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Top 5 Games for Groups

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by Tara Sing (subscribe)
Freelance writer | Jesus, Soong, church, madness - eating, writing, running, happiness www.twitter.com/thisistarajane
Published June 24th 2012
You're met with groans each time you pull out Monopoly at a social gathering. Which games should you suggest to groups of friends? Here are five classics for everyone to enjoy.

Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples Box


Apples to Apples

If you're looking at this going "I've never heard of this, how can this be a classic?" then you're thinking exactly the same thing I thought when I was first introduced to this game. It's a words game that people of all ages and education levels can play, and it is a popular one amongst our church with the younger kids. It ideally suits groups of about 4 to 10 people.

The concept is fairly simple. There are two decks of cards, one red and one green. Each player is dealt seven red apple cards. On each red apple card a noun is listed. For example, cards can display names of famous people such as Michael Jackson, or objects such as desk chair. Green apple cards display a verb, i.e. frightening, funny, patriotic etc. One player, nominated as the judge for that round, selects a green apple card from the pile and flips it over. Other players must then select a red apple card from their hand that they think best suits the word displayed, and place it face down on the table. It's often a mad rush to pick and choose a card as the last card down doesn't get accepted.

The person nominated the judge then selects the red apple card they think best compliments the green apple card they have flipped over. The person who placed that card down on the table is the winner of that round and takes the green apple card to signify the win. Continuing around the circle, each person gets a turn to be the judge of the round. The game ends when one person has collected five green apple cards.

Individual personalities often affect which red card is deemed the winner, meaning that everyone is on an even playing field. Because anyone can pick and place down a card, it's a game that anyone can have a good time playing.

Compatibility box


Compatibility

Ever wondered how alike you and a friend think? Compatibility is the ultimate test for people to see if they really are on the same wavelength. The game is designed for six players at most, so it is effective for smaller groups of people.

Each person is handed a deck of cards which display an assortment of pictures. These pictures vary from a child's drawing, to a happy couple on their wedding day in 1982, to skyscrapers. Some cards simply feature a colour.

Topics are drawn from a pile of topic cards. The idea is that for each topic, teams must pick and order up to five cards from their deck. Once they have selected their cards and placed them in order, they then flip cards one at a time to see how compatible they are as a team. Two points are awarded for the same card in the same position, and one point is awarded for the same card in different positions in their rank.

It often comes as a surprise to see how compatible two people really are, or how different minds can be. Warning: this game can leave you feeling disappointed if you suddenly realise your thought process is vastly different to a loved one. Don't be discouraged however, they say opposites attract!

Jungle Speed
Jungle Speed


Jungle Speed

Another name for this game could be "Extremely Violent Snap". A matching game based on cards featuring similar jungle patterns, the idea is to snatch a small totem pole from the centre of the circle before your matching opponent does. Unlike regular Snap, the aim isn't to gain all the cards but lose them. Every time you snatch the totem first, the cards in your pile are passed on to loser. This game is ideal with groups of about six to twelve, anymore and it gets a little haphazard. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled as the cards often look identical but are different in the most minuscule of ways. Grab the totem at the wrong time and all the cards in play become yours.

Mafia


A slightly more complicated game that works well for groups of about ten to eighteen. A game that involves role playing, accusations, backstabbing and the occasional lie or two, Mafia has two aims. The goal for those playing as the Mafia is to eliminate each and every player while surviving. The goal for all the other players is to figure out who amongst them is the Mafia. This game is also known as Assassin, or Werewolf, and has a plethora of versions and rules. The rules are somewhat long and complicated so instead of describing them all here, I'll will refer you to one version of rules.

Uno
Uno is number one!


Uno

Uno is lots of fun
Uno is number one
Draw two!
Draw four!
Suffer!


What's a classic game list without Uno? If you were a child of the nineties, you won't be able to help singing the jingle when you see the deck of cards pulled out. Add in multiple decks to accommodate for multiple players.

For variation on the classic rules, we sometimes play you can add Draw Twos onto Draw Fours and vice versa. We have even seen one poor player draw sixteen cards and add these to his hand.
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Why? Entertaining big groups shouldn't be met with groans
When: Anytime
Where: Social gatherings
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