Card Games Outdoors: BBQ, Beach and Picnic Edition

Today we bring you one of our most popular updates in Spanish. Due to its success we have decided to translate it to English so it can be enjoyed in both languages. The update is about games you can play in the outside. With the nice weather we are enjoying (at least in some parts of the UK), it is likely many of you would like to spend some time in the sunshine. And if you are like us, you may not want to miss the opportunity of having fun, whether you are at the beach, camping or having a BBQ. There has been plenty of times when in those situations the wishful thinking arises “What a Shame not having a Deck of Cards…!” – at least in Spain it is quite popular to bring around a normal deck of cards to play a couple of traditional card games. Nowadays you can even have really cool, customised decks, from all sorts of merchandise and fandoms. But we understand that not everyone may want to sit down and play some poker, so here we bring a solution. This is a selection of card games that have saved the day in more than one occasion under these circumstances:

UNO…? I mean, who hasn’t played UNO in their lifetime? UNO is a very popular game, for all kinds of audience thanks to its great pace and simplicity. However, some people feel it is not a very dynamic game, or that it is missing “that spark”. Any one of my friends would say, that is because you have not played the improved version of the game: UNO BOOM-O. An all-time favourite in my home, UNO BOOM-O uses the same dynamic from its predecessor but adds something to it. Each player has a number of bomb cards, which are their lives. There is a countdown being played with the numeric cards from 0 to 60, which can go up or down depending on what you play and your strategy – you also have usual UNO cards such as exchange hands, skip turn, etc…The deal is that if you exceed 60, you explode. The great thing about this game is that it also caters for many players, and it is fun to play regardless of the number. It only has one inconvenience: it is out of print, and it is difficult to find from online buyers/sellers. However, there is an easy and convenient solution to the problem: print and play. Simple and economic.

Cliff Hanger: this is a game for 3 to 6 players, where each game lasts around 15 mins. The objective of the game is to obtain a certain number of goat symbols which are drawn on the cards. The cards are numbered from 1 to 50, so each round each player plays one of their card simultaneously, and however player the highest card number takes the cards for their stash (in hope they have not exceeded the limit of goat symbols required to win). At the end of the game, whoever has the precise amount of goat symbols wins. Simple. However, it is also a game that is not always easy to come by, although it’s not out of print like in the case of BOOM-O. However, if you do manage to get hold of it, you would appreciate the fact that it is cheap (no more than £10) and the box isn’t bigger than the palm of my hand.

Exploding Kittens: our English speaking audience with be more than aware of the viral success of this game. It takes all of 5 minutes to learn to play, it is real fun and tense as you could die in any moment. The advantage the game has is that it counts now with an expansion pack so this makes the game more dynamic and increases playability. The one down side this game has, in my opinion, is the price: £16-20 pounds for the standard box, and roughly the same for the expansion…

With those three you can have a good fun afternoon outdoors with no problems! However, if you feel like you want more, here are some alternatives that you can use to combine with (or replace!) any of the above:

-Love Letter: in any of its multiple versions, customise as you will, however keep in mind it is only 2-4 players.

-If you are playing with children, we would recommend to try to get hold off Cranium the card game. It comes in a small metallic box, the cards are transparent plastic (easy to clean and durable), and it involves a variety of puzzle making activities, as well as number and letter combinations. Educational and with hardly any rules.

-If you are a large group of people, the usual party game is the Werewolves of Millers Hollow, which also has expansions allowing for even more players and possibilities. Great advantage? If you are short of cash you can make your own version with a bit of card and a pen! And if you are fond of this game but you want to play a spin on it, we would recommend you give this a go: the One Night series by Beziers:

-If you are super-pro camping, picnic or beach people and you happen to have in your possession one of those portable tables, then Zombie Dice is the game for you! Keep count of your brains with pen/paper or a phone, and the fun is guaranteed.

One thing that we recommend out of experience though, is that you may want to sleeve these games if you are going to take them outside, just to protect them from dirt, stop them from getting scratched and in general to improve the durability of the cards. And then if you wanna do it proper, you may also want a play mat. Up To You. In any case it is not going to take a lot of space in your bag.

That said, we hope you are outside enjoying the sun and playing some games! And if you have any other games you would like to add to our list, recommendations or comments, we will love to hear from you. Just drop us a line J

One thought on “Card Games Outdoors: BBQ, Beach and Picnic Edition

  1. If I can add two more simple, but highly enjoyable card games to the list? Asterix – Each player has a deck of 10 cards depicting their Gaul character (numbered 1-10) and a Dogmatix card that is essentially sanctioned cheating! Each turn a card is turned over from the Roman deck, and all players bid a card to try to capture him. The highest Gaul gets the Roman. That Gaul card is discarded, while other players keep their cards. When a Pirate card is revealed, they have a negative score and the winner keeps his Gaul while all others are discarded. Dogmatix allows you to turn the next card in the deck, and either keep it, or pass it to another player. If you keep it, you lose Dogmatix. If you hand it on you keep the dog, if you keep it, you discard him. Pirates reverse that.

    Multiple catures of the same nameless Romans (Cook, Bugler, Scout for instance) yield huge bonuses, while the named Romans (the wonderful Spurious Brontosaurus et al) are high point one offs. Great fun and surprisingly strategic.

    The Sherlock Holmes card game is a very different kettle of fish. You start play with a random hand of cards, but somewhere is one of four villains. card play moves the narrative between London and a generic ‘countryside’ as you try to identify which layer is harbouring the villain and then arrest him. As play goes on, more villains enter play, and the named characters from the stories turn up, bringing powerful one-off effects. One for a solid hour or so’s play and strong contender for repeated play.

    Liked by 1 person

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