The next time you hold a friendly get together, how about including a round of intellectual party games? It’s a great way to get a little competition going, and make the evening that much more interesting and fun.

Being a total nerd myself, I have suggested only intellectual and creative pursuits. Choose the best game for your particular crowd, and see tips for keeping the competition friendly at this link.

[1] Exquisite Corpse


(see art at the top of this post) Equipment needed: paper, pencils, colored pencils. This game was invented by the Surrealists, and can be played with words or imagery.

THE DRAWING GAME: For each player, fold a piece of paper into four. From the top down, each person draws a head, letting their imaginations go wild, allowing the lines of the neck to just cross over into the second section. The paper passes to the next player, with head folded under, so it cannot be seen. The second person continues the drawing to the waist, showing the arms (they can be doing anything, any props added) just crossing into the third section. Repeat process in the third section with hips and legs, the fourth section gets the feet. Unfold, for an imaginative figure, possibly suitable for framing! The drawing above represents the combined talents of Yves Tanguy, Joan Miro, Max Morise, and Man Ray.

THE WRITING GAME: In the same manner, have each person write something on piece of paper, folded into 8 sections. Follow this order: 1. THE [Adjective] 2. [Adjective] 3. [Noun] 4. [Verb] 5. [Adverb] 6. [Preposition] 7. THE [Adjective] 8. [Noun]. Example: THE silly, fashionable book exercises grandly on THE fetching basement.

[2] Wise and Otherwise


Players are given the first part of a saying, and must make up an ending. The idea is to fool other players into thinking yours is the actual. 2,500 sayings from around the world included.

HOBNOBMAG Intellectual Party Games

[3] The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Card Game


The challenge is knowing how to survive in outrageous situations. In each scenario, the card pulled has a question with 3 possible answers. If a team answers correctly, they get to move along the board. Incorrect answers allow the other team to move ahead. First team to reach finish wins. The situations presented range from the hair-raising (how to cross a piranha-infested river) to the humorous (how to scratch an itch in a cast).

HOBNOBMAG Intellectual Party Games

[4] Really Really Big Words Trivia Quiz

Focus: WORDS.

A set of 50 cards bearing unusual words with 4 possible definitions. Take turns reading cards aloud. Everyone can guess which meaning is correct. The back of the card reveals the answer. Packaged in compact 2.5-inch square box.

HOBNOBMAG Intellectual Party Games

[5] Who am I?


Equipment needed: a Post IT note pad. Each person thinks of a celebrity or historic figure and writes it on a Post IT, then sticks it on the forehead of the person next to them. The person with the Post IT note stuck to their forehead must ask YES or NO questions until they guess who they are.

HOBNOBMAG Intellectual Party Games

[6] Table Topics


Not actually a game but meant to inspire interesting conversation. The Dinner Party version sample questions: What’s your most prized possession? If you could trade houses with someone whose home would you choose? Have you ever run into to someone you knew when you were far from home?

HOBNOBMAG Intellectual Party Games

[7] Toothless Vegetables

Focus: HUMOR.

Players take turns naming a type of fruit or vegetable without showing their teeth. No repeats, or you are out. Show teeth, you’re out. Last person wins the game.

[8] The Manner of the Adverb


One person leaves the room, out of earshot of the rest of the group. The remaining guests choose an adverb [let’s say SLOWLY]. The person is called back into the room and has to guess the adverb by asking guests to act in the manner of the adverb. For instance, he or she could request a guest to mimic: Answer the phone [SLOWLY]. Or, ask 2 guests to talk to each other in the manner of the adverb [SLOWLY]. The guesser can ask guests to act in more specific situations, like naming one person to act as a policeman who has pulled over a speeder.

[9] Gameshows on Your Phone/Tablet


Complete with sound effects in the AppStore download these for hours of fun: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire; Jeopardy!; Family Feud.

HOBNOBMAG Intellectual Party Games

[10] The Name Game


Start the game with naming a famous person, say Elvis Presley. The next person must come up with a name that begins with P, (the initial of the last name) say Penelope Cruz. The next person must use the letter C, so could say Courtney Cox. Matching initials, as in this case, reverses the direction of play.