Some games are all about analyzing the strategy, making clever considered moves, and deeply reflecting on the current state of the board. Those games are awesome. But sometimes you want something a little more lighthearted. Sometimes, you want a game that is just going to make you laugh. Here are three games chock full of giggles.
The concept behind Telestrations is super simple: mix the childhood telephone game with Pictionary. A player starts with a word and draws it. They then pass that drawing to the left. The person in receipt then tries to guess the word based on that drawing. But then they pass their guess to the left. The new person sees neither the original word, nor the drawing but just the new word. Then they try to draw it. Then we pass left again. And so on. After it makes it around, the players review the pictures and guesses and hilarity ensues.
Hoo boy. I don’t think I’ve ever regularly laughed so hard during a game as I do with Telestrations. And the best part is, the worse your artistic ability, the better the game experience will be. Crazy drawings sometimes produce crazy guesses – and then those crazy guesses have to be drawn. It’s marvelous.
I’ve had Wicked Witch of the West turn into Sleeping Beauty and Cherub turn into Nightmare Clown. There’s a time limit so you can’t always draw everything perfectly, but sometimes you can add in a surprising amount of detail. Revealing the pictures is always accompanied by spontaneous and hearty laughter. Although there is a way to keep score, I don’t think I’ve ever used it in my dozens of plays. The mirth is its own reward.
Image Credit: USAopoly
Cash n’ Guns (2nd Edition)
Once again, the premise is simple. The players are criminals who have just made it back to their hideout from their latest heist. But now, they must divvy up the loot. Rather than share equally, the players put some of the loot out on the table and then threaten to shoot each other. At that point, a player can either bow out and give up his share, or call the bluff and stay in to get a share. Of course, if he’s wrong, he gets shot.
What makes Cash n’ Guns so funny isn’t the premise or the mechanics. It’s the foam guns. The game comes with eight foam pistols – black with the required orange tip. When it comes time to threaten someone, you actually take the pistol and point it at the player you are trying to intimidate.
It’s hugely entertaining when the player who thinks he or she is in the lead suddenly enters a round with all guns trained on them. Perhaps it’s best they sit out this round of loot distribution. Actually, every round produces chuckles as players can’t help but smile while they point fake foam armaments at each other and whisper threats about really having a loaded gun this time. Plus, Cash n’ Guns is not only super entertaining, but it’s a great game, too. Strategic players have to carefully consider when to bluff, when to shoot, and when to bow out.
Image Credit: Asmodee Games
But perhaps the most (silly) fun game I’ve ever played is Dungeon Fighter. It’s a familiar setting. The players are adventurers thrust into a dungeon hoping to fight their way through to a final boss and kill him. It even uses dice to determine combat. Just, not in the usual way. Instead of rolling them and looking at the numbers or symbols, they are thrown. And not just thrown anywhere, but thrown onto a large target board. Wherever the die lands, that is how much damage is done to the monster. But you can’t just drop it into the center. Instead, you have to throw it in such a way that it bounces at least once on the table before going onto the board. And that’s a lot harder than it sounds.
Beginning monsters tend not to have much health or powerful abilities. The players are just warming up and need to get used to how to toss the die. It’s incredibly easy to put too much zip and overshoot the target entirely. But if you don’t give it some strength, it might not make it over the eighth-inch cardboard and onto the target. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally hit the edge of the cardboard and missed entirely. So demoralizing!
But just when you think you might be getting the hang of it, the monsters start introducing new abilities. They might make you toss the die with your eyes closed, or using your off hand. As the game progresses, the throws get increasingly challenging. Maybe you throw it while your back is to the table, or maybe while jumping. These moves are challenging, sure, but also hilarious. Watching your friends jump, twist, or sit on the ground to complete challenging throws is too funny. Dungeon Fighter carries with it tremendous highs and lows. Sometimes, you make a difficult shot, get six points of damage, and kill the monster. Cheers from the crowd! Other times, you miss a critical throw and the party dies a horrible death. It’s fun either way, and filled with great big belly laughs.
Image Credit: IELLO Games
When you are looking for laughs, what game do you play? Tell us about it in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: USAopoly