Games are the soul of a party. Pen and paper games, just like any other games, are just as enjoyable and fun. If you are organizing a birthday party for your kid or a kitty party with your friends, bridal shower, cocktail party, get-together, reunions. Pen and paper games always make it more fun. The best thing about pen and paper games is that just with a little creativity, you can invent your own game. But here we bring you every pen and paper game ever invented to have fun with, at your party.
1. Category Distribution
Category distribution is a fun game that not only you enjoy but also you have to keep engaging your brain. You can play this game with your kid or let them play with their friends on their birthday.
You can play this game with as many people as you want. Distribute paper to each player and then decide how many and what type of category you want to play with like name, place, animal, thing, food, actor, actress, etc. Then one person from the group randomly selects a letter and each person has to fill the list in 1-minute starting from the chosen letter.
Cross off any words that other players used too.
Then the player who has the most unique words will get one point for each word.
2. Dots and Boxes
Dots and boxes is a very popular and very interesting game. The very best thing about this game is that any number of people can play this game altogether. You can have your kid and his friends play this game altogether at his birthday party.
Usually, this game is played on 6X6 squares but you can make a big square for your kid’s birthday party.
The square is marked with dots, which look something like this when done.
Now each player takes turns to join any two dots horizontally or vertically. Remember that you can not draw a line diagonally.
When someone completes a box, he marks it with his initial and gets a bonus turn.
When all the dots are joined and no room is left for any more boxes, the number of boxes is counted and the player with the most number of boxes wins.
Dots and Boxes is one of those pen and paper games that are a sure way to have fun at any party. Since this game is already very popular among the children, they would love to play a giant version of this game with all of their friends altogether.
3. Dots, Boxes, and Dice.
The next game in our pen and paper games category is a variation of dots and boxes. As in the name, along with dots and boxes, there is also a dice.
You mark the page just like the dots and boxes, now instead of randomly joining lines, players roll a dice two times and mark a grid of the size. For example, if the dice rolls give 2 and 4, the player can mark a grid of size 2X4 anywhere on the page and put his initials in it. The second player then rolls the dice and so on.
Now there are some variations of this game like you could use two die together instead of throwing one twice. You can decide how the grid is supposed to be marked, randomly or in a very orderly fashion so there is no mess in the last.
You can let players mark a smaller grid than they get, to fill the smaller spaces left in the end. It’s a friendly game so it depends on how you want to play it. You try to have fun. This is one of the best pen and paper games.
4. Tic Tac Toe
Tic Tac Toe is the most common game that everyone can play. Only 2 players can play this.
Take a paper and draw grid lines like shown in the picture.
X Player goes first and can place their x anywhere on the board. The O player then must play in the grid corresponding with where the x played and this will continue.
When someone gets 3-in-a-row in one of the smaller boards then that player is the winner
It is that simple.
This is really a party game. If you are planning to throw a cocktail party, then this member of pen and paper games is a must. Not only you would enjoy this game too much but you will get to learn so much about each other.
Get all of your party guests to gather around in one place, a living room, or something similar. Hand them each a small piece of paper and ask them to write their one secret without giving away too much and then fold the paper.
Collect all the papers in one bowl or hat or anything similar. Then you would take a piece of paper randomly and read the secret out loud and others would try to guess who’s is it based on the little information you have from the paper, like handwriting or who it is likely to happen with, etc. The fun part is that even if it’s your secret, you can mislead others by pretending to guess others’ names, this is actually the most fun part of the game.
This is one of the most played pen and paper games at parties and reunions. People judge this game too often that game is for nerds but trust us this is the most fun game ever to play at a party.
6. Blind Drawing
It is a unique game of laughter and fun perfect for parties and small groups of people.
In this, player 1 takes a piece of paper and draws a simple picture on the back of player 2. Then, player 2 attempts to guess what player 1 drew by drawing in themselves.
Another way to play this is player 1 calls out directions to the rest of the players. And rest of the players have to draw the image with the help of direction provided to them.
Then, in the end, everyone laughs when they see what they drew if it is not correct.
Another one of the famous pen and paper games. Surely it needs no introduction. It’s a stone-cold classic. And with good reason – everyone loves a guessing game. And a guessing game that simultaneously makes you contemplate your own mortality is a real tension builder.
One player, the executioner, thinks of a word, film or book title, etc., and indicates the number of letters in the word/phrase/title by drawing a blank line for each letter. If there’s more than one word, they place slashes where the word breaks would be so it’s clear.
The player or players guessing then guess a letter that they think is in the word or phrase. If they get it right, then the executioner writes that letter in every space it occurs in the word or phrase.
If the guessing player/s guesses a letter that isn’t in the word or phrase then the host writes down the letter they’ve guessed towards the bottom of the paper and draws a section of a picture of a simple stickman being hung. Each time they guess incorrectly, the executioner draws another section of the picture. If they complete the picture before the guessers guess all the letters in the word or phrase then the executioner wins.
But how many sections should the picture be split into?
This is where it always differs and there’s no dead-set (excuse the pun) rule. We think it’s 8 though and these are…
- Draw a big capital L
- Then draw a shorter line at the top of the L, parallel with the bottom line.
- Then draw a round head a little below the end of the top line.
- Draw the body line coming from the head.
- Then draw a line across the body, these are the arms.
- Draw a line connecting to the bottom of the body line on the left. i.e. the left leg
- Do the same on the right side. i.e. you get the picture
- Draw a line connecting the head to the top line. This is the noose and when this is drawn, the game is over and the host wins.
8. Finish The Story
A very fun and creative game where one can know what other’s people thinking and imagination are. By the time the game is over, the story will be so funny and strange that you all will not able to control your laughs and want to play it again and see what else you all can come up with.
