I loves a good knees-up, I do! If you're planning a festive family gathering or an office bash this Christmas or New Year's, you may well need that perfect ice-breaker to get everyone in the mood - these top 5 party games will turn any Christmas do into a night to remember!
1. Bucket of Doom - 4-20 players, 30 minutes, £15
You've been swallowed by a sperm whale, and the only objects to hand are Heather Mills' wooden leg, a bottle of Nando's peri peri hot sauce, and a pack of sausages. How in the heck are you gonna escape that? Bucket of Doom is a card based game in a hot pink toxic bucket. Players take it in turns to share their daring escape from impending doom using one or more of their personal object cards to escape. Players vote for their favourite story, best plan wins. Works considerably well with alcohol and those with a dirty sense of humour, but you'd already guessed that.
2. Librium - 1 + players, 5 + minutes, £15 / £17 / £20
This brand new party-in-the-pub game sees players hang, dangle, and tentatively balance cards in up to 10 possible moves as you create a structure. You start the game with a clamped card for extra stability - then, when you're ready to be brave, unclamp the card and pop on more cards in every direction until CHAOS HITS and cards go everywhere! There are three versions: Librium Lite+M (easily attachable to a beer bottle), Librium Lite+MT (comes in a tin which acts as the base) and Librium Lite+ (with the tripod).
3. In a Bind - 3-12 players, 15 minutes, £10
In a Bind is a party game involving physical challenges that turns people into pretzels! The game features a deck of cards, each one featuring a simple "bind", e.g., "one finger touching nose", "left elbow above shoulder", "two hands touching" or "this card on top of head". Each turn, you draw a new card. Its instruction must be obeyed for the ENTIRE REST OF THE GAME! When you have so many binds that you are unable to comply with them all, you lose (and soothe your aching limbs). The last person to lose (a.k.a. the pretzeliest person of them all) wins.
4. Spyfall - 3-8 players, 15 minutes, £20
A party game unlike any other, one in which you get to be a spy and try to understand what's going on around you. Spyfall is played over several rounds, and at the start of each round all players receive cards showing the same location — a casino, a traveling circus, a pirate ship, or even a space station and lots more — except that one player receives a card that says "Spy" instead of the location. Players then start asking each other questions — "Why are you dressed so strangely?" or "When was the last time we got a payday?" or anything else you can come up with — trying to guess who among them is the spy. The spy doesn't know where he is, so he has to listen carefully. When it's his time to answer, he'd better create a good story!
5. Codenames - 2-8 players, 15 minutes, £14
Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 opertives. Their teammates know the operatives only by their CODENAMES. In Codenames, two teams compete against each other to see who can make contact with all of their operatives first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right operatives while avoiding those that belong to the opposing spymaster. And everyone would do best to avoid the assassin. Codenames: Win or lose, it's fun to figure out the clues.