tell people about Mao is that you're not allowed to explain the rules. So without someone who knows it to play with, you're stuffed of course :-)
    • My experiences with the game indicate that anyone who suggests that it be played should be immediately beaten about the head and torso with a stick approximately the size of a broom handle. Actually, broom handles work very well for this purpose. Make sure that you use an all wood model [] rather than metal clad or metal threaded. You don't want to do permanent damage, just teach a very serious lesson. Save your time and your sanity. Don't play Mao. Beat the crap out of your so-called friend.

  • The best game is always trying to flirt with someone else; even if it's just innocent, which it doesn't always turn out to be.
  • I must say, I'm pretty damn disappointed in everybody's choice of "games" for a company party! You guys are acting like it is like a junior high slumber party. Why don't you play:

    • Spin the bottle
    • 7 minutes in heaven
    • Truth or Dare

    I can't picture playing any of these games at a company party, and I am in a very relaxed workplace, with very relaxed co-workers.
  • As long as your company isn't too big, get a big whiteboard, some new dry erase markers, and play pictionary. For an All Play, draw a line down the center and each team gets half.

    Another good one is Catch Phrase. Sort of a combination of verbal charades (get your opponent to say "spaghetti" and then get rid of the device asap.) There is an electronic version and manual; either is fine.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."