What is it? A mixture of  parlour games that is an in-joke making machine
How many people? 4+ can be played with almost any number but 6-10 is the sweet spot
How long does it take? 30+ minutes (you can dictate the length yourself)
Who is it for? Groups of people with a few drinks
Buy it: On Amazon here or print it yourself here. (You can also buy some smaller boxes of cards here and here, no original version needed)

The Gist

Why we recommend it

We have recommended Monikers a few times in various lists but we have never given it the respect it deserves with its own recommendation.

Until now.

It might even be our favourite ever party game. Jokes from countless plays of this game still come up in my various groups of friends because it it’s core that’s what it does, creates in-jokes.

On the face of it Monikers is quite simple, it’s a box of cards with people and things on them. Like “A Shirtless Vladimir Putin”, “Tom Seleck’s Mustache” or “A dog doing yoga”.

The deck is a perfect blend of pop culture, memes and classic characters. Even if you don’t know one each card comes with an enjoyably written description.

You and your pals grab handfuls of these cards and put your favourites into a deck. Then you play your first parlour game.

You have 1 minute to describe as many of the cards from the deck as you can one at a time without using their actual name. The teams take it in turns until the deck is done and if you like you can count points (we don’t usually bother). That’s kind of fun, but I’ll be honest it’s not the most exciting or best first impression of a game.

Well you’re starting to learn the deck, you’ve heard every card’s name at least once. Maybe you can go through it all again, but this time you can only use one word to describe the card. Certainly more challenging but still only generating a small amount of laughs.

The third round is when it will click and this game transcends to brilliance.

Same deck of cards but now…


It turns out it’s possible (and hilarious) to do charades for the most obscure of things when everyone has learnt all the options it could be. You’ll have your friends falling over as feinting goats, waving their arms around like a spaghetti monster or whatever other improv they can come up with. All heightened by the fact you’re probably a couple of drinks in now.

You could stop there if you like, you’ll have had some laughs, but if you really want to step it up. If you really want to show off the genius of this simple box of cards. Create your own fourth round. Now you’ve been through the deck several times you can make the hardest most obscure round and it will not only work but be the funniest 10 minutes you’ve spent with a game. Favourites of ours include:

  • Only noises (whilst hiding behind the sofa)
  • Only using facial expressions and sounds
  • Hand puppetry
  • Charades under a sheet

I’m sure you can create your own brilliant last round. Monikers has always proven to be wildly popular with every group I’ve played with, even when my 92 year old Gran had to describe the card “the guy who waves an ISIS flag covered in dildos and butt plugs to a Pride parade” well at least she didn’t have to mime it.

Support Best Play and buy it! On Amazon here or print it yourself here. (You can also buy some smaller boxes of cards here and here, no original version needed)