Nerd Culture

Essential Party Games for a Post-Cards Against Humanity World

“Hey, Joe, we’re thinking of having some people over to play games,” your friend says. Sounds great, you think. You work up the courage to go, stretching outside of that awkward personal bubble you’ve fortified. You even work up the nerve to use some mouthwash. You might even shower. Hey, no one is here to judge. Live large; it's game night.

And then you get there and see that ‘game night’ consists of that plain-ass black box of Cards Against Humanity. Maybe they have the expansion packs. Hooray, but there’s only so many times “BILLY MAYS HERE FOR 50,000 volts straight to the nipples” can elicit a laugh.

There might be hope for you yet if you stick to this list for your next session. Here’s a list of essential party games to get that Cards Against Humanity taste out of your mouth.

One Night: Ultimate Werewolf
Cost: $25, usually cheaper online.
Recommended: Best with six or seven people, but can be enjoyed with at least four players.
Time: 10-minute rounds

One Night is part “Heads Up, Seven Up” and part “boldly lie to friends and family to convince them you’re not a werewolf when you really are.” Sounds easy enough.

Players are dealt cards with roles defined to them while a few extra cards remain in the middle, so no one knows if a werewolf is actually in play or not. The role cards consist of Villagers, Masons, the Troublemaker, the Seer, the Drunk, among others, and of course the Werewolf. The cards are kept face down and placed in circle, and everyone closes their eyes while the ‘Night’ phase begins. Here, people take turns fulfilling the roles of their cards.

By the end of the ‘Night’ phase, a person who drew the werewolf card might not know their card has been switched with the person next to them, and that’s when the fun begins.

For the ‘Day’ portion, everyone opens there eyes and has a set time to debate, come clean, and manipulate in order to determine who the werewolf is. At the end, every player votes who to ‘kill.’ If the villagers sniff out the werewolf, they win. But if the werewolf escapes, they win.

This game is enjoyed in multiple, short rounds, leaving untrustworthy players scrutinized early and often. Lying bold faced about knowing who the werewolf is might work out in the first game, but everyone will know you’re a lying piece of shit for the rest of the night. Which is why it’s so fun!

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Joseph Schmidt
Contact: Joseph Schmidt