December Game Night Recap

I finally was able to get a few friends over for in-person gaming this weekend!

I love Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia and Board Game Arena, but there is nothing like sitting around the table with friends and laughing together.

I think it went pretty well! All if the games were new to my friends so I had to teach them while we were playing. I ended up with 6 people around the table and didn’t realize how few 6 player count games I had. I did find a few though:

Tower of game boxes

First up: MonsDRAWsity by Deep Water Games. I picked this up during the Memorial Day sale after seeing Ameritrashtalk post about it on her Instagram. This is such a great game for all ages and player levels. There are 9 player boards in my box but technically you could have an infinite amount of players.

Each round, one player is the witness, someone who saw a strange anomaly on the city streets and now must describe it to the authorities (everyone else). The witness gets a card with a monster on it and has 20 seconds to memorize what the monster looks like. Once time runs out, they put the cars face down and then have 2 minutes to explain to the group what they saw.

After the 2 minutes, we reveal our sketches to the witness, who decides secretly which picture looks the most like their monster. They then reveal the card to the group. This usually leads to lots of laughter and “omg!” etc.. Then the group tries to guess who the witness picked as their favorite.

My winning doodle

This is an easy one to play while waiting for the attendees to arrive or the pizza delivery – eaxh round is just a few minutes and everyone can play.

Next up, we played “A fake artist goes to New York” by Oink Games, a game I got for secret Santa last year but had never had enough people around to attempt! Similar vibe to MonsDRAWsity except with a hidden role mixed in.

In this game, everyone has a marker with a unique color. Slips of paper are handed out with the secret object of the artwork written on it…except one slip just has an X. The group leader says the topic of the image and a single piece of paper is passed around. Each artist may draw one line, attempting to strike a balance between drawing the picture but not giving so much away that the fake artist can blend in. The fake artist attempts to draw a line that looks like part of the art but doesn’t give away the fact that they might have no clue what is being drawn. This took a couple games for everyone to really get the strategy.

After all working against each other, I decided to bring it back together with a game of “Codenames” by Czech Games. We broke off into 2 teams of 3 and proceeded to go through this classic game of clues and deduction.

Then we went to frantic, multitasking with “Stay Cool.” I really like this game, though for most people it is too much. It is ridiculous and that is the point but the bombardment of questions and having to process them at once can be too much for some.

In “Stay Cool”, one person is being asked two questions at a time. For one question, they can just say the answers but for the other, they must spell it out using dice. Sometimes a dexterity challenge is thrown in to spice things up. You try to see how many questions you can get through in 2 minutes. (I wrote a whole post about this game back in January.)

I decided for all out war next with “Unstable Unicorns.” I’ve owned this card game for awhile but rarely play it because it’s all about being feisty. The goal is to collect 6 unicorns for your stable. And you must keep everyone else from doing that before you by playing magic cards, upgrades for your unicorns and downgrades on theirs. As with most games like this, things start out mild until someone finally throws down a fancy unicorn that gets them a bonus – then the downgrades and Neigh! Cards start flying. It’s always a good time, even if, as the box says, you have no friends, unicorns are your friends now.

After that, I wanted to bring it all back together with a game of collaborative storytelling, the beautiful “For the Queen.” by Alex Roberts. In this game, you are all members of the Queen’s retinue, traveling with her across the war torn countryside to meet with a neighboring kingdom. There is a deck of cards with questions about you and your relationship with the queen. You pass the deck around and draw the top card, responding to each question – card by card, you build your character, the world, and the story together.

What character would you create with these questions?

In our tale, the Queen was accompanied by the town blacksmith, a shepherd, a refugee, a cowherd, a sell sword and a poor woman. At first, the queen seemed benevolent, treating those below her with respect, but as the story unfolded we found out about her jealous streak, her moments of cruelty, but also her gentle side. We found her hiring assassin’s and perhaps killing a family? In the end, when she was attacked, the party was split on if they would defend her.

It was a wonderful night of games and I can’t wait to have another gathering! What’s the last in-person game night you had? What did you play? Tell me about it in the comments or link me to your post!

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