Mind games are great because there’s no investment in tools — nothing to leave behind, nothing to scrabble around for in the glove box — and often you don’t even have to play with another person. Or you can. See how easy?
In part one, Mind Games: Fun for All Ages, we talked about ways to entertain ourselves using nothing but the power of our minds, both young and old. In part two, we focus on games that are better suited to older children, teens, and adults.
Games That Could Get Dirty
Storytelling — Is it a game, a way of life, or a philosophy? The simplest approach is that each person gets a turn to make up and tell part of the story (you can limit turns in some way if you want). It’s fun to end each turn on a cliffhanger and force the next player to make a choice about what happens.
20 Questions — One person thinks of an object and tells the other players whether it is an animal, vegetable, or mineral. From there players can ask 20 questions to try and narrow the field of possibilities and guess what the object is.
Would You Rather? — This is a favorite among the elementary-aged, who are gleefully outraged and entertained by things that are ridiculous, gross, or incredibly dangerous. Players take turns thinking of impossible choices and offering the choice to everyone else. Use your imagination — and knowledge of your fellow players. For example: “Would you rather hug a skunk or hang from a cliff by one hand?”
Top Five — Players challenge each other to name their top five things in different categories, like music, movies, books, desserts, animals, or games. Or make it harder by picking more specific categories, such as: male music artists from the 1990s, childhood movies, classic books, ethnic desserts, animals native to North America, or dice games.
French Toast — This is a cool guessing game, kind of like 20 Questions. Person A thinks of an object and Person B tries to guess what it is. After each guess, Person A says whether or not the guess or french toast is more like the object he or she is thinking of. There’s a really good example of how the game is played right here.
Of course you don’t have to be in the car to play these games. Mind games are also fun when you’re camping, at Aunt Shirley’s house for Sunday brunch, waiting in long lines, or parked on the tarmac with no peanuts. Because these games are easy to play, they are also easy to abandon when real life steps up. Keeping score isn’t necessary, but bonus points for awesomeness never get old.