Chinese New Year Games: 7 Fun Party Games To Play During CNY Gatherings

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mahjong chinese new year games featured
(Credit: Alexander Savin)

Boy ah, what school you going to? When you getting girlfriend ah? Oh got girlfriend ah, when you getting married? Aiyo married so long already, why still no children yet?

It’s clear that Chinese New Year gatherings can cause distress, especially when you’re pelted by questions like the ones above! Besides being a good way of distracting your relatives from pestering you about future plans, Chinese New Year games can also help to get to know your relatives on a deeper level beyond superficials. While we could simply introduce some common poker card games or mahjong, where’s the fun and novelty in that? Instead, here are some unique and fun party games to help you get through those upcoming CNY gatherings!

Fun Party Games That Double As Great Chinese New Year Games

1. Sticker Ninja — Stealthy fun for all

sticker chinese new year games
(Credit: Bryant Tay)

Few Chinese New Year games match the intensity of Sticker Ninja. Armed with a sticker sheet, such fun party games keep players on their toes and can be played over the course of any CNY gathering! Sneaky tactics here include, chatting someone up or accidentally running into them while getting a drink just so you can deftly place your sticker onto them .

Instructions

  • Sneakily empty your sticker sheet by sticking them on other guests.
  • If your sticking attempt fails and you’re caught by your targets, they get to stick one on you.
  • First one to empty their sheet wins.

2. Drawful 2 — The game of hilariously bad drawings

drawful 2 chinese new year games
(Credit: jackboxgames)

Fun party games like Drawful 2 fit the Chinese New Year games mould by adding a modern twist to the traditional Pictionary formula! With more wacky phrases and opportunities for witty mischief, you’ll laugh at crude drawings as you fool others with your misleading titles.

Instructions

  • Login to jackbox.tv and enter the room code.
  • Players get a unique phrase according to which they have to draw an image on their mobile device (without an eraser tool!).
  • When a player’s drawings get featured, other players have to craft creative titles to fool everyone into thinking it was the original prompt.
  • You get points for fooling people with your crafty title when it’s not your drawing being featured and when players guess the correct title to your drawing when your drawing is featured.
  • There’s even a family-friendly mode so inappropriate prompts are omitted.

Want to see the game in action? Check out a playthrough below!

3. Who Am I — Great for icebreaking

who am i chinese new year games
(Credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões / Flickr)

Who Am I is a perfect starter to any party’s Chinese New Year games as they encourage guests to mingle and socialise! While interacting, players must think of creative ways to gain information without giving up obvious hints, creating opportunities for all kinds of comical interactions.

Instructions

  • Names of popular celebrities or characters are written on sheets of paper beforehand and pasted on guests’ backs.
  • Each guest then gets a set number of “yes or no” questions, of which they can ask other guests to help find out what’s written on their back.
  • The last person to guess correctly loses.

4. Hot Potato Selfie — Unglamourous pictures await

hot potato selfie chinese new year games
(Credit: dylan nolte / Unsplash)

With easy instructions and a quick set-up, Hot Potato Selfie joins our list of Chinese New Year games that allows everyone to join in. All you need is a circle of friends or family and a camera with a self timer!

Instructions

  • The camera’s self timer is determined before the game begins.
  • Each player holds the camera at arm’s length and points it at themselves for a minimum amount of time before passing it to the next person.
  • Players can choose to ‘cook the potato’ by holding the camera for longer than required, though they risk this backfiring on them.
  • The passing goes on until the camera goes off, taking a hilarious picture that will be the source of many laughs in future.

5. Mafia — The joys of random accusations and skilful deception

mafia chinese new year games
(Credit: paul sandham / Flickr)

No fun party games list is complete without Mafia! Known as Werewolf to some, Mafia is a game of deceit and secret alliances as the mafia are tasked with eliminating civilians without getting discovered by the watchful eyes of onlookers. Acting as the perfect platform for interaction, Mafia joins the ranks of great Chinese New Year games because you’re encouraged to mislead others and notice telltales signs, creating opportunities for comedy as players slip up or accuse others at random.

