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Best 8 player boardgames for 2021

You’ve got a group of friends coming over for a blissful evening of board gaming.

Wait, you are in peril of not having something you can play with 8 players? Have no fear as we have 5 of the most amazing 8 player board games that will delight you and your friends.

Here are the best 8 player boardgames for 2021:

  • monsDRAWsity
  • Telestration
  • Eldritch Horror
  • Tem-Pur-A
  • Sequence

Let’s take a closer look at these amazing board games.

At a glance: Best 8 player boardgames for 2021

Recomended
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Game
MonsDRAWsity
Players
3-8
Age
8+
Playtime
20
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Game
Telestrations
Players
4-8
Age
12+
Playtime
30
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Game
Eldritch Horror
Players
1-8
Age
14+
Playtime
120-240
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Game
Tem-Purr-A
Players
4-7
Age
8+
Playtime
15
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Game
Codenames
Players
2-8
Age
14+
Playtime
15

MonsDRAWsity

MonsDRAWsity is a great party game that is designed for 3 to 8 players and ages 8 plus.  It works best with 5 to 8 players and as the game title implies it is all about the drawing.

Game overview

Monsters are on the loose and each player takes it in turns to be an eye witness. The other players are now sketch artists for the Department of Recording Anomaly Witnesses or D.R.A.W!

The eye witness looks at a monster card and has 20 seconds to memorize as much as possible. Then they have two minutes to describe the monster they saw whilst each of the artists draw what they think the monster looks like.

Players
3-8
Age
8+
Playtime (minutes)
20

Once the 2 minutes are up the eye witness secretly chooses one of the drawings that they think is most like the monster. The monster is then revealed and the sketch artists vote to decide which of their drawings was most like the monster. The chosen drawings artist will then get a point. If the chosen drawing was the same as the eye witness then clearly they are a credible witness and will also earn a point. If the eye witness guessed wrong then the point is awarded to the player whose drawing they chose.

Now the eye witness is rotated to another player and the round repeats.

Why is MonsDRAWsity so good?

Pros

Family game for 8+
You can play even if you can’t draw
Drawn monsters are often hilarious
Can be played remotely
Expansion available

Cons

Not really for three players, best 5-8

This is a really unique idea which doesn’t need drawing skills and will have you in stitches at some of the descriptions provided. Keep it simple and draw what you hear and you will be laughing for hours at the results.

There are 100 monster cards in the base game so there should be plenty of variety and a while before you see the same monster twice. If you really love this game and manage to blast your way through all 100 monsters then Deep Water Games have already brought out an expansion with more unique monsters for you to draw.

Finally the games suitable for 8+ and so MondDRAWsity is a great all round family game that will get the creative juices flowing. Give MonsDRAWsity a go and you will not be disappointed.

Telestrations

For my next recommendation for the best 8 player boardgames for 2021 it has to be Telestrations. This game came out in 2009 but is still a top board game for 2021 for 8 players. Another drawing game which works really well for 8 players, Telestrations is the drawing version of chinese whispers.

For those that don’t know, Chinese whispers is a game where one person whispers a word or short sentence to the next person and they whisper on to the next and so on. Then the last person speaks the word they were told out loud. Inevitably it is nothing like the original word or sentence and often is hilariously wrong. Telestrations is the drawing equivalent to this.

Players
4-8
Age
12+
Playtime (minutes)
30

Game overview

Before starting you choose which side of the cards you will use to choose the word from, this or that. Each player has a sketchbook, marker and card. 

Now each player writes their name on the card and then a dice is rolled which dictates the word to use from a list of 6 on their card. They write the word in the secret space on the first tab of the sketchbook.

If there is an even number of players you now get to draw the word you wrote in the secret word space. If there are odd players then pass your sketchbook to the right and the next player will draw your word. Start the timer and get drawing – no peeking at others now. 

Once the time is up pass the sketchbook to your right, look at the one just passed to you and make a guess at what the word is from the drawing. Pass the sketchbook to the right and then there is another round of timed drawing.

When you receive your original sketchbook back then the round is over. Each player shares each tab of their sketchbook with the others and the laughter will be sure to follow. Rarely is the last drawing anything like the first.

Why is Telestrations so good?

Pros

Fun party game
Easy to learn
No set up required
All drawing abilities can play
Hilarious pictures

Cons

Cards can be simplistic

Telestrations takes Chinese whispers to the next level. It is hilariously funny not only as you pass the sketchbook around and see what others have drawn but also during the final reveal. Whilst this game is best for 8 players it has great versatility and with a little ingenuity this number could be increased using paper and pencils to create further pads.

Also, if you are looking for something a little less family and more adult then there is always Telestrations After Dark which is exactly the same except the words are more adult themed.

Whichever version of Telestrations you choose, it is an easy game to learn and perfect for getting out for a large gathering.

