Three games you can play for free

As purveyors of handsome wooden games, we’re not against buying and selling games. But there are some things that don’t make money and yet deserve to be promoted. In that spirit, here are 3 games you can play for free:

The Random word game

You will need: something to hit. It could be your hands clapping together, or slapping a table.

Players clap their hands or tap the table together for a few seconds, until they are all tapping in sync, at about one tap per second. Then take it in turns to shout a random word on every other clap/tap. The word must not be related to any other random word shouted that round. If any player notices a connection (eg. “nose” with “face”, or “cloud” with “sun”), they shout “STOP” and explain the connection, and if a majority of players agree then that player is out.

Why this game is great: You have to listen to the words the other players are using in order to avoid their topics, and also to spot if their words are related. But by listening to others, your brain gets infected and it becomes maddeningly difficult to think of your own original random word. The stress mounts hilariously as the number of players reduces.

Pick me up

You will need:

Good behaviour rules: no pulling hair, poking eyes, or grabbing genitalia.

This game is played between two players at a time. The aim is to pick up the other player for a count of 3 seconds. That’s it. Winner stays on.

Why this game is great: It causes fits of hilarity. It’s a great spectator sport. It’s challenging to work out the best strategy.

Turtle Wushu

You will need: Some identical small objects, one per player. Originally the game was played with small toy turtles. Bottle tops or coins also work well.

Each player balances their turtle/coin/bottle top on the back of one hand. They use their other hand to try to slap down other player’s turtles. You are not allowed to touch other players except by using your non-turtle carrying hand against their turtle carrying hand.

The last player to keep their turtle balanced on their hand wins the game.

Why this game is great: It causes players to dance around each other elegantly, like skilled waiters trying to move around each other in a busy restaurant.

There are some more complex variations explained here:

Happy playing!

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