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Whether the subject at hand is movies, geography, or '80s pop songs, playing a trivia game can be a fun way for friends and family members to bond and compete over shared knowledge. But you have to be sure you're playing a game that's fairly matched—whether that means creating teams or finding a kind of trivia everyone will feel comfortable answering. We've researched the top picks for a fun game night for families, kids, adult get togethers, and more.
Here, the best trivia games for every type of group:
This lively game was designed by the creators of Bananagrams, and it moves much more quickly than other trivia options. Players take turns as the narrator who reads the current card out loud, and each one has four questions. The point of the game is to figure out (quickly!) what common theme links the four answers. (So if the answers are sorcerer, phoenix, prince, and prisoner, the theme would be "Harry Potter books.") There are clues at the bottom of each card, but it's up to the group whether or not to use them. In some cases, players might opt to have the narrator read them when everyone is stumped.
Everyone except the narrator plays the chosen card, and despite the two-step process of answering questions and figuring out the theme, winning feels attainable because you don't need to be an expert in a certain kind of subject matter. In fact, you can sometimes guess the link correctly even if you don't know all the answers.
Each time you get a card right, you earn a letter, and when you've racked up enough to spell "Linkee," you've won the round. It's aimed at players ages 14 and older and can be played with as many as 30 people. The game is also a collaborative effort: Fans can submit their own ideas for cards on the company's website, and winners will be credited in future editions and receive a free box of Linkee cards.
If your kids are hooked on the Weird but True! books from National Geographic Kids, they'll love the chance to play this trivia game that's based on the series. It's an inclusive option because everyone plays every question, and for some cards, you only need to answer "A" or "B," so those cards can have multiple winners, which may help prevent arguments and make younger kids feel more confident.
Other question formats include "Fact or Fiction" (choose which statement is true), "Brain Blitz" (name as many things in a category as you can during a timed interval), and "Eye Wonder," where everyone looks at a close-up image and tries to guess what's being shown. Each round takes 20 to 40 minutes, so your kids won't feel like it's dragging on, and the game can be played with up to five players.
With its wheel-shaped board and six familiar categories (arts and literature, sports and leisure, geography, entertainment, science, and history), this iconic game is still a favorite among kids, teenagers, and parents, who likely grew up playing the original version. This update comes with a timer to help keep things moving at a brisk pace and nearly 3,000 questions to challenge players for years to come. You can speed up the game by allowing players to collect pie pieces each time they correctly answer a question, not just when they land on a wedge-shaped space. If you're playing with children, you can level the playing field by letting the younger ones answer questions from the Family Edition (available on Amazon).
Children's mastery of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) is often linked to future academic success. But you don't need to tell your kids that—just let them enjoy this rousing game that requires both strategizing and basic scientific knowledge. The questions are divided into categories: Flyweight is for younger children while Heavyweight is aimed at teens and adults (although some parents felt their teens were better matched to the Flyweight questions).
To keep things engaging, references to video games (like Minecraft), movies, and songs are sprinkled in as well. Gameplay is simple: Players must roll the dice, answer questions correctly, and be the first to finish moving through the board. Each round takes about 40 minutes, and although it's designed for four players, it also works well with teams (try pitting kids against grown-ups).
The beauty of this game is that it can be played by both sports nerds and those whose knowledge is a bit more...limited. Questions are split into two different levels ("rookie" and "pro"), and they come in a few different formats. "Name It" requires the player to come up with a straightforward definition. "Know It" has a multiple-choice question. And "See It" shows a magnified photo of a sports-related object, and players must try to guess what it is.
A wide range of activities is covered, including soccer, ice hockey, badminton, and even bobsledding. The object of the game is to move through the board collecting chips for correct answers (they're worth different point values) and to ideally avoid obstacle squares, such as "on the ropes," "yellow flag," or "water hazard," which will delay your progress. It's recommended for up to four players and can be enjoyed by kids ages 8 and older.
This party game for the 17-and-up crowd works best with at least three players and is definitely not kid-appropriate. Note that the company does make a tamer version (available on Amazon) that works better for families. The point of the game is to read the card and spit out three examples that answer the question in five seconds or less.
Although some of the 300 questions are more straightforward trivia ("name three erogenous zones" or "name three celebrities who've been caught naked"), others, like "name three things you should never do at a funeral," give the player a little more freedom with their answers. To challenge and distract players even more, a "Twisted Timer" is included, which counts down the seconds using clacking marbles, making things feel even more tense.
Trivia fans seeking a challenge should try this multifaceted game, which includes questions divided into four creative categories: Teasers (word riddles), Odd One Out (guess the answer that doesn't belong), Sequencing (arrange a list of four answers in the correct order, such as animals with the most to least teeth), and Wild Card, which, as the name suggests, could be anything and includes topics like geography, current events, and math.
Because the questions are fairly complicated, it's recommended for players ages 16 and older. Players praised the subject matter, saying that even when they got an answer wrong, they learned something distinctive and memorable. There are some similarities to Trivial Pursuit: You roll the dice and move around the board. Although instead of collecting pie pieces, the goal is to advance from the outer ring toward the middle and answering incorrectly can push you back toward the edges again.
The creators of this card game say it deals with the "people, products, and trends that have shaped our world," with topics as diverse as Miley Cyrus, Marlon Brando, Count Chocula, and the Sony Walkman. There's no board, so players simply keep score using a pen and paper, and the compact format makes it ideal for travel. It's aimed at those ages 12 and older, but savvier younger kids will also love playing.
The object is to answer two questions correctly in each of the categories, which include products; books, comics, and art; TV and film; people; and music. To move the game along more quickly, you can also opt to only require players to get one correct answer for each topic. Outset Media also makes other pop culture-themed decks, including ones devoted to the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Audience Some trivia games are best with just a few players at the table while others are great for entertaining party guests. If you’re looking for something for family game night, that’s one thing, but you may also want to look for games that can handle a crowd. Also, some trivia may get a little racy and may not be age-appropriate for everyone, so check the suggested age level before selecting a game for your crew.
Challenge level Do you want to play primarily for fun or really test players’ knowledge? Some trivia games are more challenging than others, and some are made just for kids. Finding the right mix of challenging but not completely impossible is a good goal.
Type There are some trivia games that cover a variety of topics while others center around specific ones such as entertainment. Certain games are fairly straightforward while others shake things up and add fun new twists. Consider who'll be playing most frequently—as well as their interests and playing style—when choosing a game.