Eldritch Horror

Eldritch Horror is inspired by Arkham Horror but can be played with up to 8 players. Eldritch Horror is a collaborative game where you work together in order to save the world against an ancient evil.

Your team travels across the world defeating monsters and solving mysteries in order to defeat an elder god and banish them from our world.

The game has a timer mechanic that counts down towards the impending doom. If it reaches zero then you have failed.

Players
1-8
Age
14+
Playtime (minutes)
120-240

Game overview

Each player picks a character which has varying traits and abilities. The character card will indicate where the character starts on the board and some starting items. Next pick an Ancient One for you to defeat. Each ancient one card indicates where the doom timer starts and they also come with their own deck of horrible cards.

There are a few more decks and other items to setup but I won’t bore you with that in this article as this is only an overview. Some of these include building a Mythos deck which is used to create events and move the timer of doom forward.

During play the lead investigator always starts a phase. This lead investigator can be changed during play.

The game turn consists of rounds made up of the following:

  • Action phase
  • Encounter phase
  • Mythos phase

Action phase

During this phase each person performs two actions from the following choices:

  • Travel
  • Rest
  • Trade
  • Prepare to travel
  • Acquire assets
  • Component actions

Each player must make two different actions during this phase.

Encounter phase

Each player must complete one encounter during this phase and an encounter may be one of the following:

  • Combat encounter
  • Location encounter
  • Token encounter

If the player is currently on the same location as a monster then they must have a combat encounter. If there are no monsters then they player is free to choose either a Location or Token encounter.

Mythos phase

The mythos phase starts by the lead investigator turning over a mythos card. On the card there is a list of effects that must be resolved in order from top to bottom. Nearly all of these are bad such as spawning monsters!

Once the Mythos phase has been completed the lead investigator has a choice to change the lead to another player.

Winning

Players win the game by three ancient one mysteries before the doom timer gets to zero. It the timer gets to zero and the ancient one awakens then you still have a chance to win by solving the final mystery but this is much harder. Best to solve three before the nasty creature awakens!

The players lose by either:

  • Failing to solve the final mystery when the doom timer reaches zero and the ancient one awakes.
  • Everyone is dead.
  • A card effect causes you to lose the game.
  • The Mythos deck has been used up.

Why is Eldritch Horror so good?

Pros

You need to work together to win
Great immersive storylines
Engaging game throughout
Well made

Cons

Slow playtime with 8 players
Complicated to learn

Whilst Eldritch Horror is a much longer game and can be quite daunting when first played. It is truly epic and worth sticking with it and learning as this game will entertain you for hours.

Whereas the other games in this list are short 15-30 minute games this one will be for those wanting to pass several hours engrossed in a storyline that will take every member of your team of investigators to succeed.

The rulebook is comprehensive and whilst it looks daunting as you set up and play through it will all make sense. Give this game a go and you’ll be glad you did.

Tem-Purr-A

You’ll be glad to hear that not all the games here are drawing related and the next two will not require drawing of any kind. Published by IELO, Tem-Purr-A is an Uno style card game with a difference. It is family friendly with an age of 8+ and states it is for 3 to 7 players. However, you can easily play this with 8 players so I have included it in these recommendations.

Tem-purr-a is set at the Japanese food eating contest and it is your job (as a cat) to eat as much Tempurra as you can. Be careful not to get indigestion though as this will lead to your downfall!

Players
4-7
Age
8+
Playtime (minutes)
15

Game overview

Take the 6 indigestion cards and put them on the table along with the indigestion tokens. Now shuffle the action and dish cards together and deal 5 cards to each player. Now take one indigestion card and place it into the deck and reshuffle. Place this deck on the table.

The first player dishes up a plate, which basically means they place the chosen dish card onto the table to create the first card in the stack.The next player now has a choice to either offer another dish, eat the stack of dishes, play an action card, or discard the stack.

Offer another dish

If the player has the same dish as the one just layed in the stack then they can choose to offer this dish on top adding to the total number value of the stack. The dish offered must be of the same value.

Eat the stack of dishes

For this action the player will choose to eat the delicious stack in front of them by dealing the total amount of the stack from the draw pile. Each of the dish cards has a numeric value and this is the number calculated to get the number to draw from the pile.

The current stack is then discarded onto a discard pile. The player finally lays a new dish from his hand and the game continues.

Play and Action card

The player can choose to play an action card which will either reverse play, add 1 to the stack value, or allow the player to choose the next person to take a turn and the direction of play will remain the same.

Discard the stack

By laying two of any card on top of the stack the player can discard the current stack. The stack is discarded and one of the two cards played by the player is put down to start a new stack.

Game play continues until someone eats and picks up an indigestion card. They receive an indigestion token and the stack is discarded. Players keep their cards but the discard and draw piles are put together to start a new round.

