This year I’d managed to get a flat with some friends, but I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous about it. I knew these guys, and I had known one of them for quite a while, but I didn’t actually know the others that well.
It got me thinking; how can we get to know each other in a fun way? How can we turn it into a game or activity for the whole flat? How can we find out about each other’s favourite films and families without having to do the typically awkward and overtly obvious, ‘so, what’s your family like?’
Eventually, the unmistakable nerd in me decided to try and create a board game that would help me get to know my new flatmates. I drafted it up on a rainy day at my grandma’s and trial ran it with her that afternoon.
My grandma is someone I’ve obviously known my whole life, but we both felt like we knew each other better after playing the game. We discovered things about each other that we’d never thought to ask before.
September quickly arrived and it was finally time to play my game with my new flatmates. It began slightly chaotically when we realised we had nothing to use as counters. In the end, one of us was represented on the board by a 5p coin, one of us was a raisin, one a peppercorn, another a basil leaf, and I was the metal piece off the top of the pepper grinder.
We played the game for the next hour and felt like we knew each other much better by the end. Questions led onto discussions and we found we had similar hobbies or interests in films. Debates arose too, including one on whether pizza should be objectively considered the best food in the world.
We heard about each other’s hopes and dreams and fears for the future, our ‘what ifs’ and our ‘remember whens’. It brought us closer together and was a great opportunity to peel ourselves away from our phones and uni work to have a laugh together.
I would recommend giving it a go! I’ve created a slightly smaller, printable version of the board that you can download. There are several versions: one in colour and one not (in case you have to print it in the library and they charge more for colour prints), one with the questions I created, and one that is totally blank for you to add your own (and don’t forget to add the challenge spaces too.)
This also means you could play it more than once with a totally different set of questions. Even then, not everyone is going to land on every space, so there will still be things to discover when playing a second time.
Number of players: 2+
Time needed: 20+ minutes
Requires: A small counter for each player (e.g. a coin), a die (or a dice app), a timer, and a pencil and paper.
The aim of the game is to roll the dice and work your way around the board, answering any questions that you land on along the way and hopefully getting to know your flatmates better. One player rolls first, and after moving and answering their question, the dice are passed in a circle and each player follows. The first player to the middle wins.
The arrows show the route around the board, while the question marks mean it’s time for a ‘challenge’ question. The rules for challenge questions are as follows:
When landing on a challenge question, reroll the dice and answer the question in the style according to the number on the dice. The other players have 30 seconds on the timer to guess your answer.
If a player correctly guesses the answer during the 30 seconds, both they and the challenger moves forward one space. If no one correctly guesses the answer in 30 seconds, the challenger moves back one space.
Watch out for forfeit spaces too, as they’ll send you backward if you land on them.
Feel free to adjust these rules to suit you. The game has to be suitable for you and your flatmates or friends. The point is to get to know each other and have fun!
You can also print off a blank version of the board and fill in your own questions, challenges and forfeits.
Download your copy of the game below: