Family game night has become popular again, apparently. To judge from the popularity of Jane Lynch’s alcohol-infested celebrity-packed TV show version, game night is back in style, at least. Toss the alcohol down the drain, mute Lynch’s curiously unfunny appearance and bring the kids back into the room to take advantage of these top 10 games truly suitable for family game night.
Accurate but Misleading Plot Synopses
If you’ve spent more than 10 minutes surfing the internet in your life, you probably came across this entirely accurate yet definitely misleading plot synopsis of “The Wizard of Oz” at one time or another: “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.” In the wake of going viral, many other wildly misleading synopses began popping up . Track down as many as you can or create your own. Trying to guess the movie they describe makes for great fun on family game night.
Name That Smell
What would a top 10 list of great games for the family be without something gross? I mean, you know, when the family has younger kids. The rules could not be simpler and it may even turn out to be education. Everybody spreads out to find a few things that can fit in a hand and produce a distinctively foul odor. Blindfolds are allowed since the point is to see which member of the family can identify the most objects using only their sense of smell.
Letters from Whitechapel
At the opposite end of the spectrum from Name that Smell is Letters from Whitechapel. In the first place, this is a board requiring purchase and not something you can whip up at the last minute. Secondly, as you probably suspect, Letters from Whitechapel is only appropriate for family game night if every member of the family is mature enough to handle recreating the Jack the Ripper case. Also, Letters from Whitechapel would probably appear on a top 10 list of board games with the biggest and most impressive board.
Beatles Rock Band
Not just any Rock Band for the Playstation or Xbox video game console will do for family game night. What sets Beatles Rock Band apart from the rest that could conceivably make a top 10 list? All the songs don’t same the same like the is that unlike the country version not all songs sound the same, unlike the Country version, won’t cause stress like the Green Day version and isn’t the Metal version.
Disney Scene-It 2006
I specifically recommend the 2006 edition of Disney Scene-It for family game night for just one reason. I wrote all the questions and answers and, frankly, I think I did a pretty creative job. I don’t get any money if you buy a copy of the game. Frankly, I myself would prefer to play the Simpsons version of Scene-It or Turner Classic Movies Scene-It. But that’s just me.
Monopoly: Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Edition
Family game night without some game featuring the Simpsons would be like Halloween without a Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror Halloween special. (I would have said it would be like an October, but, well, you know.) Let’s face it: we all know that a much more appropriate title for the Parker Brothers game intended to glorify the worst excesses of capitalism would be Monotony, but when you add Bart, Homer and the various characters associated with their Halloween specials, spitting in the face of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act has never been so much fun.
The Pursuit of Phony Trivia
Have you become one of those families that are in the same room together, but hardly qualify as spending time together? Every member in his spot, but with some kind of screen in front of them. Connected, but disconnected? Well, take advantage of all that technology by finding interesting trivia about people, places and things. And then toss in one phony fact. The object of the game is twofold: to use family game night to put your family back together. And, of course, to figure out which is the piece of phony trivia.
Another way to enjoy family game night while not entirely cutting the cord of family entertainment is to turn family movie night into a game. Pick a movie that nobody really cares that much about hearing. Watching, sure. But you only need to hear enough audio to make the kind of witty wisecracks and insightful riffs made popular by Joel, Mike, Crow, Servo and the gang on the late, lamented “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” And, of course, if you’ve never seen the show, get right on it so you’ll know how a top 10 list of ideas for family game night could include such a recommendation.
Once upon a time, family game night meant a visit to the local bowling alley. Well, what with the price of gas and the price of rental shoes and I don’t know what, who wants to put all that effort in. If you’ve got the Xbox, get a Kinect bowling game. The reason I suggest Kinect bowling is not out of love for Microsoft, but because your entire body can be used. The reason I suggest bowling is because so far that seems to be the only game that can be virtually recreated with full body movement video games that everyone in the family can enjoy equally and be equally adept.
Go Johnny Go Go Go Go!
It’s a card game that is kind of a twist between Hoover and Eight Men Down. Well, here, check out this video and you’ll get an idea of why Go Johnny Go Go Go Go is the perfect game for family game night. Okay, I waited here for you. Do you get it? Make up your own card game with any crazy rules you want. That’s what family game night should be about: making games that only your family knows how to play.