A Game Guru's Top Picks for Large Groups:
Ya can take the Game Guru out of the board game cafe but ya can't take the game recommendations out of the Game Guru.
Having worked as a Game Guru at a well known board game cafe in East London, we'd have a lot of big groups of friends or work groups coming in and looking to play a game.
As a guru you want to choose something that can accommodate everyone (or as many as possible at least!), whilst making it super easy to learn and creating some excitement amongst a group of people who don't know much about games beyond Monopoly and Jenga.
These were my top go to games for larger groups (>6 players):
This was probably my favourite game to whip out for larger groups for the reaction of the foam guns alone! (Although I'll never forget that one time when I pulled out the guns and someone at the table told me they couldn't play this game because they were a pacifist..it's a game, babe...)
A super simple game to explain, 8 is the magic number in this - 8 players, 8 stacks of cash/valuables, 8 rounds. Everyone is fighting for loot by using bullet (or blanks) cards and pointing a gun at another player. You can then decide whether or not you trust the other players and stand your ground or leg it for the hills but go home empty handed for one round (still better than being dead!)
It always went down a treat, I mean, who DOESN'T love a chance to shoot their friends (or colleagues) with foam guns?!
There is a reason it won Best Party Game at the UK Games Expo 2015 after all.
2. Camel Up
I can't stress this enough - it's CAMEL UP, not Camel Cup!
That had to be said, trust me.
Depending on the group and their gaming experience, this one sometimes took a bit more babysitting, but even so, I'd stick around for one round and then it was just the odd question thrown my way.
Bet on camels that stack on top of each other (that's the bit that everyone would lose their s**t over) and use a fun little pyramid to roll dice to move the camels around the track.
Betting and perfectly stacked camels, what's not to love?!
(Spiel des Jahres winner 2014 also!)
One of those games that everyone loves. Literally never met anyone who doesn't love a bitta Scrawl, and now that there's a family friendly 12+ version available it really is one for everyone to enjoy (without having to worry about feeling awkward that your grandma has to draw a picture of a Christmas dildo!)
Draw what it says on your card, pass it around, make a guess at the picture that's just been handed to you, pass it around, draw what someone else has just guessed etc and see where your original drawing of "Eels Eels Eels" ends up!
A game that has that adult humour of games like Cards against Humanity but with a much higher replayability value!
4. Jungle Speed
For anyone who hasn't played this game, it's like snap on crack. A mechanic that everyone can get their head around very quickly!
Throw in a totem, a lot of cards that are ridiculously similar to one another and a few special ones to really mess you up and you have a fantastic game that ends in a lot of screams, laughter and knocked over drinks! Always a winner!
The best game for any group size. I've even played this with an entire board game cafe of about 30 people, but can be played just as well as a two player game which is like an absolute wet dream for a games guru as it can be recommended to ANYONE!
A trivia game where all the answers are colours - although the box says 14+, you can easily get the younger ones involved in this one (I've seen 6 year old kids beat adults at certain questions for sure!) - I mean, do YOU know what the main colours of the 3 Powerpuff girls are? The first colour a baby can see? or The National Colour of Ireland? (It ain't what ya think!)
Every team has 11 colour cards in their hands so even if you don't know you can hazard a guess!
The nice things about all of these games is that they suit everyone, no one (except for that one pacifist) was ever offended by anything, they were all easy to understand and none lasted more than half an hour which actually meant that often these groups would latch onto one they particularly enjoyed and play several rounds (which as a games guru means you can attend to other gamer's needs)!