#TBT – The Best Throwback Games For Your Next Party
Parties have three main components: people, food, and entertainment! While socializing with your friends, eating delicious food, and dancing to your favorite tunes are fun party activities, we can’t forget the greatest entertainment of all—games! There’s nothing that both excites a group of people more and brings out their competitive streaks than some old fashion games.
We can agree that bobbing for apples is unsanitary and that Pin the Tail on the Donkey is anti-climactic and no fun for large groups. Most games geared towards adults are oriented around excessive drinking, but there are some fun throwback games you could tweak to incorporate a little wine while still maintaining its classic and classy status.
Not convinced? Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see which throwback games are bound to bring the whole place down at your next party!
This game was created in 1982 and it’s maintained strong favor ever since. But let’s raise the stakes a little! You could always add more players to regular Jenga, but after 4 players you don’t get as many turns, so let’s think bigger… no, giant! Specifically Giant Jenga, Giant Chess’ funkier, higher-stakes cousin. They have even larger sizes—Jenga XXL stacks up to over 8 feet tall if your party goers are the ultra-competitive type and are willing to stand on chairs to win! If playing classic Jenga doesn’t work for you, up the ante by writing out mini-games, dares, or tasks under select blocks!
We could hardly believe our eyes when we read that this trusted sleepover party game was invented in the ‘60s. This game is so famous that dozens of variants have surfaced since, including using multiple mats for a single game or spraying lawn-safe dyes into bubbles for a backyard barbeque. It’s even secured a spot in the American National Toy Hall of Fame! If those aren’t great reasons to go pick up the game right now, we don’t know what are. This game is guaranteed to induce big laughs and have everyone rolling on the floor by the end of it.
Bear with us here. We know this game came out just 10 years ago in 2007, but technology is advancing so quickly that this game is almost fossilized. We occasionally see movies from the 2000s where key characters are playing Rock Band and we realize just how long it’s been since the game has been mentioned in daily conversation.
When was the last time you and your three best friends jammed out to The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” for points and bragging rights? The original gaming consoles for the game have fallen into disuse, but if you have the will to dig up your old console and Rock Band controllers, you’ve basically got hours of entertainment for your party guests.
Fourth on our list is the game where everyone wins! Not a single person walks away empty-handed, so we’re not sure why piñatas fell out of common favor as we grew up. Whatever the reason is, we’d like to try to bring them back!
Marco Polo introduced the tradition way back in the 14th century, so this is undeniably the oldest game on our list. We’re not saying to rid the papier-mâché container of candies, but you could also put in party necklaces, tiny plastic bottles of alcohol, actual dollar bills, and gift cards! You can put whatever you like in it—just make sure that everyone knows that anything in there could explode, potentially creating a messy floor.
Name That Tune
Popularized by the 1950s TV show, Name That Tune is a game that requires minimal preparation and the throwback element is magnified here by playing songs from the ‘80s or ‘90s. Simply build a playlist of popular songs that you can reasonably expect people to know and the person who answers first will have points awarded or deducted depending on their answer.
This is the only game on our list that deducts points for wrong answers…so maybe introduce this game earlier on in the night before people have too many drinks! Why not kick things up a notch by playing a snippet from the middle of the song, or even play a karaoke version of the song. If they can guess the tune without the dead giveaway of the lyrics, frankly they deserve to win!
This 18th century gem has brought us plenty of fond post-supper memories. If you’re throwing a party with your close friends, you could switch things up and re-enact moments from your group’s previous adventures! Make sure you think these through, though. Sometimes what you think is a simple concept can be incredibly hard to act out.
You can even play charades using a smart phone app to modernize this game if you can’t be bothered to lug around a large deck of cards. Remember Ellen DeGeneres’ immensely popular “Heads Up!” Game? Yes, it’s just a dressed up version of charades!
Rarely a game that shows up after people hit the double-digit years of their lives, this game was a hit at birthday parties and we’re not sure why we’ve decided to move away from it over the years. Although the term “musical chairs” was first used in 1877, we don’t quite know when this game was invented. Luckily, the rules are easy enough that we don’t have to worry about messing up the integrity of the game!
A popular twist gives one person (at random) the power to eliminate someone else in place of oneself – sort of a safety net for one lucky party goer. Or shake things up by dictating a specific dance move that everyone must complete before anyone can sit down. The bones of this game are super easy to build variations into—fire away!