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  • Writer's pictureTribe Pilot

5 Spectacular Group Games - no cards or props required.

These games are great for a dinner party, around the campfire, or while stuck in a car together. They don't require any unique props or game pieces, just a good attitude and a little creativity. Note: all games are in our Trip Pilot app, and can be downloaded to your library for offline use.

1. Don't Crack

The game's object is to make the other player laugh without cracking a smile or laughing yourself. Pretty simple!

This is a winner takes all game. To start, one person from the group selects someone to face off against. The two players must look each other directly in the eyes; the challenging player begins by asking a question or making a statement to make the other player smile, giggle, or laugh. If the defender manages to keep it together, they ask their own question to crack the player. Play continues until one player smiles, giggles, or laughs, and they are eliminated until the next round. In the process of asking a question, a player must not crack a smile, giggle, or laugh themselves or lose the match.

Play continues until only one player remains.

2. The Winking Assassin

This fun campfire game for adults is particularly entertaining, especially for people who use their whole faces to wink! One neutral moderator has everyone close their eyes, and walks around the group, eventually tapping someone on the shoulder, selecting them as the assassin. After they are selected, the conversation can continue among the group, but everyone should be sure to look into the eyes of the other players. The assassin's goal is to wink at the other players to kill them off without being detected. As players are winked at, sometime within 3 minutes, they must re-enact a horrifying death where they stand/sit and are out for the rest of the round. If a living person thinks they know the assassin, they can point and accuse! If they accuse wrong, they are dead for the round. The Play continues until only the killer or one player remains. For this game to be as entertaining as it sounds, you need a large group, preferably over 8 people. It doesn't work that well when four people are looking at each other intensely, waiting for someone to blink.

3. Five Facts

Five facts start off really simple, but the challenge increases, as does the hilarity as Play continues. The starting player says 5 facts about their day, the Play continues around the circle in a clockwise direction. Players must state a new set of 5 facts on each successive turn. It starts getting funny as players run out of obvious facts and start hitting the fringes of their day. Being clever about the way facts are stated can increase hilarity.

4. First and Last

Category: This version starts with a player selecting a topic. Topics can be animals, food and drink, cities, plants, band names, objects found in the house. Player one announces the topic of Animals and states any animal beginning play. Example: Player one says Pig; the next player (clockwise direction) must say an animal name that starts with the last letter of the previous word. Gazelle would be appropriate; the next player could then say elephant. Play continues until someone cannot think of the next word without repeating something already said.

Famous People: A fun variation is to use famous people to play the game. In this version, players must start with the first and last name of someone famous. The next player must then say the name of another famous person with a first name that begins with the same letter of the last name of the previous answer. Abraham Lincoln, Liam Neeson, etc. If the first and last names start with the same letter, the game's direction is reversed. Specific categories can be used like actors, celebrities, rock stars, 15th-century poets 🥴.

5. Mafia

Mafia is a great game to play with large groups of 8 or more. The gameplay takes a bit of reading to learn, but in the end, the rules are quite simple. If there are kids in the crowd, they likely have played the game before.

Mafia has 2 phases nighttime and daytime. Phase 1: Night, mafia members kill civilians. Phase 2: Day, civilians try to guess the mafia members, but no one knows whether their neighbors are Mafia or civilians. The gameplay ends when all the Mafia have been discovered, or the Mafia outnumber the civilians. Besides Mafia and Civilians, two other roles exist, Doctor and Sheriff, explained shortly.

To start, select the Mayor (narrator), who should be the most experienced player or the one most familiar with the rules. The Mayor controls the gameplay but does not actively kill, save, or identify the Mafia.

Step 1: The Mayor asks the group to close and cover their eyes, then walks around the room/fire and taps people, letting them know their role.

  • 1 tap for Mafia

  • 2 taps for Doctor

  • 3 taps for Sheriff

Step 1: The Mayor should pick 1 mafia for every 3 people playing the game; if there are 12, there will be 4 mafia members; the Mayor then sits down.

Step 2: The Mayor asks Mafia to open their eyes and pick someone to kill. The mafia members, and no one else, open their eyes silently, through pointing and gestures forming a consensus on who they want to kill. The Mayor may speak to hurry the game along; if harmony cannot be made, the Mayor may end the night without a kill by asking Mafia to close their eyes.

Step 3: The Mayor then asks the Doctor to open their eyes, then selects one person, by pointing, to save (it's for the Doctor to pick themselves), then the Mayor asks the Doctor to close their eyes.

Step 4: In the final night stage, the Mayor asks the Sheriff to open their eyes. The Sheriff then selects one person who they think may be Mafia. The Mayor then silently signals to the Sheriff whether their guess is correct., then asks the Sheriff to close their eyes.

Step 5: The Mayor announces the morning has come and asks that all players open their eyes, then describes who died during the night (add some storytelling here to make it enjoyable).

Example: "Last night a bloody scene was revealed in the old warehouse by the docks. Ricky (the name of a player who the mafia killed the night before) was run over by a forklift", the Doctor was unable to save them." If the Doctor pointed at Ricky and saved them, you might say, "Ricky was run over by a forklift, but the doctor was able to save them."

Ricky is now eliminated from the game or was saved, and still a civilian. The Mafia can eliminate the Doctor or the Sheriff in the same manner as any civilian. The Mayor may or may not choose to announce that the doctor/sheriff was killed.

Step 6: Now it is the civilians' turn to kill the Mafia, but they don't know who they are. Group discussions should have people state their case about who they think the Mafia is. Mafia members are encouraged to participate and sway the group decision toward other civilians to conceal their identity. The Sheriff may know, at this point, who a mafia member is (if guessed and confirmed by the Mayor the previous night) but cannot reveal that they are Sheriff. They should use the discussion time to convince the group toward the member they know is Mafia. As the discussion winds down, the Mayor will ask for a vote by having everyone point to who they want to eliminate. The person with the most fingers then dies and is eliminated.

Step 7: The Mayor now announces nighttime. And Play progresses with the Mayor asking Mafia to wake up and continuing with Play as previously described until all the Mafia have been eliminated or the Mafia outnumber civilians.

Eliminated players can keep their eyes open and watch the gameplay out but may not speak or give hints to other players.

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