The 5 best party games on sale at Amazon — all $20 and under

·Buyer's Guide Editor
·5 min read

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You've Got Crabs, Pictionary Air, Uno 50th Anniversary Edition, Throw Throw Burrito, Dude
The cost of these games? Twenty dollars or less. Their ability to bring the fun? Priceless. (Photo: Exploding Kittens / Mattel / North Star Games)

The holidays are imminent, and so are countless family gatherings. You might not have seen some folks in years, or are meeting new spouses and babies for the first time. So why not pull out a fun, easy game as an icebreaker to entertain the group? Nothing builds family ties faster like a good card game, after all. Or maybe even one where you get to scream silly phrases at each other… or throw (soft) things! These are our favorite family party games to check out this winter, and they’re all on sale and super easy on your wallet — the better to fill stockings as well as time with!

Throw Throw Burrito

Throw Throw Burrito Board Game
Get to throw more than just shade at your famiy's next holiday get-together. (Photo: Exploding Kittens)

Let’s face it, you’re probably tired of your 200th game of Candy Land and your 500th game of Monopoly, so why not mix up game night with something a little more active? Throw Throw Burrito is easy enough for even little kids to learn (in a nutshell: the object is to rack up points by collecting matching sets of cards), but what they’ll really love is the dodgeball aspects, where a "battle" erupts and they get to throw the cute little burritos at each other. Don’t worry — they’re super soft, and not messy at all. This fun family game is usually $25, but right now it’s just $20!

One parent describes the chaos: "We had a lot of fun. Apparently I play too slow, and my kids enjoy throwing things at me when given the opportunity. Now I only play when I'm ready to be smashed in the face with a burrito. Good thing the burrito is super soft, so at least it doesn't hurt (only my feeling and ego)."

$20 $25 at Amazon

Pictionary Air

Pictionary Air, cards and wand
All the embarrassment of regular Pictionary, but without all that wasteful paper. Yay, trees! (Photo: Mattel)

A digital-age twist on a classic. The way Pictionary Air works is that, instead of paper, the person whose turn it is to draw sketches shapes into the air, using a stylus. The drawing shows up on connected devices — phones, laptops, tablets, TVs (via Apple TV, Chromecast or Roku). The "artist" can’t see what they're drawing, but those looking at the screens sure can. Hilarity ensues as folks guess what the artist is trying to convey.

Families who’ve played it agree, with one shopper saying it's "definitely something fun and different than the same old card game for family time. Easy to set up and easy to use, no matter what your age." Another player calls it "a great family-and-friends or adult-only game with some drinks," and adds, "you will be laughing for days."

And this reviewer has a takeaway from a family gathering that really resonates: "...Every single member of the fam from 7 to 67 had a blast playing it!"

$14 $20 at Walmart

You've Got Crabs!

You've Got Crabs base game
Fun to hear during a party game; not so much the morning after. (Photo: Exploding Kittens)

“You’ve got crabs” is fun to say, and with this tricky card game you have an excuse to shout it in front of your family. But only if you suspect if another player has crabs… toy ones, and just holding them in their hand, we swear! It’s sort of like Go Fish, but way sillier and requires secret signals between you and a partner. And this specially priced bundle will power up your seafood game even more with a special wild card and silly claws you have to wear while you hold said card. You didn’t think it would be easy, did you? Save $17 on both the base game and expansion set by buying them at Walmart together for only $11.

$11 $28 at Walmart


It's a game where you say dude.
Somewhere Jeff Bridges is smiling, and the Coen brothers are not amused. (Photo: North Star Games)

The premise of this game is very simple, and right there in its name: Draw a card and read it out loud. Each card says “dude” on it. You’re probably figuring there’s a catch, and yes, there absolutely is. The cards all have dude written on them differently, and it’s up to the other players to figure out how its spelled based on how you say it. The best listener wins. Guaranteed to make your family laugh, and now you can grab a box from Amazon for a super-affordable $10.

"Hilarious," reported this player: "We had a group that spanned ages 8 to 46, and we had a blast.... The whole house was laughing along with (or at) us as we sounded totally insane yelling the word "dude" at each other." Another reviewer sums up his experience thusly: "Yes, this game is incredibly dumb, but who cares? If you make the people playing board games in the other room close the door on you because you are all saying 'Dooode' in various ways and having a good time, it's worth owning and playing a dumb game!"

$10 $11 at Amazon


50th Anniversary Card Game
At this incredible price, you really ought to consider buying dos, tres, maybe even cinco. (Photo: Mattel)

Look, Uno is a family classic for a reason: It’s easy enough to kids to learn, but complex enough to keep adults engaged…and maybe start some family rivalries in the process. And what better way to celebrate a classic than with a 50th Anniversary Edition? At just $10, you can afford to stuff a number of stockings with one, not to mention grabbing one for yourself to keep around in case of a party emergency. This special release features a shiny cold coin, fancy designer cards and other cool graphics. Can you say "collector's item"?

$10 $15 at Walmart

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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