One person writes a sentence of a story. Then, they hand the paper to the next person, who continues this sentence. Then, they fold the paper over so only the last sentence is visible and pass it along to the next person in line. Play continues like this until the paper is filled, time is up, or they decide to end it and read the story.
A drawing game where the worse you are at drawing, the funnier the game.
Rip up bits of paper into pieces big enough to write words or phrases on. Give everyone the same number of pieces of paper. Ask everyone to write a word or phrase on each piece. Once everyone has done that, they should fold up the pieces and drop them all in a bowl. Stick some large pieces of paper onto a wall or board.
Divide yourselves up into two teams. The first team designates a drawer. They pick out a word from the bowl and try to draw on one of the larger pieces of paper. Their teammates try to guess what the word is. When the team gets it right, the person drawing picks out another piece of paper from the bowl and draws that word or phrase. Someone on the opposing team will time for one minute. Once time is up, the team playing can count up the number of words that they got right. Then the other team goes. Whichever team got the most amount right in their time limit wins! If there are enough bits of paper to keep going for more rounds, then keep on playing!
Same as the dot game but a more complex and interesting game that involves lines and triangles. You can play with your kids.
Take a piece of paper and draw a hexagon with a dot at each corner. Then, draw lines connecting each dot to each other. After you draw the lines, you are ready to play the game.
Players should use different colored highlighters or markers to make this game easier to play. Players take turns coloring one line at a time. The first player to create an entire triangle out of their color loses.
The players take turns in contributing sentences to a story. The final story is then read out, usually with hilarious results.
Each player starts with a piece of paper. The players each write a phrase as the first step in a story and then fold the paper to hide the phrase before passing it to the next player.
The steps are as follows, where the things in brackets should be replaced by the chosen words or phrase:
- (boy’s name)
- met (girl’s name)
- in/at/on (where they met)
- He said (what he said)
- She said (what she said)
- He (what he did)
- She (what she did)
- The consequence was (what happened).
When the players have completed all eight steps, the pieces of paper are unfolded in turn, and the players read out the completed, usually funny, stories.
Players take turns in trying to guess the locations of the other player’s ships on a grid.
Each player draws two 10 x 10 grids, labeled along the sides with letters and numbers. On the left-hand grid the player secretly draws rectangles representing their fleet of ships:
Each player’s fleet consists of the following ships:
- 1 of each Aircraft carrier – 5 squares,
- Battleship – 4 squares, and
- Cruiser – 3 squares
- 2 x Destroyers – 2 squares each
- 2 x Submarines – 1 square each
Each ship occupies a number of adjacent squares on the grid, horizontally or vertically.
During play the players take turns is making a shot at the opponent, by calling out the coordinates of a square (eg D5). The opponent responds with “hit” if it hits a ship or “miss” if it misses. If the player has hit the last remaining square of a ship the opponent must announce the name of the ship; eg “You sank my battleship”.
During play, each player should record their opponent’s shots on the left-hand grid, and their shots on the right-hand grid as “X” for a hit and “O” for a miss:
The first player to lose all their ships loses the game.
Similar to Tic Tac Toe but different. You can play this game with your little ones. It has a larger board and more chances to gain points.
You need to draw a grid as large as you want. Players take turns writing either an S or an O in a spot on the grid. The goal is to be the player that connects the most SOS patterns. If a player makes an SOS sequence, they use a marker to highlight it in their color and take another turn. The game ends when the paper is completely filled. The player that has the most SOS sequences wins the game.
The players take turns in joining dots according to simple rules until one player cannot make a move.
Start by drawing two or more spots on a piece of paper.
Players then take turns to make a move, according to the following rules:
- Draw a line joining two spots or a single spot to itself. The line must not cross another line or pass through another spot.
- Draw a spot on the new line.
- No more than three lines can emerge from any spot.
- The last player to be able to move wins.
The game is remarkably complicated, and even starting with two spots leads to an interesting game.
In the following sample game with two spots, Blue has the first move, and Red wins after 4 moves because Blue has no move:
‘Sprouts’ was invented by the mathematicians M. S. Paterson and John H. Conway
15. Word From Another Word
Very simple game and a fun-loving game. You can play with as many people as you want.
Choose any large word and tell every player to make other words from it. It can be a minimum of 2 letter words. You cannot repeat the letters until and unless that large word consists of it. For Eg: Atmosphere is the word we have selected. Now from this, we can make, “most”, “sphere”, “here”, ‘top”, “tear”, “tree” and so many words like that.
The person who can make maximum unique words in 3 minutes is the winner.
16. Heads, Bodies, and Legs
Players take turns in drawing a head, a body, and a pair of legs, without letting the other player see them. The point of the game is the fun of seeing the resulting pictures.
Each player starts with a small piece of paper – half of A4 or US Letter is about right.
Each player begins by drawing ahead in the top third of the sheet and then folds over the paper so just the neck is showing:
The players then exchange pieces of paper, taking care not to let the other player see their drawings.
Each player then draws a body in the center third of the paper, joining the necklines, and folds over the paper so just the legs are showing:
Again, the players exchange pieces of paper.
Finally, each player draws legs and feet, joins the leg lines, and folds the paper so nothing is visible.
Finally, after exchanging again, each player opens their piece of paper to reveal the whole drawing.
Players take turns in marking squares on a grid. The first player unable to move loses.
The game is played on a grid; 6 x 6 is a good size. One player is ‘O’ and the other is ‘X’.
Players take turns in writing their symbol in a cell. The restriction is that you can only play in a cell if all its neighbors are empty (shown shaded in the following diagrams).
The first player unable to move loses.
For example, in the following game the second player ‘X’ wins because ‘O’ has nowhere to play:
The game was invented and analyzed by László Kozma, a Romanian mathematician.
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