With Christmas thundering up on us and, along with it, the unspoken requirement to spend time with family you might start wondering soon what you’re going to do all evening to get around the awkward silences and stop the older ones from falling asleep and snoring loudly in the corner. Well if you’re looking for a game that’s instantly familiar while still having one or two novelties up its sleeve, Time’s Up Party might certainly be worth a look.
Played over three rounds, Time’s Up Party has teams of two or more players trying to guess what’s on a series of cards. Each of the rounds behaves slightly differently, but the way the cards are won is quite cool. Instead of one team having a set of cards each, one set of forty “master” cards is created and given to one team. A timer is started, and when it runs out the remaining unguessed cards are passed to the next team, and so on until all the cards have been guessed. This works across all of the rounds, and is an interesting spin on the usual way of winning a game like this.
The first round is the easiest to deal with. In this round the player with the cards can say pretty much anything they want to explain what’s in front of them, as long as it’s not too close to the card itself. So for example, seeing “Cleopatra” would allow you to mention being a queen of Egypt, but going as far as to say “it starts with Clio” isn’t allowed. In theory though, the cards should be all guessed fairly quickly. Each team scores points for the number of cards they earned, and we move on to round 2.
Round two really limits how much you can say. This time, you need to be getting people guessing what’s on the card by using a single word. So back to our Cleopatra example, you could say “Egypt”, or “Pyramid” but that’s it – from that point on it’s up to the guessers to figure out what’s on there.
And then the final round rocks up, and you’re silenced completely. Mimicking the popular Charades game, you’re now miming totally barring a couple of grunts, knowing looks and sighs of despair when your amazing Egyptian dance falls on confused faces. Once all of the cards have been guessed in the usual way, the game ends and the scores are totalled up to find the winning team.
And that’s pretty much everything there is to know about Time’s Up Party. It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s a fun way to spice up an afternoon that’s in danger of going a bit stale. Kids might find some of the clues a bit hard going (well, adults might as well, there are some pretty obscure cards) but for a slightly older audience this could be a really decent way to pass some time. Don’t expect anything new or groundbreaking and you’ll have a good time with this.