25 Awesome Game Night Ideas to Play (including 5 Tips For Hosting One)

If it’s your turn to host the next game night, then you’re going to want to make it the most memorable night possible. Make sure this is the case with our list of game night ideas carefully selected to ensure your guests have the best time.

Whether you’re looking for a board game that’s in-depth and will take your friends a while to play or something quick you can bust out in a pinch, we’ve got something for any occasion.

So take a look at 25 awesome game night ideas, and check out some of our top tips to help improve your hosting skills as well. 

See Also: Games Gift Ideas Guide | Best Game Buzzers

Card Game Night Ideas

Card Game Night Image

1. WHAT DO YOU MEME?

Players: 3+ players. 

Time to Play: 30 – 120 minutes. 

Objective: Come up with the best meme captions voted by your guests at your game night. 

What Do You Meme? in a nutshell: 

In What Do You Meme?, each player will receive 7 caption cards and must match the best caption to the displayed meme. Each player reads out their designed meme, the player who gets the most laughs wins the round. Whoever wins the most rounds win overall.

Related: What Do You Meme? rules

Our Pick
What Do You Meme? Core Game - The Hilarious Adult Party Game for Meme Lovers
$29.99
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08/08/2022 12:06 pm GMT

2. WEREWOLF

Players: 7 – 35 players. 

Time to Play: 20 minutes+. 

Objective: Depending on your role, either eliminate the werewolves or eliminate the villagers. 

Werewolf in a nutshell: 

Divide up players as either a werewolf or one of the villager characters. The Werewolf card game gets played with a night cycle and a day cycle. The night cycle is where the designated secret werewolves eliminate villager characters, whereas the day cycle is where villagers vote to eliminate who they believe is a werewolf, Last team standing at the end of the game wins. 

Related: Werewolf game rules.

Our Pick
Werewolf: A Party Game for Devious People
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08/08/2022 03:20 pm GMT

3. SECRET HITLER

Players: 5 – 10 players.

Time to Play: 30 – 120 minutes. 

Objective: Enact policies throughout the game to win the election and the game. 

Secret Hitler in a nutshell: 

Divide up the group into fascists and liberals, with 1 of the fascists randomly drawing the ‘Hitler’ card. Vote on different suggested policies; in Secret Hitler, the winning player or team is the person/people who manage to either win power or grab power. 

Related: Secret Hitler game rules.

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Secret Hitler
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08/08/2022 12:15 pm GMT

4. SUPERFIGHT

Players: 3+ players. 

Time to Play: 10 – 30 minutes. 

Objective: Using your drawn cards, come up with the greatest possible fighter and go head to head with other players to prove your fighter is the best. 

Superfight in a nutshell: 

Shuffle the Superfight cards and hand out 6 to each player. Draw up a round-robin tournament between all participants; each player will need to convince everyone that their designed hero would win in a fight. Whoever wins the final wins the game. 

Related: Superfight rules. 

Our Pick
Superfight a Card Game of Absurd Arguments | Fun Family Friendly, 500-card Deck
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08/08/2022 12:06 pm GMT

5. LLAMAS UNLEASHED

Players: 2 to 8 players. 

Time to Play: 30 – 45 minutes. 

Objective: Become the first player to manage to get 7 llamas in their field. 

Llamas Unleashed in a nutshell: 

Players draw the Llama Unleashed cards on their turn, which gives them 1 of 2 choices where they can either play that card or draw another one. The cards that they play either help themselves or hinder another player. The first player to get 7 llamas in their pen wins the game. 

Related: Llamas Unleashed rules

Our Pick
Llamas Unleashed Card Game - from The Creators of Unstable Unicorns - A Strategic Card Game & Party Game for Adults & Teens
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08/08/2022 12:39 pm GMT

6. HIT THE DECK

Players: 2 – 6 players. 

Time to Play: 20 minutes. 

Objective: Once a player hits 100 points, the aim is to have the least number of points. 

Hit The Deck in a nutshell: 

Each player takes it in turns to play their cards in their hand; each card has a different instruction for players to follow in an attempt to get rid of their hands of cards. The next player hits the deck if their card matches the previously played cards. Hit The Deck finishes when a player runs out of cards, with the winner the player with the lowest overall score. 

