Gaming in a big group can present a challenge. Many great games only accommodate 4 or 5 players. Even games that allow six players suffer from a long playing time or excessive player down-time with that many players.
Here are some terrific options for a group of 6 or more that don't take all night!
Rightly known as a go-to card game for big groups, Bang is a spaghetti-western style shootout between a Sheriff, Deputies, Outlaws and Renegades. Each player tries to eliminate their opponents first, but there's a catch. Everyone knows who the sheriff is, but each other player's role is hidden. Are you shooting a deputy or an outlaw? Should you help your neighbour, or are they out to get you! Great old-west fun for 3-7 players aged 8+.
This great game of guessing and betting has won dozens of awards. Each player writes a guess to a question such as “In what year did the bikini swimsuit makes its first appearance?” or “How many feet wide is an NFL football field?” and places it on the betting mat. Think you know the answer? Bet on your guess. Think you know who the experts are? Bet on their guess. The closest answer pays out. You can win by making educated guesses, by playing the odds, or by knowing the interests of your friends. It can be taught in 2 minutes, played in 25 minutes, and accommodates up to 20 people in teams. Suggested age is 10+, but we also have a family version that is more kid friendly (8+).
Join the eternal struggle between good and evil in this anime-styled game featuring vampires, werewolves, and the righteous humans who hunt them! Like Bang, your identity remains secret until someone outs you through your actions or a special ability. The key to victory is to identify your allies and enemies early, and use powerful spells and weapons to vanquish them! Shadow Hunters is for 4-8 players ages 10+ and takes about an hour to play.
Don't let the goofy art fool you - Bohnanza is a great card game for large groups. As a bean farmer, you try to collect and "harvest" sets of various beans (green, chile, coffee) to score points. The tough part is you can only collect two kinds of beans at a time, and you must play your cards in the order you draw them. So to get rid of the cards you don't need, you must trade with other players. Bohnanza is simple to learn (I've played with 7-year olds) but all the trading makes for a lot of fun. "Who's got stink beans for my cocoa beans?" Up to 7 players.
Going once! Going twice! Sold to the highest bidder! Bid and bluff your way to purchase the most valuable properties for the lowest amount of money, then turn around and sell those properties for cold hard cash. Be the richest real estate mogul at the end of the game to win! For Sale is simple to learn and plays in as little as 20 minutes, which makes it a great "filler" game. From the outhouse to the penthouse, the game art is a lot of fun as well. For 3-6 players, ages 8 and up.
Can you work with your friends to defend your Castle against the horde, or will the Monsters tear down your Walls and destroy the precious Castle Towers? Castle Panic is a cooperative, light strategy game for up to 6 players ages 10 and up. Players must work together to defend their castle, in the center of the board, from monsters that attack out of the forest, at the edges of the board. Players trade cards, hit and slay monsters, and plan strategies together to keep their castle towers intact. Players must balance the survival of the group with their own desire to win.
Check out this video of Castle Panic on Tabletop: