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Need game suggestions that meet a few requirements


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Each Christmas I buy a game for the family, and every New Year's Day I make our favorite breakfast casserole and mimosas and heat up leftover cinnamon buns, and we play the new game for a few hours. However, it's getting harder and harder to make this decision every year!



1) It needs to be a game that moves along fairly quickly, because oldest DD gets bored very easily and wants to leave. For example, Uno is a game that moves along quickly enough to hold her interest.


2) It needs to be something that can wrap up in 30-40 minutes (see requirement number 1).


3) It can't have too many/fluctuating rules (a la Fluxx games), because certain people get frustrated very easily and want to leave.



Outside of that, I'm open to suggestions. It doesn't have to be a big strategy game--Payday works well here, for example. It can be cooperative or competitive. I don't mind spending some money for the right game. 



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Mexican Train.  Even adults enjoy this one.


Up the River is another game that is compelling enough for adults but simple enough for a wide age range.


Also, buy a book of card game rules for next year, and then you can buy a Costco pack of decks of cards and switch every year without having to look for something new.


This one is supposed to be pretty good, with three levels of questions so different ages can play together.  I have not tried it, though:




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How about Telestrations?




It's like playing telephone but with drawing. One player draws the thing on the card (like Pictionary). The next player guesses. The next player draws the guess. And so on. Great in a group. You can play for points or just play - the best part is seeing how something went awry (or seeing that something managed to go all the way through).


ETA: And there's no waiting - everyone is drawing and guessing at the same time.



Edited by Farrar
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We have a silly one called Googly Eyes, which is basically Pictionary for little kids, but you wear glasses that distort your vision. It is definitely a kids' game, but our whole family enjoys it because of the hilarity of trying to draw and guess with messed up vision.


We have to adapt the rules vs playing as teams, but otherwise it is pretty fun.

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Inspired by all the recent game threads, we pulled out Ruckus (Family Edition) last night.  We've played it only once before, so it was almost like learning it anew. (We bought a bunch of card games when DH was hospitalized; this one was purchased near the end of all his treatments.)



Card game 

Very silly and quick moving

Simple (game play involves making matches/sets of characters and stealing matches from other players)

Slightly chaotic (everyone plays simultaneously, lots of noise and laughing here)

Games have lasted <5 minutes; then you tally points and play again until someone's score reaches a certain number (took us 3 or 4 rounds last night)

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