Related: Hit The Deck rules

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UNIVERSITY GAMES CORPORATION HIT The Deck
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08/08/2022 04:43 pm GMT

7. THE MIND CARD GAME

Players: 2 – 4 players.

Time to Play: 20 minutes per game.

Objective: Solve a number puzzle as a team without communicating verbally with the other team members. 

The Mind card game in a nutshell: 

Deal out the same number of The Mind cards as there are players playing. Players are silent throughout the game, and the team must organize 100 cards into numerical order. Once they are successfully organized, the game is over. 

Related: The Mind card game rules.

8. SUSHI GO PARTY

Players: 2 – 8 players. 

Time to Play: 10 – 20 minutes each game. 

Objective: Score points by combining Sushi cards

Sushi Go Party in a nutshell: 

Deal out the necessary Sushi Go Party cards to players; everyone plays at the same time and need to take cards that they need to create their combos and pass over cards they don’t need. Each successful combo earns points, the player with the most points at the end of the game wins. 

Related: Sushi Go Party rules. 

Our Pick
Sushi Go Party! Card Game
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08/08/2022 04:32 pm GMT

Board Game Night Ideas

Board Game Night Image

9. DRAGONWOOD

Players: 2 – 4 players.

Time to Play: 30 – 60 minutes. 

Objective: Defeat the 2 dragons by collecting points and readying yourself for the final battle throughout the game. 

Dragonwood in a nutshell: 

Dragonwood requires players to build their hands throughout the game, starting with 0. Once ready, a player can challenge 1 of the 2 Dragons, and the game ends once one of the Dragons gets defeated. The winner is the player who has accumulated the most victory points throughout the game. 

Related: Dragonwood rules

Our Pick
Gamewright Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring Board Game Multi-colored, 5"
$21.90
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08/08/2022 12:05 pm GMT

10. CODENAMES

Players: 4 – 8 players. 

Time to Play: 15 minutes. 

Objective: Give single-word clues to the agent so that they avoid getting assassinated. 

Codenames in a nutshell: 

Divide players into 2 equal teams, shuffle the Codenames cards, and lay them out in a 5×5 grid. 1 team is tasked with protecting their agents; the other team has to attempt to find where the agents are hiding. Team 1 wins if they can avoid their agents from being detected and team 2 win if they manage to find all the agents. 

Related: Codenames rules

Our Pick
Czech Games Codenames
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08/08/2022 12:32 pm GMT

11. NAME 5 GAME

Players: 2 – 8 players in teams. 

Time to Play: 30 – 60 minutes.

Objective: Name 5 things in a category and be the first player or team to reach the Name 5 space.

Name 5 Game in a nutshell: 

Each team selects their game pieces and puts them at the start of the Name 5 Game board. When a player lands on a color on the game board, they read out the topic displayed on the card, and a team member needs to name 5 things in that category within 30 seconds. The first team to reach the end wins the game. 

Related: Name 5 Game rules.

Our Pick
Name 5 - Quick Thinking Game
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08/08/2022 02:24 pm GMT

12. PANDEMIC

Players: 2 – 4 players. 

Time to Play: 45 minutes. 

Objective: As a team, enact medical policies to ensure that a virus doesn’t get out of control.

Pandemic in a nutshell: 

Assign each player a specific role that they need to manage throughout the game. Players draw cards that throw up different scenarios and must draw their own cards to work out each problem. In Pandemic, if the team manages to contain the pandemic, they win, but they lose if it goes out of control. 

Related: Pandemic board game rules

Our Pick
Pandemic
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08/04/2022 09:48 am GMT

13. JUMANJI

Players: 2 – 4 players. 

Time to Play: 30 – 45 minutes. 

Objective: Land on the Jumanji Space in the middle of the game board before the Doomsday Grid gets filled up. 

Jumanji in a nutshell: 

Like the film, Jumanji requires players to roll a die to determine how many spaces they need to move on the game board. The game changes, and cards get drawn depending on the space that players land on. Once a player gets to the Jumanji Space, they can shout ‘JUMANJI’ and win the game. 

