Dirty Party Games -- List of Wild Games for Adult Get Togethers
Posted by Chris Lesinski on November 30, 2014. 44 Comments
Offensive, wild, energetic, immature -- whatever you're looking for in a dirty party game, I can only assume two things: 1) you're looking for fun and 2) you're hoping to laugh your asses off. If so, you've come to the right place.
I've studied party games more than anyone, especially the "dirty" genre, and here's a list of the best options.
Before we jump into dirty party games, let's understand their father -- the plain old "party game." Music and movies have different genres which target different audiences... and so do tabletop games. "Party games" are a whole subset of games that are designed differently to specifically meet the unique needs of a party: large groups, short attention spans (drinking!) and sometimes award relationships that need some mingling and ice-breaking. You can imagine how poorly Monopoly would work in a party atmosphere like I just described.
"Dirty" party games are yet another sub-genre that was born from the often adult-nature of party games. Party games tend to get obscene furthermore because of the limitations of a party. In a party, entertainment value of a game is important because even spectators will be present at the party... and humor is an easy way to entertain small groups... dirty jokes are an easy go-to for laughs. Getting into taboo subjects also helps to break the ice and create interaction at a party. Party games don't have to be filthy by any means but it's easy to see why there are so many which "go there" because of the characteristics of a bash.
If this is your first time here you might be wondering why I've spent so much time thinking about this genre. That's because I've created many of my own party games. I've spent countless nights studying party crowds and "play testing" games (where you play an experimental game specifically to gather feedback to improve it). ALL of this information has gone into the game Deck Around. I'll start by explaining a little more about why it works so well.
It takes more than just "fun" to make a great dirty/adult game. Here's why Deck Around is the BEST dirty party game in existence:
- Easy to learn -- Last thing you want to be doing is explaining rules all night. Deck Around takes 27 seconds to explain.
- Deck Around is hysterical -- It's a funny game; that simple. I've spent years testing it to make sure.
- Folks have fun, even if they're just watching -- Many games have long waits for turns and don't engage spectators. Deck Around gets laughs out of the whole group, even people who aren't playing.
- Deck Around removes inhibitions, it breaks the ice for you -- The worst thing that can happen in an off-color game is having a player (or a few) who aren't comfortable participating... Deck Around is engineered to skirt this because participation is anonymously submitted on slips of paper.
- Works with booze -- All risque games need to be booze-compatible. Deck Around, of course, does.
- Deck Around gets dirty! -- What's a dirty game without the dirt? Many party games try to remain "family friendly" -- Deck Around does not. Plus, it stays "dirty" if you want it there... And it escalates if your group wants to get even more lewd. It seeks the level or maturity your game group wants.
All that makes Deck Around a great combo in the vulgar gaming department.
In case you're not familiar, Deck Around is similar to Balderdash... only the words are dirty. Here's how the game works:
- Someone picks a slang word from the deck and announces it to the group. Because we're using slang to begin with, you're getting into corners of the English language which are naturally salacious.
- Everyone writes a believable-sounding definition for the word. This is where your dirty mind can go wild. These are anonymously submitted to the person who announced the word.
- The person with all the definitions reads them aloud -- and mixes in the real definition. This reading phase is where the biggest laughs come in.
- Lastly, everyone votes for which definition is the real one. You get points for guessing correctly AND for each person who picks your definition.
It's actually a lot simpler than this even sounds -- I recommend playing a demo round with new folks and they'll pick it up in seconds flat.
Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is the dirty version of Apples to Apples where a prompt card is openly announced and players submit word cards which "match" -- typically, the best matches turn the combination of cards into an offensive or gross joke because all of the words are coarse.
Cards Against Humanity has pretty much become legendary among party games particularly because of its dirtiness. The game is independently produced (just like Deck Around). This is important because many gaming companies design games for children and families too... which means they don't like to associate their games with mature topics. Cards Against Humanity burst on to the scene because only an indie company could push the limits of just how "blue" a party game can and should be. (And now all the big companies want in!)
All that said, many folks still dare to play this game with cousins, parents and even grandparents! I don't really recommend this... but it gives you an idea of how accessible dirty games can be.
Cards Against Humanity checks all the boxes among dirty games particularly because it forces players to make risque combinations... in many ways, it incentives them! It's very much locked in an awkward Urban Outfitters-esque genre of "dirty" -- as long as you and your guests can appreciate that, it's a winner.
What's Yours Like
What's Yours Like isn't quite as explicitly coarse as most of the games on this list. Its primary mechanic for laughs is innuendo. This makes it a much more teen-friendly dirty game.
Players take turns trying to vaguely describe an innocuous word... one player doesn't know the word and has to guess based on the clues from other players. All of the phrases are stated in the first-person perspective and they must be true. It's a lot easier to understand if I rattle off some example clues. "I don't have one," "Mine is under the kitchen sink," or "My brother had two on Friday."
Although there's no real incentive to use innuendo, people will. Things phrases like "mine is very sticky," "I can't believe how thick mine is" or "I did this after my date last night" are examples of perfect clues in What's Yours Like. Because the word is a mystery you can see how folks' minds get into the gutter quickly.... even if you respond with something innocuous like, "My girlfriend loves this!"
I love how easy it is to get creative in What's Yours Like but it's definitely the tamest game I'm mentioning here. As long as your group is creative and motivated to make others laugh, you'll enjoy at least a few rounds.
Dirty Words is sort of a "classic" dirty party game... a quick couple searches and you'll find old retro editions of this for sale on eBay. You'd be surprised how lewd this decades old game can get.
Dirty Words comes with several dice which have words on all sides. By themselves, they're nothing... but together as sentence, they take on a whole new meaning... just a couple examples: lick, hard, blow, huge, he, hold
The objective is to add "imaginative" new meanings to the words... players have to rearrange the words into as many interlocking sentences as possible in a limited amount of time. The compressed time forces people to make hilarious mental leaps; even extremely straight-laced players.
Dirty Words is good for a few laughs but it grows old in a few rounds.
Other Dirty Party Games and Where to Find Them
There are dozens more dirty party games out there. And breaking out a terrible party game can really screw up a good time. If you find one, I highly recommend going through my key criteria above (in the introduction and Deck Around sections) before picking it up.
Even if you think the game meets all those rules, try a test round with a friend. If you're looking in a game store, give a pal a ring and try out a round from the back of the box before you buy. This is really the best way to know which game is best for your crowd.
If you're planning a party, you can get some of these games in these easy ways:
- If the party's tonight, look for a free PDF to download -- Deck Around and Cards Against Humanity offer these
- Indie party games can be hard to find online -- Deck Around and CAH are available in limited web stores so try the websites first; more commercial games usually don't have their own site, so check Amazon
- Support a local game shop -- you can find them under the Hobby Shops category on Yelp