Party games can liven up any holiday party, but it’s a challenge to find games that are fun for adults, appropriate for kids and cool enough for teens. Luckily, Jackbox Games has released dozens of family-friendly games that will get everyone laughing and playing along. We’ve compiled five that are especially fun for the whole family. Each game below is either totally family friendly, or has a family-friendly filter that can be turned on to weed out any prompts in the game that might be more fun to play after the kids go to bed.
Ok, so, how does it work? The games are displayed on a TV using a platform like Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, or even a laptop. Players use their phones (or any device with an internet browser) to write and draw their answers. No video game experience required. Here are our favorites for playing with your family and friends:
Drawful 2 is a hilarious drawing game for people who can’t draw. You’re given a weird prompt that’s purposely difficult to draw, like “smelly CEO,” or “annoying voice,” and asked to draw it… on your phone… using your finger. When the other players see your predictably bad drawing, they try to guess what it is while avoiding other players’ fake titles. When the drawings are supposed to be bad, everyone can laugh together at what you came up with!
Dictionarium is a silly game of making up new definitions for gibberish words like “flonx” or fake expressions like “fish shrugging.” No answers are wrong, but the answer that gets the most votes goes into the Dictionarium, and then everyone has to use the word in a sentence. Dictionarium is easy to learn and rounds only take around ten minutes.
In Patently Stupid, you’re given a ridiculous problem like “I can never find my hair” and must solve it with a new made-up product that you name and draw. Everyone gives a quick pitch on why their new product is great (“I drew… Hair Tape… it keeps your hair on!”) and then everyone chooses which inventions to “invest” in. The game makes it easy to come up with a quick silly invention. If players are too nervous to present themselves, the game will present for them. You’ll be surprised by the clever ideas your family comes up with… but also surprised by just how much money a seemingly “stupid” invention can bring in.
Tee K.O. is a creative free-for-all that somehow always leads to laughs. Players’ drawings are combined with other players’ slogans to make absurd, funny shirt designs. Then shirts do battle and points are awarded to the player who drew the drawing, the player who wrote the slogan and the player who put them together. If you want to wear your bizzare collaborative creations, you can even order physical copies of the shirts you’ve designed. This might be the one time you can get your kids to wear matching shirts without complaint!
Mad Verse City
In Mad Verse City, players control giant robots in a rap battle. Players are prompted on their phone to finish rap lyrics and come up with rhymes. Then the robots go head to head, reading players’ rap lyrics via text-to-speech. This game requires the most writing skill of any on this list, but players are still gently guided by the game to help craft their lyrics. Plus, hearing the robots recite players’ words is funny, even when (maybe especially when) a player can hardly string a coherent sentence together.
There are plenty more Jackbox games to discover, but these should give you a good place to start. Most Jackbox Games titles come bundled in one of the company’s Jackbox Party Pack collections. Check out jackboxgames.com/games for more information on how to purchase and play. Your family will thank you!