At this point the player who just received an indigestion token can choose to add an additional indigestion card to the pile (now making two) and the pile is reshuffled. The next round begins.

Winning

Once a player receives three indigestion tokens then the game ends. The person with the least amount of tokens wins the game. However, if this is tied then the player with the most dishes still in their hand wins.

Why is Temp-Purr-A so good?

Pros

Quick to learn
Easy to play

Cons

Largely luck based

Unlike the previous three games there is no drawing required. This is a really fun card game that will get everyone thinking how to best serve up their opponents with gut wrenching indigestion while keeping their own tum in good order.

The cards are beautifully drawn and the game play is easy to pick up after a round or two. So this makes a really fun game for 8 players.

Codenames

Ever wanted to be a spymaster? Then Codenames will give you the chance to be the supreme spymaster!

This game requires two teams competing against each other to make contact with your agents out in the field. Beware to avoid the deadly assassin and any innocent bystanders though. Your spymaster knows the true identity of all your agents and must transmit this in code in order to not blow the agent’s identity.

Players
2-8
Age
14+
Playtime (minutes)
15

Game overview

In an 8 player game you split into two teams of 4. Each team will elect their spymaster. Shuffle the word cards and lay them out in a 5×5 grid in front of the teams. It is best if the teams sit one side and both spymasters sit the other.

Decide each team’s color: blue or red. Then the spymasters choose a codename key card without their teams seeing it. They place this into a stand facing them and this key card shows the 5×5 grid and indicates the location of the 17 agents and the assassin. 

There are 8 agents for one team and 9 for the other. The starting color is indicated on the edge of the key card and has 9 agents opposed to the other teams 8. Each spymaster takes their color agent cards and the spymaster who is going to start takes the double agent and flips it over to their color and adds it to the pile. 

Now the fun begins. The object of the game is for the spymaster to give a one word clue to the identity of the agents using the word cards laid out in the grid. 

For example, one word card has the word “pizza” on it and another has “Rome”. Both these word cards are marked as locations for your agents, so the spymaster says Italy – 2. Italy is the one word that ties pizza and Rome together and the 2 indicates there are two words in the grid that fit this clue. 

The team seeks out the agents by choosing a word card and pointing to it. They point to “Rome” which is correct so the spymaster puts one of the agent cards over that word. Next the team chooses a word card that says “Boot” because they think Italy looks like a boot. This is incorrect and the following things happen depending on the key:

You hit an enemy agent – The opposing team’s agent card is placed on the word and it is the end of that turn.

You hit an innocent bystander – An innocent bystander card is placed over the word card and the turn is over.

You hit the assassin – The game is over and you lost.

Winning

The winning team is the team who finds all their agents or does not find the Assassin. Swap the spymaster, shuffle the cards, create a new grid and go again.

Why is Codenames so good?

Pros

Great party game
Easy to learn
Collaborative
Short playtime

Cons

Sometimes unbalanced

Codenames needs a bit of brainpower to be really successful. Often lateral thinking can score you 3 or more word cards with one clue. It is also really collaborative with 8 players as all four are working together to beat the other team.

It’s a really fun game and definitely recommended when you get 8 players together for a night of social board gaming. Codenames is one of my favourite games to play in a large group, perhaps because that was how I was introduced to the game. It is really rewarding when you give a clue and the team manages to guess all the words you had in mind. Equally frustrating if they hit the assassin though!

Conclusion

These 5 board games are all great choices for 8 players and so I think it comes down to personal preference. For family gatherings the choice would be MonsDRAWsity or Tem-Purr-A and I recommend MonsDRAWsity.

For parties then Telestrations or Telestrations after Dark is my recommendation.

Finally, Codenames is a more traditional games night type of game for the tabletop. Being collaborative makes it really fun and is my all-rounder recommendation. It can even be played as 2 players as described in my article below. Or perhaps you would like to see some other excellent drawing games recommended in my 7 Best drawing art boardgames.

How to play Codenames with 2 players

How to play Codenames with 2 players

Codenames is a great spy genre board game from Czech Games. Normally it is best played with 4 or more players. This allows for one player on each team to be the spymaster whilst the other players are field operatives attempting to make contact with their agents.

In this article I’ll discuss how to play Codenames with 2 players. We’ll also look at Codenames Duet specifically designed for 2 players. For 2 players I recommend buying the Codename Duet. So, let’s take a look at how to play Codenames with 2 players.

7 best drawing art boardgames

7 Best drawing art boardgames

If you are having a few people over and want to have some fun then drawing games are a great choice. All these games, bar one, start at 3 players or more and are generally more fun with more players. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are as good as Van Gough or more of a Van Scribble, these games are sure to get everyone involved and laughing. All these games are easy to learn and fun to play.