The fact that board games are only fun with as many players as possible has long ceased to apply. The best examples are popular titles like Escape or Space Alert, the idea of ​​which also inspires solo players. Even complex board games can sometimes be tackled completely alone or with a large group of players: some offshoots from the fantastic Arkham Horror board game series stand for entertaining one-man shows.

And especially at SPIEL'16, numerous “games for many” ensure full tables. Simple rules, a quick start and a lot of interaction ensure unlimited fun away from the frequent board games. In 2016, too, making yourself a “panda” or taking part in a pub game is inextricably linked to the parlor game culture.

Pub quiz - the original by moses.

Great Britain has a distinct pub culture, with which the pub quiz is also firmly connected. Pub visitors play against each other in a relaxed atmosphere and solve tricky quiz questions. And, as is usual for such round tables, the factor of dangerous half-knowledge plays a major role. The quiz game pub quiz - the original from the publisher moses. This is exactly where it starts: A team plays together against four fictional bar visitors. The aim is to answer five questions correctly within five minutes. The whole thing extends over five game rounds. Sounds easy? It is - at least except for the fact that many possible answers to particularly tricky questions can be discussed in detail. 

SPIEL'16 in Essen: Playing with many
SPIEL'16 in Essen: Playing with many

With the impressive number of 750 questions from different categories, there is plenty of room to do justice to the defense of the half-knowledge learned. In addition to general knowledge, scientific understanding, literature, film history and current affairs are queried. The sport category is mandatory for a real pub quiz. Each correct answer brings the team up one space on the game board. Whoever makes the greatest progress in the end wins. Instead of playing in the purely cooperative variant against fictional opponents, the bar visitors are free to form their own teams in order to compete against each other. Pub quiz - the original is not original, but entertaining. This quiz game brings the pub atmosphere to the players' homes. Plays well for 3 or more players at the age of 12. The games are of course limited in time by the specifications.

UNO Wild Jackpot from Mattel

UNO is one of those card games that just can't be killed. The American card game appeared as early as 1971, in which discarding all cards in hand is the top priority. And because UNO is loved by everyone everywhere, Mattel is launching a new variant on the market: UN Wild Jackpot. The heart of this variant is a one-armed bandit made of plastic, which spits out a house rule set by the players when an action card is drawn. After each round the intermediate points are evaluated and the first player to reach 500 points wins. When creating the house rules, players can let their imaginations run wild. Turn three times in a circle and draw a card is just as possible as a modification of UNO as a real drinking and party game. However, there is one thing that all rule thinkers should pay attention to: the wildcard rules should be implementable. The rest of UN Wild Joker is known. The slot machine and the house rules are quite funny and ensure fun, especially in larger game rounds. But those who can do without it are also well served with the traditional UNO. The rule is: try it out and decide for yourself.  

Drinkopoly - The craziest game ever

Serious board players will only shake their head in amazement at the sight of Drinkopoly. Drinkopoly is what is commonly referred to as a "drinking game" in everyday language. The preparation is simple: In addition to the board game itself, you also need some drinking glasses and a bottle of schnapps. The simple sequence of this party board game is designed in such a way that board players who enjoy drinking can easily reach the finish line even with three per thousand. That is exactly the aim of the game: simply reach the goal with the pawn. However, along the way there are numerous tasks waiting to be completed by the players. Either the playing fields or the action cards reveal which actions are required.

SPIEL'16 in Essen: Playing with many

Since the game concept is basically linked to the (un) popular game “Choice, Truth or Dare”, it is advisable not to integrate too reticent types of players into the round - or at least to fill them up properly in advance. During the game there is a lot of drinking, wandering and then drinking again. Anyone who is frowning in amazement should now Drinkopoly Just try it out in a large group, because despite the questionable procedure, depending on the composition of the playgroup, there can be a lot of fun. If you want to look for a deeper meaning in board games, you should Drinkopoly on the other hand avoid, of the much praised “cultural asset board game” not much remains after the first round.

By the way, 'Sex sells' applies to the variant Drinkopoly Secretsin which the action cards bring shame to the faces of the players.   

Word Slam from KOSMOS - creative word battles

If you like to talk but only use a few words, you are with the game Word Slam Well served by Inka and Markus Brand. The communication game was published by KOSMOS Verlag. Anyone who thought that pronounced linguistic abilities would make a person will be taught better by the communicative tricks of this game; or confirmed in its acceptance - depending on your point of view. Two teams play against each other at the same time and try to guess terms that the explainer tries to represent using 105 explanatory cards. Further supporting actions in tone or gesture are not permitted. If you combine well and at the same time listen to the opposing team guessing, you will find the term you are looking for more quickly.

SPIEL'16 in Essen: Playing with many

The interaction factor of this quick guessing game is a success. Word Slam is an excellent alternative to popular communication games such as Tabu or Codenames (Game of the Year 2016 ). Not because it simply provides the guessing round with new terms, but rather relies on a completely different game concept that is unique in this form. Breaking down a person's vocabulary to just over 100 words in order to create the basis for an exciting guessing spectacle from the remains is a simple but ingenious idea. Game fun for more than the required 10 rounds and especially good with many players.

Codenames Pictures - A variant of Game of the Year 2016

With Codenames Pictures all the agents get new tasks who have lost their fun with the standard variant of Codenames - or who at least need a change from the hard everyday espionage. Instead of using concept cards, the game is played with face cards. The basic game idea remains untouched, however. The playing field is a little smaller and persists Codenames Pictures from 5 x 4 picture cards. The head of the secret service continues to specify the combination of a generic term and a number, the participating agents then have to guess the pictures that match the specification. As usual, enemy agents should be avoided and the assassin as well, if possible.

SPIEL'16 in Essen: Playing with many

Artistic parlor players will now ask themselves what the difference is exactly when pictures instead of concepts are on the table, because behind the pictures there are only concepts. The objection is fundamentally correct, but the difficulty lies in assigning suitable terms to the images or decoding synonyms. For example, the image of the dice could stand for a dice on the one hand or for the number six on top. The wolf is specifically a wolf or comes from the main categories “animals” or “danger”. Clever intelligence chiefs have additional ways to give clues to their team. In addition, there is a certain ambiguity in almost every picture, which can be cleverly used by the players. A pineapple quickly becomes a grenade or the top of the cake becomes a stick of dynamite. The fun factor of Codenames Pictures is at a similarly high level as its predecessor. The smarter the players deal with the pictures and the larger the group, the more fun the new variant is. Definitely try it out.