For those that know how I like to play games, I tend to be on the aggressive side. I have a competitive streak in my play style. But that does not mean that is all I want to do when playing games- be aggressive. Sometimes it is fun to play a game and be a little goofy and laugh. Sometimes it does not matter if you win, if you are laughing and having a good time. Here are a few games that are like that for me.
SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM
First up: Sheriff of Nottingham. I am not well known for my luck in push your luck games, and this has a little bit of that in the game. It is also about bluffing and calling others on their bluffs as you attempt to either be honest or smuggle goods into town. There is still a point total to be earned as you are collecting sets and building stockpiles of goods and contraband, and when someone slips something by you you find out rather quickly; but, it gets a lot of laughs when someone says they are carrying 3 loaves of bread in town and the loaves of bread seem to have the ability to shoot crossbow bolts (they were contraband).
There is often a lot of laughter when the active player decides to check bags when they are already running low on money and the bag or bags they check turn out to have exactly what was declared. Maybe your bluff and bride strategy is not going very well and your shipment of chickens smells suspiciously like large barrels of mead, “These are some very funny looking chickens!!”
I often have the most fun playing this game once I start to lose because then you are free to be a little more goofy and laissez faire in your style of play. This sometimes helps you make a come back, too, because then you are a little harder to read when bluffing.
EPIC SPELL WARS OF THE BATTLE WIZARDS
Another game that always gets a laugh is Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards. Let me preface that this one is not exactly #familyfriendly. The art and text on the cards are usually either NSFW or pushing the line a bit. That said, it is a ridiculous, over the top type of ‘take that’ game. It is a bit competitive, but you can’t help but laugh when you read some of the spell combinations assembled.
There are several versions out for this game, some more debaucherous and adult oriented than others, and they all play together well. This will appeal to the type of crowd that likes playing Cards Against Humanity. It has a darker sense of humor and likes to play the lowbrow type of jokes that come with that genre. That said, if you are with the right group and not worried about being appropriate (because it is not) then this always gets laughs.
It is a game where you play card sets that then target and attempt to knock out other players from the round, while not taking too much damage yourself. Depending on the player, the cards have the ability to combo into some rather complex attacks that do a surprising amount for the style of play presented, so it will keep the more serious gamer happy, but is just as easily played by a more casual friend who is hanging out to have a laugh. I also like the mechanic of the dead wizard cards. Even when someone is out for that particular round, there are still actions to take and advantages to be gained for the next round so the players who start collecting kills early on are not left to run away with the game.
One of my all time favorites to play for a laugh is Galaxy Truckers. The group I play with often includes house rules during the construction phase for more experienced players (less time to build, every piece touched has to be included, tiles are face down, etc) so everyone has a fair shot at getting their wreckage or ship across the finish line. Spoiler alert, almost no one does if you do it right.
There is still urgency and a want to do well in the game, it is always engaging. You legitimately care when building your ship that it is as complete as possible and is well constructed. But if you know the game you know that once the cards start getting played for the various attacks, encounters, space debris, and other events that your ship is going be much the worse for wear by the time you get to the end of the round. Often, you do not make it. And as odd as that may sound, that is the fun of it.
As you see your poor little ship and meeples try to traverse the galaxy with their cargo you will find yourself laughing as a third of your ship is blown off and left to drift in space because you were only able to connect that section by one connector and it got hit by a large asteroid. Oh well. You will be giggling as the other members of your crew who were in stasis are now going to sleep forever in the vast void because space pirates bombarded your ship with lasers and that part of the ship was lost. Sucks to be them.
There is something a bit childish, but also inherently fun about destroying and blowing things up sometimes. I know I am going to lose, but I am okay with it because it is funny when suddenly all the asteroids are plowing into the side of your ship and hitting every open port available. By the end, it is not so much a game of who won, but who got beat up the least by the end of the third round. You’ll still have points to total up and a winner to declare, but more than anything you laugh a lot while playing. At least I do.
What games are your go to games for a fun time and a laugh, let me know in the comments. And as always I look forward to seeing you next laugh!