Related: Jumanji board game rules

Our Pick
Spin Master Games Cardinal Games Jumanji The Game Action Game, Multicolor
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08/08/2022 04:26 pm GMT

14. DEAD OF WINTER

Players: 2 – 5 players. 

Time to Play: 60 – 120 minutes.

Objective: Work as a team to complete the main goal in a zombie apocalypse while secretly completing a hidden goal. 

Dead Of Winter in a nutshell: 

As a group, Dead Of Winter requires players to start by picking a main objective card at random that everyone needs to work towards. Each player will also need to draw a secret objective card which has a task involving the other players they must try to complete too. The winner is the player who manages to complete their hidden task without getting discovered. 

Related: Dead of Winter rules

Our Pick
Dead of Winter
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08/08/2022 03:09 pm GMT

15. CLUE 

Players: 2 – 6 players. 

Time to Play: 45 – 60 minutes. 

Objective: Try to solve the murder by discovering who did the murder, which room they did it in, and what weapon they used to do it. 

Clue in a nutshell: 

Each player needs to work out the murder mystery by entering different rooms on the Clue game board and guessing the answer to the mystery. Players denounce each guess if they have the card in their hand. The winner is the player who successfully guesses the 3 parts of the murder. 

Related: Clue game rules

Our Pick
Retro Series Clue - 1986 Edition Game
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08/04/2022 09:52 am GMT

16. TABOO

Players: 4+ players. 

Time to Play: 15 – 20 minutes.

Objective: Correctly guess the maximum number of words to score the winning point. 

Taboo in a nutshell: 

In Taboo, divide players up into 2 equal teams. Each round 1 player is a clue-giver, and the rest of their team needs to guess the phrase. There are a number of words that are taboo and cannot be said by the clue-giver. The team with the most correct guesses once all players have had a go at being the clue-giver wins. 

Related: Taboo game rules

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Taboo Party Board Game With Buzzer
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08/08/2022 12:22 pm GMT

‘No Equipment Needed’ Game Night Ideas

‘No Equipment Needed’ Game Night Image

17. GREEN GLASS DOOR

Players: 3+ players. 

Time to Play: 5 – 20 minutes per game. 

Objective: Be the first player to notice the word pattern, avoid being the last. 

Green Glass Door in a nutshell: 

1 player comes up with a word rule but doesn’t tell anyone else what it is. They announce what they are going to bring through the door, other players respond with an object to try to work out the word rule. Continue until everyone is either out of the game or has worked out the rule. 

Related: Green Glass Door

18. UMBRELLA GAME

Players: 2+ players. 

Time to Play: 10 – 15 minutes per game. 

Objective: After listening to a list of objects which can be brought to the party, try to guess the link. 

Umbrella Game in a nutshell: 

A player starts by saying that they’re going to bring an item to a party. Another player says what they’re bringing to the party, and it either gets rejected or accepted. Players must say ‘UM’ before their object for it to be accepted, but this part of the game is a secret. Play until everyone gets what’s going on. 

Related: The Umbrella Game.

19. PRESS CONFERENCE

Players: 4+ players. 

Time to Play: 20+ minutes.

Objective: Answer questions as a celebrity; the other players need to work out which celebrity you’re pretending to be.

Press Conference in a nutshell: 

Before the game begins, write down a bunch of celebrity names and place them into a hat. Players draw names out of the hat and answer questions from the other players as if they’re celebrity. After each player has asked a question, the player writes down who they think the celebrity is. Whoever has the most correct answers at the end wins. 

20. SNAPS

Players: 2+ players. 

Time to Play:

Objective: Work out the hidden name, object, or phrase that is masked by a secret code, including snapping fingers. 

Snaps in a nutshell: 

Come up with a phrase; celebrity names work particularly well. Announce the phrase ‘Snaps is the name of the game’ to denote that it’s a name. Consonants are denoted as a question to the other players; vowels are represented with a snap. Once someone has successfully worked out the answer, they come up with the next one. 

