9 of the Best 8 Player Boardgames For 2022
You’ve got 8 friends coming over for a blissful evening of board gaming. You need a great board game that will make sure they come back for more.
Here is a complete list of 9 of the most amazing 8 player board games that will provide you with hours of memorable board gaming with your friends.
We have some great games lined up from the fun drawing game MonsDRAWsity, the enormously popular Codenames and the epic Eldritch Horror where you can save the world.
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is a great 8 player whodunnit betrayal game that will keep you guessing and Crosstalk will keep you battling to guess the word so your team will be victorious.
Whilst the fun party games of Exploding Kittens, A fake artist goes to New York and Telestrations will be good for some light hearted sessions. Finally there is Tem-Purr-A which has a unique twist on a Uno style game.
There is definitely something in this list that will be just right for your next game session.
Below you will find more detail about how these board games will get your board gaming nights off to a great start. Let’s take a closer look at these amazing board games.
in Hong Kong
|A Fake Artist|
goes to New York
Table of Contents
- Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
- Eldritch Horror
- Exploding Kittens Party Pack
- A Fake Artist goes to New York
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
The spymaster of that team will then give a one word clue and a number. The word will relate to the words in the grid and the number will tell the team hom many words this relates to.
For example. If there are agents on the codenames for bus and plane then the spymaster might say, “travel, two.” As both the codenames are forms of travel and there are two of them.
The team can then discuss and try and guess the codenames by touching them. Spymasters should not give anything away other than their one word clues.
Field operatives are free to discuss. In this example the grid has Bus, Plane and Bicycle.
The team guesses Bus correctly and so the spymaster puts a field agent card of their color onto this codename to indicate success. On the next guess though they point to Bicycle which is incorrect. This is what happens when you guess incorrectly:
- Hitting an innocent bystander and not the assassin. Innocent bystander card placed on the codename. Teams turn ends.
- Hitting the opposing team’s agent gives them an advantage and their agent card is placed on the codename.
- Hitting the Assassin = game over, you lose.
The winning team is the team who contacts all their agents and does not find the Assassin. Swap the spymaster, shuffle the cards, create a new grid and go again.
Why is Codenames so good?
Codenames is a fantastic game for 8 players. You’ll find yourselves scratching your heads trying to work out what the spymaster is on about. With such a short length it gives you the opportunity to play multiple games so everyone gets a chance to be spymaster.
It is hugely gratifying when you are the spymaster and manage to give a clue with 3 or more words linked. It also really puts the pressure on the other team.
The aspect of the Assassing really adds to this game as the spymaster must give clues whilst making sure the team don’t pick them. This can be really tricky and adds to the fun.
Whilst it is great for 8 players it is also good for as little as two players too. Want to find out how to play Codenames with two players then have a read of How to play Codenames with 2 players.
You can’t go wrong adding this highly rated game that is the staple of many collections. Add this one to your collection and you will be rewarded with many hours of gaming joy.
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
This epic board game can be played with 4 to 12 players. 8 players is the sweet spot in my opinion though and is a great choice.
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is a murder mystery with a betrayal aspect. There has been a grisly murder and you are all investigators intent on solving the crime.
However, the murdered has inserted themselves amongst you in order to try and get away with it.
This game has everything you would want in a whodunit. It has a murderer, accomplice, witness and even a forensic scientist that is key to solving the crime.
It is one of my chosend games in 5 Fun Board Games Like Clue You’ll Love To Play.
The murder has a clue and a means by which it was committed and identifying these will reveal the murderer.
Each player is dealt 4 Means and 4 Clue cards dealt to them. Each player places these in front of them face up and facing toward the other players. Everyone should note the Means and Clues on the table.
Take 1 Murderer card, 1 Accomplice, 1 Forensic Scientist card, 1 Witness card and enough investigators so they all add up to the number of players. Shuffle these cards and hand one to each player who secretly takes a look.
The Forensic Scientist is key to the game and the player who has been given this announces it to the others. They can also discard their Clue and Means cards.
Each player except the Forensic Scientist is given a badge token. This enables them to have one guess at solving the crime. They can use their attempt at anytime during the game to try and solve the murder.
The Forensic Scientist leads this part of the game and asks everyone to shut their eyes. They then ask the Murderer and Witness to open their eyes.
Now the Murderer will identify a Means of Murder and Key Evidence by pointing to one of their Means cards and One of their Clue cards. This is completley their choice and so random.
Once done the Scientist asks for the Murderer and Witness to close their eyes. Once everyone’s eyes are closed again the Forensic Scientist asks the Witness to open their eyes.
The Forensic Scientist will then point out the Murderer and Accomplice. Now the Witness knows the Murderer and Witness but not the Means and Clue.
Finally the Forensic Scientist asks the Witness to close their eyes and then asks for all the players to open their eyes.
And so the fun begins.
