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Who doesn’t love a game night? It’s even better on New Year’s Eve! A game night is a nice way to end the year while having some fun with loved ones.

With the advent of the Omicron variant, COVID-19 surges are putting a halt on parties and keeping people indoors. Remember, if you decide to have a game night, be smart and take the proper precautions to safeguard against the pandemic. If gathering together in person isn’t a safe option, get creative and use virtual formats to safely enjoy your event without the large get-together. If you happen to gather, make sure everyone entering has had a negative COVID-19 test result.

When planning a low-key New Year’s Eve, a game night is a perfect way to do so. If you’re tired of playing the same old games, spice things up by giving these five games a shot.

1. Two Resolutions and a Lie

Two Resolutions and a Lie is a game that fits the New Year’s Eve theme. It’s fun to play for all ages.

Each player shares three resolutions with the group. Two of the resolutions must be true and the other will be a lie. The other players have to guess which resolutions are true and which one is the lie.

If you wish, keep track of everyone’s guesses and award a prize to the one who had the most correct answers.

New Year’s resolutions – Photo credit: on Pexels

2. Pass the Hat

This game can only be played in-person, and is perfect for smaller groups, which will most likely be the norm this year for gathering sizes.

For this game, you’ll need one party hat. Have your guests sit in a circle and try to pass the hat from one head to another without using their hands. This is a fun game, especially for children to play, and will really bring out some belly laughs. If a player uses their hands or drops the hat, they must leave the circle. The last player left wins the game and can keep the hat to wear.

If you are at the store shopping for snacks and drinks, pick up several party hats, party favors and noisemakers to kick off the New Year in style. That way multiple people can win a hat to don while ringing in the New Year.

3. Gartic Phone

Gartic Phone is an online game that fuses elements of Pictionary with the classic children’s game of Telephone. There can be anywhere from 4 to 30 players in this game, which is played online, so this is a terrific option for both in-person and virtual partygoers alike. You can even have some in-person players along with virtual players.

Gartic Phone is also for all levels of expertise – no one needs to be an artist to play, however there are plenty of options within the game to get more detailed for those wanting an added challenge. The game host (whoever is deemed the most tech-savvy) creates a “lobby” on the website and sends an invite to the rest of the group. Once everyone creates their avatar (select a name and an image for your player), the host chooses a playstyle, and the game begins!

A classic-style game is made up of two types of alternating phases, both under a time limit: writing and drawing.

  • Everyone types a sentence, which is the next person’s drawing prompt.
  • The prompts are randomly sent to the other players, who must draw what the prompt says. The game has a number of drawing tools to use (including various colors, an opacity scale, line thicknesses, an undo/erase tool and more).
  • Once the players are done – or once time is up – the drawings are sent to another player who must interpret the drawing.
Gartic Phone Gallery – Gif downloaded through

This repeats until everyone has either described or drawn for everyone else’s prompt.

The host initiates the gallery, where finally, all the players get to see the process from initial prompt to final description or picture. There are no winners or losers.

Due to its online platform, Gartic Phone can be played in person or with people from around the world, making it a great addition to any kind of get-together.

4. The Name Game

The Name Game is simple to play. It will get guests thinking and inspire conversations. Each guest will need to contribute some names to a large bowl. You can do three to four names per person. They can be names of celebrities, fictional characters, historical figures and even your fellow players. Get creative and think of names that were popular in 2021.  Then, guests should divide into teams and take turns trying to guess the names on each slip of paper by giving each other clues. 

For example, if you write the name “Dwayne Johnson” on a piece of paper, you can give clues such as “the Rock,” “wrestler,” or “Fast & Furious.”

5. Candy Canes

Many people have played, or at least heard of, the card game Spoons. You’ll likely have candy canes leftover from the holidays so put those extras to good use! It’s played the same way as the classic card game, but instead of grabbing spoons, participants scuffle for a candy cane. So how do you play?

According to Bicycle Cards, you’ll need a deck of cards. Each player tries to make four of a kind. The dealer starts by taking a card off the top of the deck for a total of five cards in their hand, then removes one and passes it face down to the left. Each player follows, discarding to the person on their left. Just like musical chairs, there is one less candy cane than there are players.

The last player places their discard into a trash pile. Cards are picked up and passed quickly around the table until someone gets four of a kind and takes a candy cane from the center. Once the player with four of a kind takes a candy cane, everyone must take a candy cane as quickly as possible. The player left without a candy cane is out. If at any time the draw cards run out, pause to reshuffle the trash pile and keep going.

Photo Credit  lilartsy from Pexels

Holiday Fun

Whether you play these games or play one of your favorites, we surely hope you have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve. Read other stories on the Racine County Eye by clicking the following links below.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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