Earlier this year, while on a long-weekend trip with some friends, the inevitable happened. After long days of exploring, eating and shopping, we’d return home to find that — despite all the catching up and chit chat that should have been happening — we’d all end up buried in our phones, breaking the silence only briefly to discuss a meme or share some juicy internet gossip. Now, I’m the last person to hop on the millennial bashing bandwagon, but all this “technology taking over our lives” crap was really starting to feel real until one of us from the group emerged from his sleeping child’s bedroom with this game.
The concept behind Fantastic Gymnastics is simple enough, however in my opinion, not as easily executed as the boxes’ recommended 8 and up age rating. A tiny plastic figurine (we named him Bruno) hangs from a high bar, while the player pushes a small red button that pikes his feet. With the right rhythm, the plastic gymnast begins to gain momentum until flipping very satisfyingly around the bar. This first step alone is difficult enough, but the point of the game is to push a release button at the exact right moment to send Bruno flying through the air, landing perfectly on a velcro mat. Spoiler alert: this is nearly impossible, and requires some knowledge of physics if not an incredible amount of perseverance. We spent the entire night taking turns with Bruno, cheering wildly at every dismount, and becoming increasingly more determined with each failed attempt. You would have thought we were playing high-stakes roulette if not for the plastic hum of Bruno’s body whirling around the high bar. At the end of the night, Bruno’s single successful dismount was captured in perfect slow-mo, our raucous cheers a comedic slowed-down groan in the background, and had everyone on my Instagram stories wanting to know where they can get this game.
It was the most fun I’ve had with friends in a long time, and reminded me of all-night sleepovers that consisted of strategic games of Monopoly and adrenaline-pumping Jenga. What happens between the age of 12 and 20 that makes us think board games aren’t cool anymore?
Looking to spice up your dinner party or night in? Check out the below games that are sure to keep your friends off their phones and having a blast.
The Game of Nasty Things
This card game designed to illicit immoral responses is the ultimate way to break the ice among new friends.
You’ve probably seen videos of this hilarious game that could send a plate full of whipped cream hurling toward your face at any moment.
Watch Ya' Mouth
Snag a picture of your friend while playing this game — which forces its players to recite phrases while wearing a ridiculous mouth guard — for some serious Instagram blackmail at the ready.
Put your sales skills to the test as you try to sell your friends a ridiculous random product.
Cards Against Humanity
This card game is not for the easily offended.
No Thumbs Challenge
Laughter is sure to ensue as you try to complete challenges — like applying lip balm or writing your name — without the use of your thumbs.
What Do You Meme
Gather around your favorite trolls for a round of this card game created by Instagram legend @F**kjerry.
Drunk Stoned or Stupid
Play this game, and you might just find out what your friends really think of you.
Go Fish Yourself
A grown up version of your favorite childhood card fishing game, Go Fish Yourself forces its players to complete wild challenges in order to stay in the game.
Hedbanz No Limits
Take What Am I to the next level with this guessing game that allows you to come up with your own uncensored answers.
The anxiety is real with this interactive game from Buzzfeed that integrates its players cell phones in the fun. Pick your cards carefully, or you might end up commenting eggplant emojis on your mom’s recent Facebook status, or texting the first contact in your phone a twerking video.
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