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Friday Fivehouser: Play More Games

Looking for something to do with your time this weekend?  Perhaps you’ll stay in and call it an early night before your 5:30 AM wake-up call to tailgate before a Noon game?  Need something to do between the game ending at 3:30 PM and going out on Saturday Night?  Or maybe you just have some free time since all the players you drafted are only playing on Monday.  Either way, here’s some stuff to kill time on the internet this weekend.

1) Watch an Episode of Tabletop


Before I moved from Lexington, KY to Roanoke, VA, my friends and I would get together every Monday Night to watch football or wrestling, and have a game night.  The board game would always vary from week to week (Ticket To Ride, Bang!, Formula D, Pandemic, Zombies… if we had six hours).  Wil Wheaton’s TableTop captures playing board games with friends in a tight 25-30 minute YouTube show.  Wheaton (Star Trek, Stand By Me, Big Bang Theory) invites three different “celebrity” friends over each week to play a board game.  The show is pretty funny, but it also allows you to see games that you’ve thought about trying, but maybe thought you couldn’t figure out the rules.  For me, seeing other people play board games has always helped me decide whether that would be something I would like or not.  Check out this episode below, which is one of my new favorite games, King of Tokyo.

2) Play SpaceTeam

You need to new party game to play with your friends.  Apples to Apples just doesn’t cut it for you anymore, and you’ve played all the vulgar combinations in Cards Against Humanity.

SpaceTeam is a multiple award winning, cooperative party game for 2-8 people on iPhone and iPad (coming soon to Android, with cross platform play).  You and your friends are members of a “Space Team” (of course), who are flying a ship across the galaxy.  Each person’s iPhone or iPad is a control panel with different buttons/switches than the other members on the team.  When each round starts, players will receive instructions at the top of their screen.  These instructions correspond with a button/switch on a control panel, but not necessarily on that same screen.  So for the entire round, players are yelling instructions at one another.  Every once and a while, asteroids or wormholes appear, causing everyone to have to shake or flip over their device.  As people begin to miss actions, the control panel begins to fall apart, or ooze (which you have to wipe away).  I played this over family vacation this summer, it is the most stressful, exciting, fun, loud party game I’ve ever played, and after each time we lost (it’s inevitable), someone always went, “Go again?”

While not completely relegated to the internet, you will need a WiFi or Bluetooth connection to play this game with your friends.  Because it works via Bluetooth connection, you could actually play this in the parking lot at Commonwealth Stadium.  Man, I hope the KSR Pregame Show just rolls up to someone’s tailgate where people are playing space team -or- it’d be funny to watch Matt, Ryan, Jared and Drew all playing space team… think about that…


3) Play Escape The Red Giant

Escape the Red Giant   Escape the Red Giant 2

Got a few seconds to kill on the computer?  Have a subsequent hour after that because you’ve lost track of time?  Escape the Red Giant has been out for a couple of years now but it is my all-time go to for a time-killing game on the internet. The gist of the game is that the sun is expanding and you are just trying to get away from it by jumping from asteroid to asteroid.  When you reach the next asteroid, depending on the angle you hit it, you can pick up speed before jumping to the next one.  That’s about it, it either seems really easy or really dumb, or both, and it probably is.  However, it is my biggest time waster when I need something quick to play.  Check out this video for a better idea of what this game is:


4) Watch John Hodgman: Ragnarok


In my “Funkhouser’s Guide to Podcasts” on Wednesday, I mentioned John Hodgman’s “Ragnarok” special.  Hodgman’s stand-up special was filmed in NYC on December 21st, 2012, what was once thought to be the end of the world based on the Mayan calendar.  Hodgman wanted to gather people together for his stand-up show just in case the world were to end, as his “deranged millionaire” character had saved up supplies to survive the end of the world.  Hodgman puts on a fantastic show that weaves in and out of character, but altogether is hilarious.  The show also features Scott Adsit (30 Rock) as Hodgman’s manservant.  Certainly give this one a shot.


5) Watch a British Game Show

Anytime someone walks into my office at work, they are usually welcomed to the dulcet tones of whatever British game show host that is on my second monitor.  Other than podcasts to get me through the day, I usually have on a British game show or quiz show.  The art of the game show is dying in the US right now, because none of the shows are as good as they used to be.  Trivia nights are growing in popularity at restaurants and bars around the country, and sometimes listening to random quiz shows, you pick up tidbits that might actually be helpful at a bar at 8:00 PM on a Tuesday.  So here are three of my favorites:


I would describe Pointless as a reverse version of Family Feud.  Four teams are given a category that has a lot of answers (in this episode one is “Beatles US Top 40 Singles that Start With A Consonant”).  Just like in Family Feud, this question has been asked to 100 people.  The twist in this game is, you’re looking for the answer that got the fewest responses, or none at all (a *pointless* answer).  The goal of the game is to progress through the first two rounds with as low as score as possible.  In the finals, you’re given one question and three chances to come up with a “pointless” answer.  If you can, you win the jackpot for that day.

The Chase

This show has been recently made in America on Game Show Network.  However, it originated in England before being brought stateside.  The game works in three stages.  In stage one, you are asked one minute of general topic questions trying to build up your bank, each question is 1,000 pounds ($5,000 in the US version).  In stage two, you face off against The Chaser.  You have to answer the same trivia questions as the Chaser.  You start out two spaces from the Chaser, and for each question you get right, you move one space closer to home.  But, each time the Chaser gets a question right, he moves one space closer to you.  If you can get home, you bank your cash builder money, but if the Chaser catches up to you, you’re out of the game.  In the final stage, the remaining contestants answer as many trivia questions in two minutes.  The Chaser then has two minutes to answer a different set of questions, and if they can get as many as the team did, then the team leaves with nothing.  You should probably watch it, you’ll figure out the rules on the first round.

The Cube

While not a quiz show, this is Britain’s version of a Minute To Win it type show.  However this one, a person has to perform all of the tasks in a 15 x 15 foot cube.  The games are a little more dexterous than the ones in the US Minute to Win It show, and I’d say a little more exciting to watch.  The games are usually simple in idea, but hard in execution.  The person has nine lives to get through seven stages to win 250,000 pounds.  It sounds a lot easier than it is, but it’s exiting to watch them give it a go.



Article written by Richmond Bramblet