Picture this: you’re having your favourite friends over for a braai and you’ve invited the new neighbours. They look like they’ll fit in with your crowd and it’s a good opportunity to get to know them. But how do you break the ice? Once the usual questions have been answered – what do you do for work? Where did you grow up? What would you like to drink? – what happens next could be the dealmaker or the dealbreaker.
Board games are the perfect way to crack the ice wide open, turning the atmosphere into one of conviviality, fun, laughs, and easiness, leaving the iciness for your drink.
According to Philip Galliford, spokesperson for toy and game distributor Solarpop, there are a number of fun games that are great for families to play, but enjoys a special place in the hearts of adults due to their meme-like humour and often off the wall art styles. With games that include Exploding Kittens, Unstable Unicorns, Codenames, and Poetry for Neanderthals, you know you’re going to create the kind of vibe where people let their hair down and show their creative side. Below are the 2022 top games for adults.
According to the online magazine; The Strategist, Codenames is the best re-playable board game for adults. It’s ideal for a small group as it requires four players, but if there are more people in the crowd, the game can be played in teams, adding to the fun. It’s an engaging game that can be played for a short time and can be replayed until there is only one winner or winning team.
In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. The two teams are headed by two rival spymasters who compete to make contact with all of their agents. Whoever can make contact with all their agents first wins. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess the words while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. Thrown in the mix is an assassin and everyone wants to avoid them.
Philip Galliford, Spokesperson for toy and game distributor Solarpop, has this to say about the game: “Codenames is all about figuring out the clues, which makes it more than just about winning or losing. It requires teamwork and quick thinking, so ideal for a dinner party of eight to twelve guests. The host will have them laughing and chatting before the first round is up.”
Best of all, Codenames is also available in Afrikaans.
With a name like Exploding Kittens, you can almost guess the type of game inside! It offers a warped sense of humour and light-hearted fun, but what it ultimately requires is cold, hard patience, and strategic thinking.
Exploding Kittens is a feline-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten at which point they figuratively explode and they are out of the game. But here’s the twist, if a player holds a Defuse card, they can defuse the exploding kitten card with a selection of cat distractions that include laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches.
All other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate or avoid the Exploding Kittens. Players are able to stall for time using the various effects of the other cards in the deck, allowing them to take cards from other players’ hands and take a peek at the next cards in the deck. Winning depends on skill and successful bluffing.
The game was selected in 2015 as a Golden Geek Best Party Board Game Nominee and again in 2020 as a 5 Seasons Best International Card Game Nominee
Poetry for Neanderthals
So, you think it’s easy to talk like a Neanderthal? Those who’ve had a go at Poetry for Neaderthals will tell you that it’s a lot harder than it seems. From the same crazy creators of Exploding Kittens, this game is loads of raucous fun. The rules are straightforward and the game is easy to play – players need to give clues by speaking in single syllables, which is not as simple as it sounds.
If the word to guess is “broccoli” a person might say something along the lines of: “green thing you eat for live long and have good health.” If instead they use a big word like vegetable, the person on the other team can bop them on the head with a giant inflatable club called the NO! stick and they lose points.
The goal of the game is to score the most points by correctly interpreting words and phrases. The chosen Poet starts off the game with a Poetry Card and tries to get their teammates to say the listed word within 90 seconds. The team with the most points wins.
A reviewer on Amazon says: “You never realize how many multiple-syllable words you use in a sentence until you’re not allowed to use them. This is a fun game that really makes you think, which is a good thing.”
This game turns the docile, magical concept of unicorns on its, well, horn! The unicorns in this game are unlike any you’ve ever encountered, fictional or otherwise. The game requires players to build a unicorn army and learn how unstable their friendships really are.
Players begin with a Baby Unicorn in their Stable, but don’t get too attached because even Baby Unicorns aren’t safe in this game. There are over 20 Magical Unicorns to collect, and each has a special power. The army should be built as quickly as possible or risk destruction. Players can seek revenge or protect their stable using their Magic! This may sound easy, but it’s far from it as another player may have a Neigh Card that sends the game into madness. The first person to complete their Unicorn Army is named The Righteous Ruler of All Things Magical… at least until the next game.
A reviewer on Amazon says: “For me, it is a game that makes the unicorns have a life of their own because of the abilities it brings to the gameplay. Each card has its own part that might contribute to a chain of effects. Overall, a game that is fun to do over and over with plenty of players because it can be unpredictable if played right.”