"A dumb party game that respects your intelligence." That's how Alex Hague and Justin Vickers sum up the witty, often inappropriate game they developed, Monikers.
"There's a folk game called various names—Celebrity or Fishbowl or The Hat Game—that our friends would always play at parties," explains Hague. "Monikers was our attempt to take the basic idea from that game and create something really special around it." Monikers' objective is simple enough: Try to get your friends to guess the name on the card you're holding. Actually playing it is far from easy (though incredibly fun).
In the first round, you have 60 seconds per card to say anything you want except for the name on the card (not unlike the concept of Taboo). Once you've gone through all the cards, and everyone is aware of the options, you can move on to the next round.
Now that the whole crew is familiar with all the options in the deck, things get a little trickier. In round two, you are only allowed to pick one word to describe your card—so think back to what clues helped the first time around, and choose wisely.
The third and final round turns into charades: No speaking, only acting. The trick to Monikers is to remember what kind of weird jokes were created throughout the game, and to keep drawing from those throughout, hoping your teammates remember them.
"It's a really weird game that involves acting and doing dumb things in front of your friends." —Alex Hague
If that all sounds a little bit out of your comfort zone, don't worry; it's not as mortifying as it sounds. "It's a really weird game that involves acting and doing dumb things in front of your friends," says Hague. "But because of the way the rounds work, you always feel supported, rather than singled out."
Monikers, $25, monikersgame.com.