Related: Snaps game

Game Night Ideas for Couples

Game Night Ideas for Couples Image

21. THE NOT-SO-NEWLY-WED GAME

Players: 4+ players

Time to Play: 15 – 30 minutes. 

Objective: Be the couple to get the most matching answers when asked questions. 

The Not-So-Newly-Wed Game in a nutshell: 

Couples team up and get given a pen and paper each. They get asked questions about one another and must answer the same way to gain a point. The couple with the most points at the end wins the game. 

22. MIRROR CHARADES

Players: 4+ players.

Time to Play: 15 – 30 minutes. 

Objective: A couple acts out a charade together whilst the other couple/s try to guess the charade that the pair performs. 

Mirror Charades in a nutshell: 

Play Charades in the same way which you usually would with the exact same rules and motions. In Mirror Charades, each charade gets performed by a team, with 1 player standing out of view to the guessing players who know the charade and the other player copying their movements. Set a time limit, and the couple gets 1 point if the others guess the answer. 

23. POP THE BALLOON

Players: 4+ players. 

Time to Play: 5 – 10 minutes. 

Objective: The couple who pops the most balloons together without using their hands wins. 

Pop The Balloon in a nutshell: 

In pairs, couples have 2 minutes to pop as many balloons as they can and must do this by squeezing the balloons between both players. Whoever manages to pop the most balloons in the time limit wins. 

24. WATCH YA MOUTH

Players: 4+ players. 

Time to Play: 15 minutes. 

Objective: With the mouth guard in place, attempt to pronounce a word or phrase for your partner to guess. 

Watch Ya Mouth in a nutshell: 

In Watch Ya Mouth, couples divide themselves up into the reader with the mouth guard and the guesser. The reader reads cards aloud, with their speech impeded by the mouth guard. Whichever couple can get the most right wins the game. 

Related: Watch Ya Mouth rules. 

Our Pick
Watch Ya' Mouth Ultimate Edition
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08/08/2022 12:33 pm GMT

25. 2 TRUTHS AND A LIE

Players: 4+ players. 

Time to Play: 10 – 20 minutes. 

Objective: Successfully identify the most couples lies. 

2 Truths and a Lie in a nutshell: 

Each couple will need to come up with 2 truths and a lie about their relationship, something which involves both people. One by one, each couple needs to read out their 3 statements and the other players need to identify the lie. The winning couple is the couple who guess the most lies correctly. 

5 Tips for Hosting Game Night

Choose an activity that includes everyone.

This simply makes sense, right? You want to find stuff to do in which everyone can join in; otherwise, you’ll be left with someone awkwardly left out and not having a good time. 

Make sure you’ve thought about your guest list carefully.

Do the people that you’ve invited along know each other already? Will it be awkward if they’re not already familiar? Do the people you’ve invited like your proposed game night ideas?

All important things to consider as they will also determine what games you choose to play. Strangers may not want to play a game that can potentially reveal intimate revelations about themselves. 

Ensure everyone has a place to sit during the games and there’s enough room to play.

The majority of our game night ideas will involve sitting around a table or needing plenty of room for movement. Make sure you’ve not invited too many people so that this is a problem.

If you’re playing a game that requires a lot of movement, also be sure to hide away anything that can easily get broken too. 

Double-check you have the right equipment before you suggest playing it. 

There’s nothing worse than getting your guests excited about a game, opening up the game box, and discovering you’re missing the most important part. 

If playing a game that’s already been opened at least once, check everything is there before the game night begins. 

You could even consider having a trial run, so you know exactly how the game works. 

Don’t forget to have fun!

The whole reason you’re hosting a game night in the first place is to have some fun with your friends and family. 

The night can be over in a flash, so make sure you’re well prepared, you have a contingency plan if you need another game to play in a pinch, and your night should go as smoothly as possible. 

Wrap Up

We hope we’ve given you plenty of ideas for your next game night; if you want to host a quiz, then be sure to take a look at some of our trivia questions and answers as well, including 90’s tv trivia and literature trivia questions among others. 

If you’re after more games to play with your pals, then try reading through our favorite big group games and small group games for even more game night ideas. 

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Read all the articles (33) written by Jack Mcgachie