The best card games for a competitive night in
Yep. Even night’s in have gotten competitive. What did 2020 do to us?!
My boyfriend and I have always loved playing card games. An ideal weekend for us would be to go away for an evening to a new town, find an old pub with an open fire and dive into their games selection whilst testing out the local beers and bar snack selection. It’s something we carried with us into the last year, though of course we only frequented the Lockdown Inn! Beer selection? ALDI stubbies. Snacks? A-plenty.
Card games are the ideal way to spend some downtime with whoever you live with, away from a screen. I personally love them for this reason. For me, putting time aside to finish work for the day, sit at a table opposite somebody, and spend half an hour testing my brain is the best way to start the evening. No pressure for conversation or to look at my phone - simply, to win!
So, here are my recommendations for a night in with a pack of cards and those who you live with.
A pack of cards
We start simple, of course, a standard pack of cards is a must-have in any home! I personally love cards that are a little bit special. Spending a few quid makes for better quality cards that feel nice in your hand and are easier to look after and play with. They’re also an excellent talking point and look lovely.
I recently gifted these Genius Music playing cards with iconic musicians (rrp £10), but my most beloved set are The McMillan Alice in Wonderland cards (rrp £6). They are laminated, the ideal palm-size and so beautifully decorated.
To play Peach Snaps (rrp £10), you will require a large surface space and fast hands. Also, potentially some protective gear…
Each player is handed an equal amount of cards and must discard theirs in order on piles that match either the colour of the background, the symbol (whole peach, peach slice, peach half), or the number of symbols whilst shouting out their match. The play takes place all at once and players can freeze each other out to take the advantage. First to lose their entire deck wins! But loses their mates.
Shot in the Dark
This game pretty much made our Christmas! Each card features five questions that you’ve probably never thought about in your life, and each player must hazard a guess at the answer. The closest answer wins the card. It’s simple and straightforward, allowing you to dive right in to play.
It sounds simple, but Shot in the Dark (rrp £12) is a trivia game like no other. The questions are ridiculous, outlandish and hilarious without being offensive or crude. Really - do you know how many characters died in Game of Thrones? Or how many bubbles are in a glass of champagne? The hardest part is trying not to go off on a tangent of a conversation after each round, and trying not to kick yourself for not knowing the answers!
This game taught me that I don’t pay half as much attention to colours as I should. The aim of Colour Brain (full version rrp £25) is to quite simply is to play the colour card of the item - ranging from ice lolly brands to flags of the world. It sounds simple, but it really has you second-guessing.
I have the mini version and love to play this one over lunch. Often, I just quiz my partner rather than sitting down to play a long game. Though, there are different variations if there are more than two of you at the party! There are also expansion packs to add.
Guess That Groove
Best played after a couple of drinks, but best not attempted after too many! This game requires a player to pick a card and bust a move as the other guesses its name. From viral trends to ballroom technique, to iconic movie and music video moments, Guess That Groove (rrp £8) will have you reminiscing about entertainment crews at beach resort holidays.
Nobody can deny the joy that Grogu and The Mandalorian bought to 2020, and Star Wars The Child’s Cute Loot (rrp £15) is a game that only adds to that. Packaged in a Grogu plush (easily portable and stored!), Cute Loot is a strategic card collection game based on his fave things, including eggs, frogs, and soup.
This game requires quick thinking and cunning, and for you not to be distracted by its cuteness!
Forgive me for another Star Wars addition! The Han Solo Card Game (rrp £15) is based on Sabaac from the movie franchise. I purchased it for my boyfriend’s birthday and quickly became obsessed throughout the summer.
The idea is to make your hand equal as close to zero as possible, by adding or swapping positive and negative number cards. If you are closest to zero, you win the hand and a token that has a value attributed to it. The player with the highest combined value tokens wins. However, a roll of the dice after each play can turn the tables right around, so best not to get too cocky too quickly!
Defined as the party game where you know all the answers, Think Fast is perhaps the most frustratingly fun game you could play. Going head to head, after the first round, you will answer general knowledge questions and know every answer that will be in play. However, over the next two rounds, you’ll hear harder questions - resulting in just one word as a clue in the end - and the aim is to associate the right answer.
Think Fast (rrp £20) requires a strong memory and quick word association!
Do You Look Like Your Cat?
This is probably the most hipster card game anybody could possess. Do You Look Like Your Cat? (rrp £15) is a memory game that features cards with portraits of owners and their feline friends, along with a booklet containing hilariously apt descriptions of each. The aim is to match the cat with its owner.
The photography is fresh and sharp, the writing humorous and heart-warming, this is the perfect game for cat lovers and it really brightens up your game drawer.
Cat Chaos (rrp £8.50) is a fast and frantic game that requires you to collect suits of cat-based iconic figures from David Meowie to William Shakespaw. Like Peach Snaps, Cat Chaos requires a focussed eye and fast hands.
Though I often buckle under the pressure and get flustered from all of the action of crying out the tongue-twisters!