Review | Board Game Barbecue

Review | Board Game Barbecue

Board Games for Outdoor Parties

The weather is getting better and school is ending, which can only mean one thing… it’s barbecue season!

Whether you thrive or barely survive the summer social season, Twenty Sided has games to spice up any outing! We curated a list of fun games with simple set ups and accessible gameplay punch up your beach days, cookouts, and family get togethers!

Competition Kitchen

For the cookouts that turn into burger flipping contests or battles of the best brownies, Competition Kitchen satisfies even the most competitive home chef.

Competition Kitchen is a simple cooking card game that mimics the likes of Iron Chef and Chopped. Each round, chefs will be given a secret ingredient and a hand full of ingredients with which to make a culinary masterpiece! The role of judge rotates so everyone gets the chance to put on their best Gordon Ramsay or Alton Brown impression as they judge the presented dishes.

Something we love about this indie game is that it can take a very different flavor depending on who you play with. Some games are more straightforwards sells of the cards in play, while others will rely on the charisma of invented chef personalities to sell their dish. Either way, the gameplay is engaging and fun, even if you’re not a foodie.

Welcome to the Dungeon

Sometimes that first family get together of the year can feel a little daunting. Practice your courage in Welcome to the Dungeon.

When you’re in the mood for a fast-paced dungeon crawl, Welcome to the Dungeon fulfills all your monster-slaying desires. Bid on adventurers and push your luck against monsters to propel yourself to victory, but don’t get too cocky. Other players can choose to either put monsters in play or take away your equipment, leaving you vulnerable to attack. For a mini game, Welcome to the Dungeon and its sequel manage to squeeze in the anticipation and adrenaline of a dungeon crawl, with an element of sabotage as you make rounds more difficult for your opponents. Even so, it’s easy to learn, and fun for anyone who likes strategic card games!

The Potion

It takes all the right ingredients for a successful summer cookout...

In The Potion, you compete with other alchemists to get rid of your ingredients as quickly as possible! Dice determine how many ingredients are needed, but you’ll have to anticipate your opponents’ contributions as well. You aren’t just matching ingredients to dice rolls, you are also betting against what you think other players will do. Because you don’t just want to be a good alchemist… you want to be the best.

The Potion is a perfect travel game as it is about the size of a large pill bottle and uses small pieces that don’t use much (if any) table space. The mechanics of trying to correctly match ingredients is secondary to the elements of social deduction, making The Potion a perfectly mixed bag of bluffing, suspicion, and strategy.

Snatch It

Aunt Peggy brought her famous brownies. Practice snatching the last one up with a game of Snatch It!

In Snatch It, you and the other players will take turns revealing letters! Once you find a word, shout it out and take those tiles - but don’t get too cocky. Your words are still on the table! Words can be stolen if they are included in the formation of a new word! Snatch It is great because it harkens to traditional games such as Scrabble, while bringing new mechanics to make it feel fresh and interesting, elevating the competition so that you can almost literally take the words out of your opponents’ mouth! Familiar enough to be un-intimidating and accessible for players of all levels, Snatch It’s unique elements will also keep veteran gamers engaged.

Tofu Kingdom

Don’t forget to throw some tofu on the grill for the vegetarians in your crew.

Tofu Kingdom thrusts you into a messy soap opera of tofu nobles each competing for each other’s love!. Every round, a new person will play as Prince Mochi, desperately asking questions to find his true love, Princess Tofu! Depending on which character you’re playing, you will either lie to him or tell him the truth! We love that he rounds are short, so you will have the opportunity to play as truth tellers, blatant fibbers, and the moral grey in between! It’s easy to learn, adorably illustrated, and comes in a compact zipper tin for easy storage and transport!

Bad Medicine

Something about that potato salad just isn’t sitting right...

Bad Medicine seeks to treat you of any malady which may befall you! Each round, you will prescribe the perfect medicine for the current malady using the cards in your hand! Having a good hand can certainly help, but at the end of the day, the best pitch wins the round!

The maladies, cures, and side effects are all outrageous and silly, putting you in a position where you may have to argue the benefits of involuntarily shrieking in your sleep or frequent random urination. Furthermore, in groups larger than four, the game can be split into teams, so shyer players can rely on their teammate to pitch while they set them up for success with the best drug possible! We love any game that invites players to throw their personality into the mix, and Bad Medicine invokes the bad car salesman is all of us.

Sneaky Cards

Mix, mingle, and sneak your way into conversations!

Sneaky Cards is the game of good deeds, an interactive scavenger hunt that sends you on secret missions of kindness and fun! When you take up your sneaky cards mission, you begin by registering your deck online so you can track them through their journeys. Do a good deed, make a new friend, and then pass the card along, tasking someone new with the same mission!

We love that you can see your cards travel throughout the world. It gives you the sense that you may have begun a chain reaction of kindness and joy! This is a great ice breaker game as well! Pick your favorite cards and have each guest pick one up at random. The game will continue even after the party ends, and Sneaky Cards 2 keeps the good deeds rolling!

Alternate Facts

Every family has their political arguments but at least we can all agree on one thing… we’re living in a crazy time.

Pope Allows Marriage for all Priests - Marries Scarlett Johansson

Probably fake news, but that won’t stop you from clicking on it. In #AlternativeFacts, you and other players work to craft outrageous and clickbait-y headlines! Each round, you and your friends will work together to put together a headline from the cards in your hand. It doesn’t have to be true, it only needs to be coherent and interesting!  The act of constructing the headlines are guided but simple, meaning you spend less time thinking about your strategy and more time laughing at the ridiculous headlines you’ve all created. Cards represent current issues and organizations, so gameplay feels topical and relevant. Almost like a free-form, political Mad Lib, #AlternativeFacts is perfect for a group who loves to discuss (or argue) politics.

Go Nuts for Donuts

No BBQ is complete without dessert!

Horde all the donuts in this card game of tasty game of taking! In Go Nuts for Donuts, every kind of donut is assigned points value and special abilities that will put you closer or farther to sweet, sweet victory. Each round, a selection of donuts will be placed before all players and each will simultaneously bid on the one they’d like to add to their hand. If you choose the same donut as someone else, neither of you gets the donut!

Each donut comes with different conditions. Some only rack up points when you have many of them, others allow you to draw an extra card, while some allow you to steal from your opponents! The array of flavors makes each round feel fresh and exciting, elevating it from a simple game of grabbing the ‘best’ card. Taking actions simultaneously also pushes you to anticipate your opponents’ moves, resulting in gameplay that we find engaging and fun!


Written by Johnni Medina

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