Instructions

  • A narrator is first assigned and keeps the game going by acting as moderator. Narrators are expected to know the rules and move the game along when there are stalemates.
  • Before the first night, cards are dealt to decide who plays what role.
  • While there are additional roles, the following are the core roles of every Mafia game:
    • Mafia have to lie throughout the game and act like civilians, strategising on who to first kill to avoid suspicion. This will also aid in thinning out the crowd
    • Detectives have to sway the crowd and accuse the mafia without being openly obvious about their accusations
    • Civilians must deduce truth from lie and decide for themselves who the mafia are
  • During the night cycle, everyone closes their eyes. The mafia open their eyes during this period and can eliminate anyone after coming to a consensus. That player is then eliminated and free to spectate the remaining game but is banned from speaking to avoid influencing the game.
  • During the day cycle, everyone must come to a decision on who to lynch. Majority wins here and you’re free to say anything to accuse others or defend yourself.
  • The day-night cycle ends when the mafia is the majority (mafia are victorious) or until civilians eliminate all mafia members (civilians are victorious).

6. Five Ten — Classic Chinese drinking game with CNY snacks

five ten chinese new year games
(Credit: Bryant Tay)

If your guests are too shy to finish the CNY goodies, Five Ten is the perfect way to distribute them! While it’s widely considered a drinking game, you can easily replace the alcohol with snacks in this fun finger-guessing game. Serving as the reward, winners can help themselves to tasty treats when they guess correctly. The key here is noticing the telltale signs of what players will throw out and yelling a number that accounts for this.

Instructions

  • Players sit in a circle and stick both their hands out with the aim of guessing the exact number of open and closed hands in the circle. An open hand represents five and a closed fist represents zero. For example, three open hands would give 15 while six open hands would give 30.
  • Guessing will be in multiples of five, with zero implying that everyone’s fist is clenched and the maximum number implying that everyone’s hand is opened.
  • Everyone takes their turn to guess. A correct guess will allow you to guess again, with the chance for other players to open or close their hands.
  • Players who make correct guesses two times in a row are winners. Instead of forcing the next person to guess to drink, correct guessers are rewarded with a tasty snack.

Check out the video below for a playthrough!

7. Any Rhythm Game With Plastic Instruments

guitar hero chinese new year games
(Credit: tinyfroglet / Flickr)

If you’ve invested in Rock Band or Guitar Hero before, it’s time to dust off those plastic instruments as fun party games like these are perfect Chinese New Year games! With varied track lists and difficulties, you’ll be jamming your heart out to classics and modern tracks. Our only complaint is the lack of Chinese New Year songs for us to rock out to.

Instructions

  • Guitar and Bass – Hold the respective coloured button as it comes down the fretboard. Then, push or pull the strumming bar when the note’s in line with the button prompt. Higher difficulty levels add more colours and note variance into the mix so make sure to stretch those fingers beforehand!
  • Drums – While it might not be as nuanced as playing the guitar, drumming accurately recreates reality as you’re striking your sticks on coloured drum pads. You’ll definitely work up a good sweat as you crank up the difficulty and strive to stay on beat.
  • Vocals – Singing tests your ability to match the required pitch and enunciate the lyrics. Singing is kept accessible as you don’t require powerful vocals, simply keep to the pitch of the music and it’ll be enough. Raising the difficulty makes pitch thresholds less forgiving, requiring you to sing more accurately to hit the pitch.

 

While many might dread CNY gatherings, these Chinese New Year games help to cushion the inevitable questioning. This ultimately makes interactions more casual and wholesome as you get to know your relatives better and create fond memories with them!

Looking to up the ante with some alcohol? Check out our list of drinking card games! Alternatively, if you own a Nintendo Switch, you could check out these fun Nintendo Switch party games that will be the life of the party!


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