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Games from the past

To be enjoyed on New Year's Eve and beyond

Games are there to be enjoyed all year round. They provide us with a dose of escapism where we can connect with our inner child and just have a bit of fun. Looking to the past for game inspiration and ideas is the best place to turn. Somehow, the notion of tradition makes them even more enjoyable. While more modern-era inventions that involve screens, robotics and all sorts of weird and wonderful technology offer endless entertainment, we prefer to keep our games simple. Ones that are a little humble, that have been played throughout the generations, that remind us of when we were children, and ones that involve a few easy-to-find props or even none at all.

Before we begin, in the interest of team spirit, we have a brief pep talk. No matter who wins or who loses, just remember, the most marvellous thing about games is that whether you're spectator or player, you're going to laugh. A lot. And you'll all be brought closer together. Even more so than you already are.

Kim's game
Named after Rudyard Kipling's novel, Kim, this traditional parlour game is more commonly referred to as 'the memory game'. Fill a tray with lots of random objects and ask everyone who's playing to memorise what they can see. Take the tray away and then ask everyone to recall what was on there. You can split people into teams to do this, or you can make the game last longer by removing one item at a time and challenging them to guess the one missing item.

Forehead detective
Another guessing game that we all know and love. Each person writes a film, book, famous person, famous place and so forth onto a piece of paper and then sticks it onto their forehead so everyone else can see but them. You then take it in turns to ask questions about the who or the what on your head until you figure it out. The first person to guess correctly wins a prize, the loser receives a forfeit that the winner gets to decide.

Lie Detector
This is a fun game to play in-between main and dessert. Each player reveals three things about themselves; two true, one false. The aim is to define which is the lie. The rest of the table work together to ask questions to try to figure out the truth. The most fun part is hearing everyone battle it out to reach a consensus.

Classic board games
Snakes and Ladders, Cluedo, Noughts and Crosses, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, Battleships, and Jenga (not quite a board game we know). We turn to our well-worn board games when the bigger-group games come to an end and we break away into little pockets of people who, after refuelling on early evening turkey and stuffing sandwiches, return for rounds two, three, and four with a patient parent, slightly sloshed uncle, and a very merry cousin or two.

Something from Stories

This is an article from our latest volume of Stories: Stories for Winter.
Order your free copy here.