Spice Up Games Night With Tortillas, Tik Tok, and More!
An inexpensive, and an excellent way to have unbridled, uncomplicated fun.
Throwing a Games Night get-together is possibly one of the best—and most underrated—ways to host a group of friends. It’s easy and inexpensive, and an excellent way to have unbridled, uncomplicated fun.
Here, are some tips and game ideas (both IRL and virtual) that will result in an awesome night that will make you LOL many times over and bring you and your friends closer together.
5 Fun Ways to Create the Perfect Games Night
Most of us have had the experience of playing a game, that no one really knows how to play, or where it doesn’t turn out to be as fun or funny you hoped—it falls flat. The key to avoiding this is to plan ahead. Choose only games you have tried out yourself or that come strongly recommended. Make sure the game(s) are suited to the number of people—or, be sure to invite the right number of people. And always have an extra game in your pocket! Sometimes games go more quickly than anticipated or don’t go over so well. Any type of trivia is good to have as a backup: Everyone knows how to play, it is easy to execute and its length is adaptable.
1. Choice of Games
When choosing games, think of your guests. What might seem mild and funny to one friend might be inappropriate for another. Some online games have both an “adult” version and a “family” version. It’s important to know your crowd and make the right choice.
Don’t forget the prizes! People will throw their hearts into winning a game if there is something at stake—even something small! A prize can be something as simple as a free drink the next time the gang goes out, a morning coffee and donuts delivery, or a prize pack of snacks.
Speaking of snacks . . . keep Games Night casual with baked chips and guacamole, or pull together ingredients for friends to make their own custom-made tacos with Casa Mendosa® Whole Wheat tortillas. You can also make a big pot of chilli, have a selection of tortillas, salsa sour cream and shredded cheese on the side—and beer on ice. (For more authentic Mexican-inspired meal ideas, keep reading to tip #5 below.)
2. Indoor, in-person games
Depending on the weather (and your region’s social distancing rules), in-person games might be (ahem) in the cards. If so, try these classics and not-so-classics.
The Bowl Game
Frugal living blogger Jordan Page reports on Instagram that The Bowl Game is her best fail-proof, go-to party game. It’s an ice-breaker/get-to-know-you/guessing game that will have you laugh-crying. Page says it will take at least a good hour to play it because once the stories start flowing, they just don’t stop!
How to play: Everyone takes two strips of paper and writes an unknown/unique, but true, fact about themselves on each. The slips are put in a bowl. Someone starts the game by pulling a strip of paper out of the bowl and reading it aloud. Whoever it belongs to keeps a poker face as everyone takes a turn around the table guessing whose it is. The reader guesses last. After everyone has guessed, the owner of the slip of paper stands up and admits it was them—and then explains themselves! One point is awarded if you guessed right. If no one guessed you as the correct person, you get five points. Pass the bowl to the right and keep going.
Charades is a classic for a reason. It’s easy and inexpensive to play, it brings out the kid in everyone and it’s guaranteed to bring out the laughs, too. There are boxed versions of this old classic, but you don’t need them. Divide into teams and of 3 or 4 and get ready to start acting. Different teams can create the charades topics for the other teams, to keep them secret (or, you can find lists online). If your gang is into sports, write down sports (include everything from high jumping to sailing to horseback riding to frisbee golf). If they are into music, write down names of singers (Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber) and/or songs (“Roar,” “Hotline Bling,” “Dancing on my Own”), and see who among your friends is the best mime! Or, make the category movies, TV shows or music from your favourite decade.
Anyone on TikTok has seen the wide array of crazy, funny and outrageous challenges people are taking on. Why not make a party of re-creating those challenges? Each guest can bring their favourite challenge for everyone to carry out. Check your TikTok feed, or look on YouTube for the most popular challenges.
An app available for a dollar or two, Heads Up is a reliable fallback game for any party. From categories like celebrities and singing to “silly accents,” each player has to hold their phone to their head and guess the word showing from their friends’ clues before the timer runs out.
