When you have a lot of players who want to play the same game, it can be a challenge. These are my picks for the best games which accomodate seven or more players.
Image courtesy of Z-Man Games
For 3 to 10 players, ages 8 and up. Published by Z-Man Games. Dwarves are mining for gold, working together to find the best path to make sure they can get the gold back to the surface and divide it. Unfortunately, some of the dwarves might be saboteurs, looking out for themselves instead of the group. After three rounds of digging for gold, the player with the most is the winner in this card game. I carry this game in my car so that it's always available.
For 8 or more players. Public domain, although commercial versions have been published by Bezier Games, Looney Labs and Asmodee Editions. This game is great for large groups. Two players are the werewolves (or hitmen in the version known as Mafia) and the rest of the players are trying to discover who they are and kill them before it's too late. The fun factor seems to grow for Werewolf the later into the night it gets played.
For 4 to 10 players. Published by Parker Brothers / Hasbro. You need to get your teammates to say a particular word or phrase -- fast. Because if the buzzer goes off while it's your turn, that's not a good thing. Players are divided into two teams, and the total group size can be as big as you want it to be.
Image courtesy of Asmodée Editions
For 2 to 10 players. Published by Euro Games / Descartes Editeur. In this terrific auto racing game, players race their formula one cars around the track, careful not to enter curves to fast for fear of wiping out. Many race tracks are available as expansions, so if you think you've mastered one you can always buy another.
For 4 to 10 players, ages 12 and up. Published by R&R Games. Players compete over three rounds of increasing difficulty to identify the same set of celebrities. It's not as easy as it sounds, but it is hilarious. Time's Up won a Mensa Best Mind Games Award in 2000, but it doesn't require a lot of brain power -- just a willingness to look a little silly and have a good time.
For 2 to 10 players, ages 8 and up. Published by Endless Games. The goal of this clever, quick-playing card game is a common one: Be the first to get rid of your cards. How you get there is both original and fun. Five cards are laid out to form rows on the table; each player also gets a hand of five cards. Players simultaneously play one card each, which are then placed on the board according to how they fit into the rows. If a player is responsible for the sixth card in a given row, he collects all of those cards and earns negative points. Slide 5 has also been published as Category 5 and 6 Nimmt!.
For 2 or more players. Published by Rio Grande Games. Any number of players can play Ricochet Robot, because in a way it's more of a puzzle than it is a game. Examining the board, players try to find the quickest way to get a robot to its destination.
For 2 or more players. Published by Rykodisc. A CD packed with about 350 sound bites -- used with 1,800 questions -- is the most vital part of this game. Questions are asked in 12 categories, so there's a little bit of something for everyone. Play It By Ear is out of print, so it may take some digging to find a copy.