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Top 10 Party & Board Games for Med Students

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Text reading "Top 10 Picks for Game Night" and "" over a photo of a board game

Goal: Get everyone as hyped on game nights as we are.

Medical School is all about balance. Work hard, and then play hard. Many medical students recommend setting a consistent time each week to spend away from school, for us at the bombMedical, that means Weekend Game Night! We have assembled a list of our favorite games to play together and recommend to everyone!

Note: This article contains links to youtube videos and to online websites to purchase the game. We do not profit from you clicking on these links and are purely for your convenience.

Party Games:

Under this list are games that a single round can be played fairly quickly. These are low commitment games that can mostly accommodate a large number of players.

1. Codenames

With a number of different varieties (Disney, Harry Potter, Simpsons, Marvel) it’s easy to find a theme that pique the interest of everyone. This is our top go-to game as it is easy to break into two teams even if there is an uneven number of players. The spymaster is tasked with providing the clues and it is a blast trying to figure out what they are trying to get at. Just don’t flip the assassin!

2. Exploding Kittens

Each play is on their own for this card game. The objective is to not die by drawing an exploding kitten card ~fun noise when you open the box~. This is a rapid game with goofy themes and funny cards. It is easy to pick up without losing engagement.

image of hands holding deck of cards

3. Coup

Not exactly a board game, not quite a card game, the objective is to kill off your opponents and be the last player standing. 5 different roles, 3 of each role in a deck, and each player gets two cards to start. This game has a bit higher of a learning curve, but can easily be picked up after a single round. Highly recommend checking out the linked video tutorial by the Geek & Sundry youtube channel.

4. Trial by Trolley

A personal favorite of Collin, this game is based on the philosophical trolley problem (wikipedia). Two teams try to convince The Judge to not send the trolley down their track. This is done by playing cards that help your track and hurt the other teams track, and great persuasion skills. With lots of absurd modifiers and playful manipulation, you are sure to walk away from this game knowing more about your friends then when you started.

5. The Chameleon

This is a new one for us, but will quickly become a favorite. All but one of the players know a secret word, and no one except the chameleon knows who the chameleon is. All players goes around and has to say one word that relates to the secret word. Then everyone discusses and votes who the chameleon is. The chameleon wins if they do not receive the majority vote for being the chameleon, OR if they are outed as the chameleon they can still win by guessing the secret word. You want to be specific enough that everyone else knows you are not the chameleon, but vague enough that the chameleon cannot figure out the word.

6. Among Us

This online game may be a bit beyond the original peak popularity, but it is super fun to play with your friends! Humans vs Alien to see who can reach their goal first. Many people use voice channels on discord to communicate with each other during the game.

Strategic Games:

This list of games are longer than the previous list, and require much more effort to play the games, however once you get one game under your belt, it will be hard to resist playing again! They are easiest to learn when you have at least one person in the group who has played the game before. These games work best with 3-6 players

7. Settlers of Catan

To be honest, if someone hasn’t tried to force you to play this game yet, we would be a bit shocked. This strategy game requires resource planning, building, and trading to become the final victor. This game is on the longer end, but that works great to really let loose for the evening (especially after an exam).

8. Ticket to Ride

This board game has a large US map traversed with numerous train routes. The object of the fame is to will with the highest score out of all the players. You rack up points through a few different systems, so this game will likely require players to watch the tutorial video beforehand linked below to Gather Together Games youtube Channel. Choo-choo!

9. Betrayal at House on the Hill

We played this game on Halloween and while it was definitely hard to start, since no one had played the game before, at the end of the game we are fans for sure! This turn style game follows some classic spooky tropes as everyone searches through the haunted house.

10. Diplomacy

Okay so full disclosure, I have only played this game once in high school and have been obsessed with it ever since, it is all the fun of Risk but take out all of the chance, this game is full strategy. It simulates the first world war and works best when you have a the full 8 players to play as all of the countries. The objective is simple, take over all of Europe.

Closing Thoughts

Medical school currently takes up most of your life, but it is not your entire life. Small things like going to a game night might seem daunting, but it is often through our friends that we remain human.

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