These tried and tested games night ideas are guaranteed to deliver the lols
Here at Bubblegum Stuff, we take the task of designing fun games very seriously. That means testing our games over and over to make sure they deliver maximum fun for you.
Sound like a tough task? Well, actually it’s great. We’re not about to complain about having one of the best jobs going! We know which side our bread’s buttered.
These hours spent at the coal face of game testing have provided us with near expert-level game night knowledge. We know what’ll get the fun flowing like it’s NYE 🎉 and what’ll put people to sleep quicker than that last Star Wars film 😴.
So, just how do you host a fun game night?
Well, we’re about to let you in on our industry secrets. Here are our definitive 7 tips on how to put on an epic games night. Read them. Memorise them. And put them into practice next time you have your pals over. You’ll have them thinking you’re the Great Gatsby of game night hosts.
Invite the right people… or choose the right games for the personalities of your guests
Bet you weren’t expecting that! But the fact is no games night is gonna pop if you invite mates with attention spans shorter than Robin Thicke’s career.
Gaming is a hugely inclusive community. But there’s nothing worse than constantly reminding your mate what the rules are, that it’s their turn, and to put their phone down!
OK, OK, let’s not exclude anyone. The best way to tackle this issue is to pick the right games for your guests. If you do have buddies that aren’t big gamers, or who prefer lighter-weight, more easily digestible entertainment, pick Point Salad or Top Drags instead of Pandemic or Forbidden Island.
If you’re unsure, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few of the classics for a spin - Cluedo and Monopoly never get old. But there are also games we’ve played like Secret Hitler that’ll be popular with everyone.
Check out this list from Game Night Gods for more sure-fired crowd-pleasers.
Invite the right amount of people
Yeah, this is a pretty big one. You might think “the more the merrier” when it comes to a games night. But the fact is, there aren’t many games that can support more than 8 players.
Plus more than that could create problems with having enough space or places to sit, and that age-old issue of waiting forever and a day for your turn.
In our experience, 8 is pretty much the maximum if you intend on playing a few different games in a night. But as we’ve done many times in the past, if you do just wanna settle in for a massive Werewolves sesh, invite the whole street!
Think about the order of your games
You might not be the type of person that likes the idea of organised fun. And that’s fair enough. But you should probably think about the order of your games and how that might impact the experience.
Think about your games night in terms of working towards a crescendo. Like a gig, you’ve got your warm-up and headline acts. So you’ll want to start with a lighter-weight game to kick things off; Exploding Kittens, Sushi Go or Girl Power.
Then you might want to go for something a little heavier, gradually working towards the main event. Depending on your group, that could be a monstrous deep strategy game like Gloomhaven or a rip-roaring party game like Beat That!
Be mindful of playing the best game too early as it might make the game that follows go down like a lead balloon. Like Busted following The Beatles.
Get the right food in
This one is pretty self-explanatory. A no-brainer. But it’s surprising how many people get it wrong. If your shopping list doesn’t consist entirely of chips, dips and pizza then you should throw it away and write a new list that does.
Finger food is king at a games night. No one wants to be fiddling around with cutlery or, even worse, chopsticks. And super heavy homemade meals are just gonna weigh everyone down.
Avoid the temptation to show off your amateur gastro skills and take the easy route. There’s a reason why Deliveroo and Just Eat are so popular.
Pick your poison
Depending on your preference, you may want to have some alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks prepared for when your mates turn up. They might want to bring drinks of their own. In our experience, games nights are fun either way.
Obviously, if you’re gonna play a game like All the Beer, No Idea, we’ll assume you like drinking. Plus it’s got plenty of additional gameplays that involve drinking forfeits. Another great one is drinking Jenga, as the more you lose, the more forfeits you have to do, meaning you’ll be more likely to lose some more.
Remember though, always drink responsibly when gaming 😏.
You don’t have to host at home
When you’re planning a games night, you’re likely to only think of doing it in your home. But this is 2021, people! Gaming has never been more popular. There are tons of game cafés popping up all the time. Why not book a table somewhere and invite your mates along?
The advantages to doing this are extensive. You’ll have access to way more games; you’ll have access to the employees’ expertise, meaning they can recommend games based on your preferences and teach you how to play them; and there are loads of opportunities for meeting like-minded people. The newest member of your gaming group could be sat at the next table.
If you live in the London area, check out our top 6 list of the best places to go and play games.
Lastly… enjoy it!
Above all else, you’ve gotta enjoy your games night. Otherwise, what are you doing it all for?? Try to follow the previous 6 tips but if for whatever reason you can’t, don’t sweat it.
You’ll be together with your pals for a laugh over some card games, board games or even general party games that you don’t have to pay for (charades and 20 questions are still winners in our book).
And hey, when your friends are thanking you for the best games night ever, you don’t need to credit us or even thank us. It’s just what we do.
Also, don't forget to share this with your friends on social media, if you think it's worthy. And please comment if you've got any great tips of your own - we'd love to hear from you!