By Richa Wadhera

No matter how well you may know someone; there will always come a time when you will see a side of them you never would have believed they had. I have seen it happen, and funnily, I saw all my friends lose it on the same night. The most confident came totally unglued, the most non-confrontational became uber competitive, and the most placid threw a kabab roll at me. I’ll never forget that fateful night – Game Night!

Screeching, stuttering, buzzers, timers, scores, teams, cheating, alcohol, more cheating, louder screaming – Game nights are super stimulating, incredible ice breakers, and just plain mad fun. Don’t plan one cause it’s too hot to go out, or you can’t find parking in HKV – plan one cause as a veteran, I can safely say there is never a dull moment! Intense games with 4 or 5 players, fun games in mildly compromising positions, or just loud competitive team games – we’re sharing our list of favorites.

Settlers of Catan | One of the more intense board games, players need to strategize to buy resources, build settlements and accumulate points. Play with people who can stay focused, as one game can go into a couple of hours. The kind where one must keep an eye on all players, Settlers of Catan is a highly stimulating and challenging game that’s crazily satisfying to win.

Pass the Bomb | Rope in as many people as you want, and watch friends with the most impeccable English mess up! Players have to shout out words that contain a determined order of letters, while a variable timer that looks like a bomb ticks incessantly in their hands. The bomb cannot be passed unless the word shouted contains the letters in the right order. If the bomb goes off in your hand, you lose that round. People get pretty creative with this game – we’ve heard stuff like Slipsicle, Ozzie Oswal, Slupper {which, as it turned out, IS a word – a wh*** you would consider taking home to dinner with your parents}, and even had the bomb give a friend a fat lip.

Heads up | Another frantic, team game, you can literally carry this around cause its available on all android and I phones! Choose from a range of subjects like blockbuster films, celebrities and others. Once you’ve sealed a subject, hold the phone up for your team mates to see. They have to describe the word on the phone for you to guess. The more you guess within the time frame, the more your score. Definitely try the  ‘accents’ – they’re so hysterical that you won’t care about your score!

Last Word | Most of us are all about having the final say, and this game is right up our alley! Pick a subject and a letter, and start the randomly programmed timer. Everyone must yell out their words starting with the letter and corresponding to the category, and when the timer goes off, the person who screamed the last word advances on the board. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve clapped my hand over competitor’s mouths. Consider that a tip maybe?

Twister | Thought you were agile? It’s time to put those years of yoga and dancing to the ultimate test. A life size board with giant colored dots, spin the wheel to see which colors to place your hands and legs on. We guarantee 3 spins in, you’ll find yourself in some wonderfully compromising positions with other players. If you’re a little shy, play with people you’re comfortable with. If you’re ready to mingle – this game is the greatest ice breaker!

Taboo | A board game and also available on smart phones, Taboo has been one of our favorites, to the point that we have the cards memorized! The agenda is simple – each team has one player go up and in a specified time, the player needs to make his teammates guess the word on his card, without using the 5 listed ‘taboo’ words in his/her description. Watch the most articulate people get flummoxed, and the simplest descriptions go drastically wrong! To make things more interesting, there’s a super annoying buzzer that the opposing team can use in the player’s ear every time he/she uses a taboo word.

Big Taboo |  Step it up a few notches, especially if you have the taboo cards memorized {like my sister and I do now}. Look for Big Taboo, a version of the original game that involves elements of the classic taboo, charades, Pictionary and 25 words or less – and know that you’re going to have to get creative!

Jenga | Game night will need alcohol – for multiple reasons… to calm people’s nerves, to celebrate a victory, or to drown your sorrows {especially for the more serious Catan players}. The best way to lift everyone’s spirits {some more} after a few drinks is Jenga! 54 wooden blocks are arranged to make a tower. Every player must strategically remove one block, without touching any others, and place it at the top of tower. The person that brings the tower down, well…needs another drink! Shake things up some more by putting drinking rules on your Jenga blocks, so every player that removes a block has a drinking task to complete. Maybe save this game for the end of the night?

Cranium | Another complete party game, Cranium demands the active use of your mind and body. Players must complete 4 sections, all inspired from games we’ve grown up playing, like Pictionary, Charades and Claymania.  Creative Cat is where you make your team guess a word by drawing or sculpting it in clay. The catch? The player must keep his eyes closed! Read up for the Data Head section, cause this one involves some serious trivia. Word Worm is for everything you could do with words – spell, unscramble, define or describe. Lastly, there’s star performer – impersonate, imitate, sing, mime…knock yourself out.

Where to buy? These games are available at most Toy Stores in Delhi. You can also buy them on Amazon.