4 Icebreaker Party Games That Won’t Leave You Frozen in Fear

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Game nights are the perfect excuse to bring a new group of friends together—but there’s a lot of pressure on the host to choose just the right games to make the night a success.

As always, we have you covered. These four games are just what you need to break the ice and get your new besties laughing and playing games in no time. Even better, none of these quick and fun games require the players to make a fool of themselves, trust fall on anyone, or share their life story. Unless, you know, they want to.


“Anomia” is that familiar feeling of, “What’s the word for…?” Put it in a game form, and you have one party game that will test the no-longer-useless treasure trove of trivia in your brain.

One player flips over a card from the center pile and look to see if the symbol matches a card in the other players’ hands. If it matches with the card in someone’s hand, the first person to call out an example of the category on the card wins that card. It seems easy, but soon you’ll be wracking your brain for the name of a clown (you just thought “Pennywise,” didn’t you), a reptile, and many, many more categories. You and your friends will be shouting at each other in no time—but in a good way.


Monikers is a twist on the classic party game Celebrity, but the additional rounds of play and incredible card categories make it stand out from the original. Your gaming group begins with a stack of cards, and each player chooses the ones they know and like best. Players take turns acting out or describing the person on the card for the others to guess.

As the rounds progress, players must use just one word and then just charades, but with the same stack of cards, so the guessers aren’t just throwing out random, frustrated answers. Monikers feels designed for minimal embarrassment, which is always a welcome feature in any party game.

Happy Salmon

If you want zero deep thinking and lots of silliness at your next get-together, look no further than Happy Salmon. There’s lots of yelling in this quick-paced card game, but since you and your friends will all be shouting at the same time, no one player will feel self-conscious about it.

The goal of this simple game is to draw a card and do the action written there with another player who has the same card. You’ll fist bump, high-five, switch places, and make your hand swim like a fish with whoever else has that same card, but you have to yell it out to find that player. And that’s it. Happy Salmon is fast, silly, loud, and hilarious.

Wits & Wagers Party Edition

You might have caught Wil Wheaton and friends playing Wits & Wagers Family on an episode of TableTop, and this party edition is similar. Like the family version, Wits & Wagers Party Edition can be enjoyed by younger players. Players are asked a trivia question and submit an answer. Then the other players look at the guesses and place a bet on the answer they think might be closest to being correct.

Because everyone is answering at once, you don’t have to squirm under the spotlight when it’s your turn. And the real key to winning is placing your bet, not answering correctly, so you’re not under pressure all by yourself. Get to know your fellow players–and how good they are at trivia–with this classic party game.

Do you have a favorite icebreaker for getting the party started? Let us know in the comments!

All images: Monikers Box Art, Game © Alex Hague and Justin Vickers 

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