When you’re hosting a dinner party, there’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Not only are you responsible for providing a meal and refreshments, but entertainment is up to you, too.
Even the most understanding of friends can leave a boring dinner party feeling a bit disappointed. That’s why it’s important for you to have something more planned for the evening than just food.
Board games are a wonderful option. The right board game can unite everyone in hours of fun, turning your dinner party into an unforgettable experience.
To help you pick a game for your dinner party, we’ve compiled a list of the best board games for dinner parties.
Best Board Games for Dinner Parties
Clue 1986 Edition
As a game many of us grew up with, Clue is something that will be familiar to a lot of the people at your dinner party. Best of all, this particular version of Clue is designed to look like the one widely played in the 80’s.
Because of its vintage looks, this game is perfect for taking a fun stroll down memory lane. You and your guests will get a blast from the past as you try to solve a murder mystery before anyone else does.
- It’s simple to learn.
- Retro looks will appeal to everyone’s nostalgia.
- Fun murder mystery theme.
- The solution to the mystery is different pretty much every time, giving it replay value.
- There are some reports that Colonel Mustard is portrayed in an orange color rather than his traditional yellow color.
If you like the gameplay from Clue but want to take it up a notch to a spookier territory, Mysterium is the game for you. Like in Clue, the players are trying to solve a murder mystery.
The difference, though, is that one player is the victim. They play as a ghost trying to give clues to the other players in the form of gorgeously illustrated but surreal picture cards. Those investigating the mystery must struggle to interpret what the picture cards mean and who they’re hinting at.
In a way, it’s kind of like a creepy combination of charades and Clue. We think it would be an unforgettable time for your guests.
- Magnificent artwork on the board and pieces.
- Enthralling murder mystery theme that will have everyone eager for the answer.
- Like in Clue, the solution to the mystery is different every time, so you can play it over and over.
- Easy-to-understand gameplay.
- Cooperative gameplay that will have everyone working together.
- A few players have noted that it can get a little easy to figure out what the clue cards mean when you play with the same people repeatedly.
We’re steering out of that murder mystery territory now into something a bit more traditional: trivia. Wit’s End is a trivia board game that puts a brand new twist on the old and familiar genre.
Instead of just answering questions, there are a few different challenges. The cards might have you solve riddles, pick an item that doesn’t fit in with the others, or sort things in the correct order.
This board game will have everyone using their brains and showing off their memory skills.
- Familiar trivia style, but with a range of challenges so it won’t be boring.
- Can play against each other or on teams.
- 1200 question cards, so you won’t run out of cards or memorize them anytime soon.
- No one will have a hard time learning to play.
- Some have said that a few of the questions are a bit too hard.
Ticket to Ride
Many lists of quality board games will probably include Ticket to Ride on them. There are many good reasons this game is so well-loved, but we’ve picked this version in particular because of its Alexa compatibility.
If you use an Alexa speaker at home, you can use it to guide new players through the game. This is perfect when you have beginners at your table and you don’t feel you could explain the game as well.
Once the game gets moving, it goes fast. Everyone fights against each other to connect cities and get the best train cards before anyone else can. No one will be getting bored at your dinner party when you pull this game off the shelf.
- Has a fast-moving and exciting pace.
- You can use Alexa to explain how to play the game.
- If you’re alone, you can even play against Alexa.
- The rules are fairly simple.
- Games can be finished within an hour.
- Make sure you clear off the table first, because this one takes up a lot of space.
If you’re ever looking for an easy board game, Carcasonne is a name you’ll come across a lot. This user-friendly game has a newly redesigned rulebook that was made with beginners in mind.
It takes place in a fun medieval setting. As players draw tiles and build a map together, they must also claim landmarks for their own to earn points.
Carcassone is one of the easiest to learn games out there. Not only will you have fun, but you won’t need to struggle to interpret the rules.
- Anyone can learn to play this game in no time.
- Every time you play, the board will be different because players build it from randomly drawn tiles.
- Games can be played quickly.
- Appealing medieval theme.
- The base version of the game can only support up to 5 players, so you may need to consider buying expansions if you want to play with more people.
Read Also: Best Fantasy Board Games for Beginners
Want to make your guests laugh? Then you need a wildly random game that will test their creativity like Off Topic.
In Off Topic, a card is drawn with a topic on it, and then a die is rolled that gives you a letter. Each player must then come up with a response to the topic that starts with the chosen letter within a set period of time.
But that’s only the first part. Once time runs out, each player must argue their response and explain why it’s the best one at the table.
- Wacky and wild gameplay that will have everyone laughing in no time.
- The perfect game for getting everyone talking to each other.
- So easy to play, you don’t even really need to read the rules for long.
- Comes with erasable boards to write your answers on.
- You can play it with up to 8 people.
- May not be suitable for children.
- Introverts may not like it as much because of the debating aspects.
Features to Consider
There’s a possibility that at least one or two people are your dinner party are new to board games, or haven’t heard of the game you’re trying to play. Difficulty is always worth considering when you’re playing with a group of people.
It’s not always easy to tell how difficult a game is going to be, though. You can check out the way it looks when it’s set up for a clue – games with tons of pieces and a huge board are oftentimes more complex.
Duration may also give you a hint. If it’s a really long game that takes multiple hours, chances are, it has a lot of lengthy interactions.
More likely than not, playing board games isn’t the only reason why you’re having a dinner party. You’ve got a meal to plan and eat, and you might want to sit around and chat afterward.
Your board game probably shouldn’t take up the entire evening. However, it could be entirely possible you want a long board game, too, especially if you’re looking for something to pass a lot of time.
You can always check the box to get an idea of how long it takes to complete one playthrough of a game.
One of the most annoying parts of playing a game is having to set it up. This is especially true if the game has literally hundreds of pieces.
Having to fish through all the pieces, set them in piles, and hand them out to people is endlessly frustrating. It takes away from the time you could otherwise spend actually playing the game.
That’s why we recommend always factoring in the set up. There isn’t usually information on how easy it is to start the game, so you may need to check out pictures of how the game looks when it’s set up.
Based on the size and number of pieces, you can get an idea for how difficult it is to get it ready to play.
Cooperative or Competitive
Some people get a little too into the competition when they’re playing a game. Likewise, some people aren’t fun to play with because they’re sore losers.
For those types of scenarios, consider a cooperative game. In cooperative games, everyone must work together in order to win.
These types of games lower the odds of a table being flipped in frustration or of overly dramatic victory celebrations.
On the other hand, if you have a laid-back group of people at your dinner party, a competitive game should be a perfectly fine choice.
Number of Players
How many people are going to be at the dinner party? This is important to think about, because each board game can only allow so many players.
You don’t want anyone to have to sit out unless they choose to. Make sure you check the number of players on the box so you can guarantee that there’s room at the table for everyone.
While we feel any of the board games on this list would be a fantastic addition to your dinner party, we do have some personal favorites. If you asked us to pick one for you over all the others, we’d strongly suggest something like Off Topic.
It’s a game that’s perfect for lightening the mood and making everyone laugh. It can also support a decent number of players – up to eight – so that everyone will be able to join in.
Are you trying to socialize from a distance, but don’t want to sacrifice board game nights? Try any of the games on our list of best board games for video calls.