Quick Party Games for Adults

Updated April 17, 2017

Contrary to popular belief, adults like to play party games as well. The sociability these games encourage breaks down barriers, provides mutual enjoyment and eases self-consciousness. Game planners should be aware of specific essentials, like the party theme, age and gender distribution of guests, as well as time constraints. Quick, sophisticated games after the kids go to bed can enhance the night and promote diversion.

Name that Tune

Create a playlist for the party by categorising music that ties to the celebration's theme. Choose music from when the invitees were teenagers for a birthday party, for example. Provide all participants with a pen and paper. Tell them to make a list from one to 10, assuming there are 10 songs on the playlist. There should be a space for each song title and artist. Tell players that you will play 10 seconds of each song, at which time they should write down the title and artist if they know it. To avoid confusion, tell participants each song number prior to playing it. A correct song plus artist is worth two points; a correct song or artist is worth one point. The participant with the most points wins.

Thumb Master

Provide guests with either non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverages. Explain that you will begin the game as "thumb master," although the position will change as the night goes on. Place your thumb on the table at some point in a discreet manner. Players will see your thumb and place theirs on the table as well. The person who places his thumb on the table last must drink and serve as the new thumb master.

It's Me

This game is ideal for dinner and sit-down parties. Make two sets of numbered pieces of paper. Hand one to the guests as they enter, and drop the other in a hat. Do not tell the guests the purpose of their numbers. Select an emcee for the night and provide her with a list of numbered questions. She then asks if everyone has a number and if they would like to play a game. Confused gestures will soon follow. Tell players that when their numbers are called, they must proclaim, "It's Me!" Sample questions include "Who is going to clean up this mess?" or "Who is the most attractive person here?" You may wish to tailor questions to fit the party's theme.

Paper Bag Peek-A-Boo

Instruct guests to stand in a circle. Place paper bags over their heads. Tell them to remove all items that are not necessary, including jewellery and accessories. Explain that the player with the most removed items in two minutes wins. Participants will begin to remove all kinds of items without realising the paper bag is an unnecessary item as well. Guests who understand this fact and remove the paper bag within two minutes win.

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About the Author

Nicole Newman is a Dartmouth College associate who works in Tiltfactor Laboratory, Dartmouth's premier game design center. Her research has included investigating the digital humanities through "Writing as a Dimensional Artifact" and "Evolution of the Ghetto: The Decline of America’s Inner Cities," a research initiative on urban design.