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  1. Wits & Wagers Party $21 at amazon.com
    How to play
    Place bets on trivia questions with numerical values (such as, �How many cups of coffee does the average American drink in a year?�), and whoever places their betting tokens on the value closest to the answer, without going over (Price Is Right-style), wins poker chips. The team or player with the most poker chips at the end of the seventh question wins.
    Game length
    30 minutes
    Could you turn this into a drinking game?
    Yes. Whoever�s bet is the furthest from the truth/answer could drink, or whenever two players throw out the same numerical value both could drink.
    Fun level
    8 (out of ten)
    Additional comments
    Because you�re just betting on numerical trivia, it�s easy and fun for everyone (and doesn�t cater to trivia snobs).

  2. Photograph: Kristine Condon
    Photograph: Kristine Condon

    Pluckin� Pairs $20 at Cat & Mouse Game Store (2212 W Armitage Ave, 773-384-4454)
    How to play
    Players couple 11 cards with pictures on them�leaving one out as the �bad apple��and maximize points by having their pairs match some other players�, but not the entire group�s.
    Game length
    30 minutes for a small group
    Could you turn this into a drinking game?
    Players could potentially drink each time they match cards with other players. A player could drink alone when no one matches the set he or she has chosen.
    Fun level
    6
    Additional comments
    The fun part�s not matching the pairs, but defending your choices. It gets interesting when your friends disagree on ways to match cards, and hilarious when those reasons tend toward the ridiculous (one roommate matched a whale with a water tower because �that�s where he would live if he wasn�t in the ocean�). However, it�s no thrill-a-minute nail-biter. The stakes just aren�t that high, meaning it�s less fun when matches are made or missed.

  3. Photograph: Kristine Condon
    Photograph: Kristine Condon

    Time�s Up! Deluxe Edition $30 at toysrus.com
    How to play
    Cards printed with names of notable people are passed out to each team, and members take turns giving clues and guessing the name on each card without being able to pass. The clue-giver can use an unlimited number of words (except the actual name) in round one; only one word is allowed during round two; and round three is charades-style. The person who guesses correctly the most wins. It�s very similar to the popular DIY party game, �Celebrity.�
    Game length
    A couple of hours. (Make sure your party knows that and doesn�t make other plans for the night.)
    Could you turn this into a drinking game?
    Not really. You need to think quickly, since you have only 30 seconds to make as many guesses as you can. Drinking probably makes the game slower.
    Fun level
    8
    Additional comments
    The second round is the most fun because you start to remember the names in the deck (they�re the same as round one) and it goes a lot quicker. It�s still challenging, though, because you can only say one word and have one guess.

  4. Photograph: Courtesy of R and R Games
    Photograph: Courtesy of R and R Games

    AttrAction $16 at Cat & Mouse Game Store (2212 W Armitage Ave, 773-384-4454)
    How to play
    Flick a highly powerful magnet the size of a marble across a table. The object is to collide with as many other similarly sized magnets on the table as possible; you collect all the magnets you attract, and the player with the most magnets win.
    Game length
    As quickly as five minutes, if you have only two players.
    Could you turn this into a drinking game?
    Yes: Take one drink for every magnet you cause to fall off the table (in the game, you lose the magnets that fall). Side note: Screw with drunkards by slowly running a magnet under the table, causing the magnets on top of the table to move around, as if on their own.
    Fun level
    7
    Additional comments
    It�s fun, but there�s not a ton of strategy involved.

Board game reviews

<p>Plan a night in with one of these newer board games.</p>

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