I’m sure it’s happened to many of you: You’re at a board game event and there are 7+ of you trying to decide what to play, but you want to stay as a group rather than splitting off. It can be hard to come up with games that allow for so many players, especially ones that don’t make the game drag out into a multi-hour nightmare.
So here are my top 10 games that play seven or more:
10) One Night Ultimate Werewolf
There are quite a few Hidden-Role Games out there that play 7 or more players (Werewolf, The Resistance, Saboteur and more) but I like One Night Ultimate Werewolf because it plays quickly, has no player elimination and has an app that takes care of the housekeeping for you. There are some cool special roles and different themed versions such as One Night Ultimate Vampire.
If you like games that have a little more laughter and creative thought to them then Gorilla Marketing is a great option. Players are trying to name products, movies, food trucks or other items, with different categories attached to them. Each round the dice are rolled, providing the players with an acronym that they use to come up with a name. Booklets are passed around until everyone has named all items and then players vote on the best/funniest. In the second round players are coming up with a tagline for each of the winning items, again voting afterwards for the best.
I’m not a super creative person but I found this to be about the right level, as the dice narrow the options down so you’re not totally overwhelmed with options, and there are always some great laughs.
This is another hidden role game, but one that has a little more meat to it. Each player is either the Sheriff, a Deputy, an Outlaw or a Renegade, and the objective is slightly different depending on your role (e.g the Outlaws win if the Sheriff is eliminated). Each player gets a character with a special ability, and then takes turns playing cards such as items, or bang cards to attack other players. Seating around the table is relevant as you can initially only attack players immediately next to you, until you get better weapons. It’s a fun game of trying to figure out who is who, albeit one that does have player elimination.
Tsuro is a very light, fast and easy game, that only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to teach and play. Players start on the edge of the board and then take it in turns playing tiles to the board to move their piece along the path. If your path leads off the edge of the board you’re eliminated, or if you crash into another player you are both eliminated. The last player alive wins the game. It’s a great game for young kids, adults and large groups because it’s so quick, easy to teach and doesn’t out stay its welcome.
6) 6 Nimmt!
6 Nimmt is a chaotic but fun card game that plays up to 10 players. The deck of cards runs from 1-104 and players get 10 cards each, with four other cards laid out to start four rows. All players simultaneously choose a card to play, they all get revealed and then placed into one of the four rows depending on the value. If your card is the 6th card in a row then you take all the cards in the row into your scoring pile and the card you played becomes the new first card in the row. After 10 rounds players count the bull heads on the cards in their scoring pile and the lowest score wins. It’s a fun game that always elicits some cursing when someone plays a card that ruins your plans and forces you to take a row!
5) Welcome To…
In Welcome To players are building a town by adding houses to the streets, with additional features such as parks and pools also scoring points. It’s a ‘flip & write’ game, where sets of cards are flipped over each turn and all players simultaneously choose one of the options to use for that turn. There are multiple ways to score points, including street plan cards that are different every game. It’s a game that can be played by any number of people as long as they have a score sheet and can see the cards that are flipped, so it works well online or over Zoom or Skype or similar.
There are quite a few versions of Codenames but I think I still prefer the original edition. It’s a team clue-giving game where each team has a Spymaster who is trying to get their team to guess the correct words from a random grid of 25 words. The two Spymasters have a little key card that shows them which words are for their team, which are neutral and which is the dreaded assassin. It’s a simple concept but it can be quite tricky to come up with good clues as the Spymaster. It can also be a little agonising as you keep a poker face while listening to your team dismiss the correct answer in favour of a neutral choice, or worse, the other team’s answer or even the assassin (an instant loss).
3) 7 Wonders
7 Wonders is a card-drafting game where players are building up their civilizations by adding a variety of buildings each era, or working on their individual Wonder. As it is a simultaneous draft it doesn’t really take much longer with more players, you just need lots of table space! Gameplay is quick and easy, but there are a few strategies to go for and interaction is limited to just the players directly sat next to you. The game isn’t complex by any stretch of the imagination, but there is a fair amount of iconography, so the first game or two may require looking things up in the rulebook. It’s definitely a fun game though.
Like Welcome To above, Cartographers is a ‘Flip & Write’ Game, where players have their own map that they’ll be creating as the game progresses. Cards are flipped which show terrain types and shapes that the player chooses to add to their map. The game is played over four seasons, with different scoring objectives at the end of each season, so where and what players choose to add will depend on what they are trying to accomplish. there are also some ambush cards in the deck which cause players to get monsters on their sheets, potentially scoring them negative points. It’s a great game, made even better if you use different coloured pens to draw the terrain and make it look awesome. Plus, it’s another game that can be played by any number of players as long as they have a sheet and can see the cards.
1) Just One
This game is so simple and yet so fun. The players are all working together to score as many points as possible. Players take it in turns to be the guesser, where they draw a card and place it so that they can’t see it but all other players can. They choose a number from 1 to 5 and that will indicate which word on the card is the one they are trying to guess. The other players then secretly write a clue on their board, before secretly all comparing them with each other. If any clue was written down more than once then that clue will not be given to the guesser. This can put you in a real quandary as a clue-giver if there is a fairly obvious clue that you want to give, because if you write it down and somebody else does too then it won’t be given, but if you don’t write it down and nobody else does either you may be kicking yourself. So it has a thought process that is very like Vizzini in The Princess Bride poison scene and I just love it!
Honourable Mention: Tiny Towns
Tiny Towns is a great little game where players are trying to get resources into the correct orientations on their board to build different buildings for points before their Tiny Town fills up completely. There are lots of different options for the types of buildings so every game will play out a bit differently. It’s a fun and interesting game but the reason it only gets an Honourable Mention is that out of the box it only plays up to six players. It can play any number, but unlike Welcome To and Cartographers where players just need a sheet (which can be downloaded and printed), all players in Tiny Towns need a player board, resources and building pieces. So you can play online as long as all players have a copy of the game.
Let me know if you have other favourite games for seven or more players, and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can play some of these face to face with friends!