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6 great party board games

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Bumper Jack

Classic party games like Trivial Pursuit, Taboo and Twister have enlivened countless millions of get-togethers over the years.

But how many more games of Pictionary can you really stand? There comes a point where you just need something new -- and thankfully, there's a whole host of lesser-known party games out there that'll give your next shindig a jolt of newfangled fun. Here are six of our favorites.

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Wits and Wagers

Wits and Wagers

A classic Trivial Pursuit may be, but it's not the most forgiving of games. No matter what your general-knowledge weakness is, it'll find it, and lay it bare to the ridicule of your friends. But Wits and Wagers is a trivia game with a difference: if you don't know the answer to that obscure history question -- but you think your Civil-War-nerd buddy across the table does -- you can put a big bet on his answer and still have a chance at winning.
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Telestrations

Telestrations

How big are your parties? Telestrations, a drawing game based on classic playground time-waster "Telephone," works with as few as four players, but the bigger the group, the more fun it gets. It's rather like a cooperative, chaotic Pictionary, where you take turns to sketch and guess the word, building new drawings on top of other people's guesses as you go. Top board gaming site BoardGameGeek.com awarded it their Golden Geek award for Best Party Game last year - play it, and you'll see why.
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Time's Up! Deluxe

Time's Up! Deluxe

Celebrity lovers, grab your partners: here's one for you. Time's Up! gives you a list of celebrity names and a mission to communicate them to your partner in accordance with a simple set of rules. In round one, you can use any clue you like (short of saying the celeb's name, obviously). In round two, you're limited to a single word per clue. And in round three, it's gestures and non-verbal clues only. Word to the wise: the Deluxe version replaces the sand-timer with an electronic countdown, and is much less hassle to play.
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Wise and Otherwise

Wise and Otherwise

You can take a horse to water, but you can't fit a quart into a pint pot. Released in the mid-90s to considerable acclaim, Wise and Otherwise gives you the opening of an obscure proverb, and sets the players the task of inventing a convincing closer. Can you spot the original answer? Or can you come up with something better? Simple, brain-teasing, competitive, often hilarious -- it's everything a party game should be.
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Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples

The word-matching masterpiece has dominated the past decade of board game partying for good reason: it's a hoot. Players simply use their noun cards to match adjectives, though the real fun is trying to convince the rotating judge that your answer is the best. It's won countless awards over the years, and with a veritable orchard of expansions and supplemental card packs, it just keeps on growing.
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Cranium Hoopla

Cranium

If you've heard of any of the other games on this list, you've almost certainly heard of Cranium. The brainchild of two ex-Microsoft employees, it's what you'd get if you took the best bits of charades, Pictionary, and Trivial Pursuit, mixed them up with a handful of modeling clay, and infused them with a colorful visual design that's genuinely fun for all the family. If you're already a fan, check out its booster packs, which add new cards (and replace your old dried-up clay), or try newer release Cranium Hoopla for a cooperative twist on the familiar format.
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