One of my favorite party games that I'm glad to get to tell you about is Perudo (also know as "Liar's Dice").
In Perudo, each player starts with five dice and a cup (to keep their dice secret). Each round starts with all of the players rolling their dice. Whoever lost a die most recently (first round, just pick someone randomly) starts the round. They must bid how many dice they think have been rolled among all of the available dice. For example, they may bid "five 4's", which means that they think that there are at least five dice showing the number four among all of the players' dice. To add to the fun, one's (or ace's) are wild and count as any number. Now the next player must either increase the number on the die (and keep the number of dice at least the same), or they can increase the number of dice (so, in our previous example, both "five 5's" and "six 2's" are legal bids, but "four 6's" is not); or they can "call" the player before them, if they do not think that their bid is correct. Once someone is "called", all players reveal their dice. If the necessary dice were rolled, then whoever called them loses a die; otherwise, the person who made the bid loses a die. There are some other special rules when a single player gets down to one die, and for how to bid on ace's, but this is the bulk of the gameplay. Play continues like this until only one player has any dice left.
|A beautiful Toys R Us version|
The next thing that I like about Perudo is the mind games that you can play with people in the game. In a big game, your objective is simple - bid so high that the bid will not get back around to you, but just low enough that people will not call you! If I bid on something and five other people bid after me before I am forced to bid again, then this works out really well (after all, you can't lose a die unless you either call somebody or are called). However, the game can be just as fun when you have eliminated everybody but yourself and one opponent. It's a fun bluffing exercise to try to outwit your opponent when you know what dice you have rolled, he knows what he has, and you must still force his hand - and the less dice you each have, the better it gets. If we each have one die left, should I start by bidding "one 2", when I have a five, thinking that he won't call me? If I do, and he changes it to "one 3", should I call him thinking that he is using my same strategy?
The final aspect of Perudo that I like is the social nature of the game. Yes, Perudo requires strategy, but it's not such an all-brain encompassing strategy that you only focus on it, leaving no room for talking. Perudo has quite a lot of banter, laughing, and "ahhhhh!!!" moments (as your opponent outwitted you - or really did roll all five of his dice on the same number). The game is flat out fun to play (pro number four), and at the same time allows players to enjoy each other's company. (Plus, it can be scaled up to as many players as you want if you have extra dice lying around. Though I'd guess at some upper limit it stops being fun.)
Final pro - it can also be played by anyone! Perudo is very non-traditional gamer friendly.
|With this, you can lie to anyone!|
The other "con" (well, more "thing you should realize") is that there is player elimination in Perudo. Once you run out of dice, you are out of the game. However, since this game will probably be played at parties, this simply provides time to mingle, get a snack, go to the bathroom, or just chat with your other friends that were eliminated.
Overall, I give Perudo an 8.5/10. I love Perudo and think that everyone should play it. However, my (current) personal rule is that I reserve 9+ for games that I think people would get together specifically to play, which I don't think is the case for Perudo.
If you're looking for fun dice games, you might also want to look into Cookie Fu, Martian Dice, and Rory's Story Cubes.