Looking for a word and/or trivia game that can be played as a light party game? Synk!, from Silly Giraffe Games, could be just what you need...
The box is packed with cards (around 300), each of which contains a 'secret word' and its definition. One player takes a card and tells the others the first letter of the 'secret word'. The other players then try to think of a clue they can give to a word that begins with that letter. In giving a clue, you want one other person to be able to guess the word you have in mind but you don't want the player with the card to be able to correctly guess your word. A player who thinks they know your word calls out 'Synk!' and then, on a 3-2-1 countdown you both call out the word. If you've both synchronised on the same word then the player with the card has to give the second letter of the 'secret word' on their card and the process is repeated but with a word that starts with the two revealed letters, and so on until someone thinks they can guess the secret word. If the player offering to guess your word gets it wrong (you don't 'synk') or if the player with the card correctly guesses it (they get to call out too after the 3-2-1 countdown) then no extra letter is revealed.
Ultimately, when sufficient 'secret word' letters have been revealed, someone will want to try to guess the word on the card. Again, you'll have to offer a clue to it that another player can correctly guess: succeed and you win the card; fail and the person with the card wins the round. The first player to collect three cards wins the game.
Like Just One (Repos Production), with which Synk! has some similarities, the rules are probably more easily demonstrated than described. Suffice to say, tho', that pretty much anyone can quickly pick the game up. Coming up with appropriately cryptic clues tho' that another player will guess but the cardholder won't can be quite a challenge, but the game doesn't limit the players to definitions of words - you can give a clue, for example, to a place name which maybe only you and one other player will guess from your description.
The fact that the number of letters increases means that play is incrementally challenging. Having the first three letters, for example, will almost certainly not be enough for anyone to guess the 'secret word' on the card but will mean it'll often be super easy for the cardholder to correctly guess at the clues given. For example, with the letters PAR, you obviously wouldn't offer as a clue 'Capital of France' but you might think 'Where we went on honeymoon' (a perfectly valid clue) might be something only your spouse would know. Problem is, offering a clue that points to any placename beginning PAR is almost certain to prompt the cardholder guess 'Paris'.
All of this means you can get stuck. Game creator Andrea Walker has thought of that tho'. The cardholder can read out the definition on the card, to be won by the first person to identify the word. Theoretically the cardholder wins if no-one gets the word from the definition but there's almost no chance of that occurring, especially as players will already have the start of the word.
Synk! is very much a party game, and the fact that it involves calling out of answers adds to the jollity of play. If you dislike games which involve calling out tho', you could add in dry-wipe boards and markers for players to write down their words. Synk! is theoretically playable with as few as three players but it's much better with a higher player count. There's really no upper limit on the number of players, other than the risk that with the number in double figures the game could go on for too long. For us, Synk! is at its best at around 6-8 players.
Synk! is expected to come to Kickstarter in the near future. Watch this space... we'll add a link to the campaign when it goes live.