Or pick up these super-popular (adult) games from Amazon.ca in-store (there are also app versions of some of these):
• Cards Against Humanity (It’s ridiculous, adult-themed, slightly offensive, and perfect for those who enjoy laughing at the dark side of life)
• Hedbanz (Put a card on your forehead and try to figure out what it says by asking questions)
• Smart Ass (a raucous trivia game)
• Exploding Kittens (It’s a fast-paced, “exploding” card game)
• What do you Meme? (Match photo cards with caption cards, creating your own outrageously funny, sometimes R-rated memes.)
3. Take it outside
If you need to keep your distance AND you want to enjoy the summer sun, take your game night outside. Board games have made a comeback in recent years, and now outdoor retro games are following suit. They’re great for social distancing and for new homeowners who have a backyard but no budget. Yup, games like horseshoes, croquet and lawn bowling are making a comeback. These games can be ordered online, found at thrift stores—or maybe in your grandparents’ or parents’ garage. Another crowd-pleaser? Bocce ball.
Or, try the Mexican Bean Game. To play, you’ll need a big bag of dry pinto beans and enough drinking straws and plastic cups for each player. Pour all the beans onto the table. On the start of go, each player must use their straws to suck a bean onto and rush it over to their cup without dropping it. Have the cups lined up at another table across the yard to make the challenge harder (and funnier). Make it a fiesta with a pitcher or two of margaritas and some authentic Mexican snacks.
The object of the game is to collect as many pinto beans as you can in your cup. No touching with your hands! Set the clock for three minutes.
TikTok challenges: Many TikTok challenges are best done outside! A case in point: The Bucket Challenge where a group of friends lay on their back and try to hold up a full, large bucket of water as each participant in turn takes their shoes off. Try not to spill the bucket! Whoever ends up dry at the end of the challenge wins. (Outdoors is also recommended for the many egg-cracking challenges on TikTok!)
4. Go virtual
Virtual games nights became a staple of lockdown life. Even if you are able to socialize more now, sometimes it’s still fun to gather online for your games.
All you need is your laptop, a handful of friends with smartphones, and an appetite for creativity. The Jackbox Party Pack games consist of six different packs that one person will purchase. Each pack has four to five different games. Everyone jumps on a Zoom call, and then each player connects via their own smartphone by going to the Jackbox website and entering the shared room code.
Not sure which games to play? Digital Trends (and other sites) rates the Jackbox Games. Perennial favourites are Drawful, where each player receives a drawing prompt and other players have to guess what they were trying to draw; Fibbage, which rewards the best liar; Tee K.O. where your drawings are matched with your opponents’ slogans, to create often-hilarious T-shirts; and Trivia Murder Party, which features trivia questions in a horror house setting!
Board Game Arena
Board Game Arena is mostly free and has more than 260 games in a digitized form, allowing players to play the tabletop titles in a browser. Many of the games include scripted features that automate parts of the gameplay, such as scoring and rule-checking, so you don’t have to worry about the rules. Board Game Arena has most of the classics (Hearts, Yahtzee) but also a robust selection of current offerings. The site’s most popular games, it states, are Splendor, Carcassone, 7 Wonders Duel, 6 nimmt!, Terra Mystica and Kingdomino. Play on your desktop and jump on a group call or video chat.
5. Game night snacks starring the tortilla
You can really build up an appetite playing games! Between games is a natural time to serve some food or have guests help themselves. If you want to be prepped in advance, try Casa Mendosa® Mañana Sausage Enchiladas. You can make it the day before for, you know — mañana!
Or, heat up the fiesta Casa Mendosa® Grilled Quesadilla with Chorizo and Pineapple Salsa. They’re deliciously spicy and sweet. Want more spice? These Casa Mendosa® Spicy Shrimp Tortilla Tacos will heat up the party. Just add cold beer, and your friends will be singing your praises!