To break through awkward family tension over the holidays, a game might be the answer. Suddenly everyone feels awkward when asked to do silly things or answer tough trivia questions, right?
Cards Against Humanity gives you permission to flaunt your dark and daring side—and fight the giggles, instead of each other, all night long. And for someone like me who gets easily intimidated by strategy games (it’s the weekend, people: I don’t want to pretend to save a sinking war ship) and hates idle time that a game like Scrabble can bring (just pick your tiles already!), adult party games are perfect.
Developed by a team of folks in Chicago and first released in 2011, this game-like-no-other, in which participants are asked to create fake question-answer pairings, quickly rose into popularity. In fact, when you break down the 37,210 customer reviews on Amazon, 90 percent of people give it a five-star review.
I am one of those people who gave it a five-star review. On a wintry night two years ago I met up with friends—some of whom I did not know too well, including the minister of a church (we ended up talking about s-e-x!)—and quickly found my silly side. I’m hoping this year I’ll be brave enough to bring it to a family gathering, with plenty of spiked egg nog on hand, of course.
Dubbed “A Party Game for Horrible People,” the object is to take turns being Card Czar by asking a question (such as “Why do I hurt all over?”)—based on the 10 cards in hand—by reading off of a black card. Other players provide am answer (like “The swim team, all at once.” or “Same-sex ice dancing.”) from one of their white cards. The winner is whomever the Card Czar thinks has the funniest answer.
This game can get a bit risque, so you might want to think twice before asking grandma to play. One way to neutralize it a bit is to give everyone a chance to omit a card and draw a new one when answers get a little too ... awkward. For gatherings of friends at a holiday party, office party or Friendsgiving it's perfect.
Cards Against Humanity, $25, Amazon
Read on for other conversation-oriented party games to play with strangers, family or friends this holiday season. Note that these are designed for players ages 18 and up. And get ready for the big reveal of each other’s dark sides…and secrets. No alcohol needed.
What Do You Meme?, $30, Amazon
The Voting Game, $25, Amazon
Hot Seat, $25, Amazon
Drawing Without Dignity, $25, Amazon
Pick Your Poison—The “Would You Rather…?” Party Game, $25, Amazon
For more family friendly party games, check out this list of games the whole family can play over the holidays!