Let’s face it – there’s a lot of pressure for New Year’s Eve to be amazing. The parties, the tequila, the sudden mania as singles hunt for The One in the dying moments of the year.
Why not kick back with your closest buddies, roll a bunch of dice, and greet midnight in style?
Here’s the perfect list to get you started. Just click on the picture if you’d like to read more or maybe even buy a copy – because party games have moved beyond Pictionary, folks.
Stage 1: The Children are Still Awake
These games are sure to keep your little ones happy… until the sugar rush wears off and they stumble into bed.
Naughty magic students have bleached all the color from the vegetables for tonight’s dinner! Race to return the colors with your magic powers (which mostly involve slapping cards real quick).
Worth checking out for the tiny, wooden vegetables alone.
After a group of adults are mysteriously brought back to Neverland, they’ll need to earn the trust of the locals to fit in with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. Of course, being adults, they’re always tempted to lie…
Everyone starts with a sheet of jumbled numbers from 1-60. While sharing a single (weird and wobbly) pencil between the whole table, players roll dice and race to mark off their sheet in order.
It’s crazy, frantic and inexplicably fun.
Stage 2: Hidden Identity
Now the little ones are tucked in bed, it’s time to break open a classic of the party game genre. Hidden identities mean lies, laughter and a chance to play detective – just look into their eyes.
All the Tofu Prince wants to do is propose to the Tofu Princess, but there’s trouble brewing in the Tofu Kingdom.
With rebellious servants (who sometimes lie) and spies from the Fried Tofu Kingdom (who always lie) running amok, the prince will need to ask just the right questions and piece together the truth to save this wedding.
There are strange rumors of magic, monsters, and even monster hunters around the village. But who are the hunters? Who is the hunted? Each round, cards are used to spy on, change, swap, and generally mess with each player’s hand – before the big reveal in the final round.
Hidden identity with a big splash of chaos.
Okay, who let the fox into the chicken coop? Not to mention the wolf… The other farmyard animals will need to be clever to outwit and outrun the predators – but who can they really trust in the chaos?
Clever location and voting mechanisms allow for plenty of bluffing, table talk, and horrible animal impersonations.
Stage 3: Let’s Get Physical
It’s time to get the blood pumping with some (usually very weird) physical challenges. Also a great chance to find out which of your buddies has a massive competitive streak.
When a nuclear disaster wipes out humanity and spreads radioactive waste over the planet, it can only mean one thing: giant monster fights!
This is a super light party game with a fun dice tower made right out of the box.
Remember playing cat’s cradle in school? Reidemeister is essentially a competitive version of that, with players racing to form complex patterns out of string.
Definitely a game that goes from good to great with a few drinks.
Time for some delicious dango and green tea. But wouldn’t you know it? The waiter isn’t paying attention and customers are piling up without their orders.
It’s card slapping time – a very solid speed game with a cute theme.
Stage 4: The Main Event
We’re done with fillers and the night is in full swing. Time to bring out the big guns – the main course, the headliner – for the final stretch to midnight.
Welcome to New York!
Oh, you’re an artist as well? Welcome to the club. Of course… I hear there’s a fake artist somewhere among us. It’s not you, is it? That would be such a tiresome cliche.
Okay, maybe your friends don’t like light games. Maybe they want to see in the new year with a heavy Euro – lots of components, weighty decisions, and interlocking mechanics that threaten to melt your brain.
You need Burano in your life.
Here’s one for the tech-heads, as virtual reality meets cardboard in the deserts of Egypt. Players take turns ‘within’ an ancient temple, describing what they see to the other players who are working together to build a map.
Not as easy as it sounds!
Bonus Stage: The Morning After
Everyone’s gone home, but is it really a happy new year? Or is it too soon to tell? Either way, take a moment to relax before tackling the house.
Enjoy a little game just for you.
The time of humanity has passed; now majestic sheep rule the world. But many perilous dangers remain, and careful leadership is needed to guide them to the promised land.
A relaxing, meditative solo game – check out our full review here.
Whatever you play, we hope you have a great night and a happy new year! Send us your pics via Twitter to spread the tabletop love.