Let’s have a recap of what everyone knows:
- The Forensic Scientist knows everything
- The Murderer and Accomplice know who they are and what the Means and Clue are
- The Witness knows who the Murderer and Accomplice are
- The Murder and Accomplice do not know who the Witness is
- The investigators haven’t a clue about anything!
Now we know who knows what the game begins with the first of three rounds. During these rounds the goal is this:
- The Witness and Forensic Scientist attempt to direct the flow of conversation towards correct Means and Clue cards.
- The Witness must not be discovered by the Murderer or the Accomplice.
- The Murderer and Accomplice try and work out who the Witness is and thwart attempts at guessing the correct Clue and Means cards.
The Forensic Scientist cannot be part of the discussion or give anything away. The only way they can communicate is through the Scene Tiles.
They draw 4 random scenes that will have multiple words on them that will hint to the cause of death, location or other pertinent details around the crime.
Next they place 6 bullet markers on any of the clues on any of the tiles that they think will help direct the investigators in the right direction.
Once this is done there is a brief discussion and then each player presents their opinions.
This is repeated two more times and the game finishes immediately after the last player gives their third presentation.
There are three possible outcomes:
- Someone attempts to guess the Means and Clue and is successful. The Forensic Scientist and Investigators win.
- No one solves the crime and so the Murderer and Accomplice get away with it.
- If the Means and Clue have been guessed successfully then the Murderer and Accomplice can attempt to guess who the Witness is. If they are correct then they assassinate the Witness before trial and so still win.
Why is Deception: Murder in Hong Kong so good?
Whilst the overview above seems complicated it really isn’t and once you are through the first round of presentations it will be really easy. This game rocks and is perfect for around 8 players.
It doesn’t matter which role you play in Deception: Murder in Hong Kong you will have fun. This is with the slight exception of the Forensic Scientist who may feel the pressure. Although they will have help from the Witness.
If you like deduction games then this is a must for your collection.
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.
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
During this phase each person performs two actions from the following choices:
- Prepare to travel
- Acquire assets
- Component actions
Each player must make two different actions during this 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.
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.
Players win the game by solving three Ancient One mysteries before the doom timer gets to zero. It the timer gets to zero and the ancient one awakens you still have a chance to win.
You can still 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?
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.
Exploding Kittens Party Pack
Exploding Kittens is a very highly rated party game published by Asmodee for 2 to 10 players. This is an awesome family game for ages 7+.
Normally the game is for 2-5 players but the party pack comes with more cards to enable larger groups to play. With this version you can still play 2 players so it is very flexible.
The game revolves around a deck of cards. The objective is to avoid the Exploding Kittens. These are very bad and will explode in your hands. You unfortunately die and are out of the game.
Luckily you do have one Defuse card that will defuse the cute little kitty.
The Exploding Kitten and Defuse cards are removed from the deck. Then each player is dealt 1 Defuse card plus 7 cards from the deck giving them a total of 8 cards.
Now enough Exploding Kittens cards are counted out for the number of players minus 1. Then these Exploding Kittens cards and the Defuse cards are placed back into the deck and the deck is shuffled and placed in the centre as a draw pile.
The game then commences and the first player has a choice of passing or playing a card in their hand.
If you pass then you finish your turn by taking a card from the draw pile.
If you decide to play some cards then you put them down on the discard pile. The cards in your hand each have actions that when played should be followed.
Examples of actions are:
|See the Future||Secretly look at the top 3 cards on the deck.|
|Beard Cat||Play two of these to steal a random card from another player.|
|Attack||Don’t draw a card and make the next player take two turns.|
|Nope||Stop a player from taking an action. Can be played anytime.|
|Shuffle||Shuffle the draw pile|
Once you have finished playing the cards you want you signify the end of your go by drawing a card from the draw pile. Let’s hope it is not an Exploding Kitten!
Why is Exploding Kittens Party Pack so good?
Exploding Kittens Party Pack is a great card game that is easily transportable and hilariously fun to play. With more cards it is not limited to 5 players which is a real plus and with larger groups makes it a real party game.
It is also easy to learn so for parties where people haven’t played before then this is a really great choice of game.
As Exploding Kittens Party Pack can be played from 7 years and up it makes this game very accessible for families to play too. Perfect for the family get together.
A Fake Artist goes to New York
This is a great little game that you can travel with easily. It is for 5 to 10 players and is a drawing art game. Don’t worry as you won’t need to have any graphic design degrees to be good at this one. It is more about the deception.
If you are playing with 8 then you might want to use larger pens and a bigger pad to draw on.
The objective of the game is very simple and is to pass yourself off as one of the other artists.
Someone is picked as the question master and they manage the proceedings from there in. If the fake artist passes themselves off as one of the elite then both the fake artist and the question master win.
The question master takes enough title cards for the number of players. They write the same word down on each title card except for one. On this card they write an X to indicate who the fake artist will be.
The cards are then dealt out to each player. Everyone except the fake artist will know what the word is. Now the question master decides who goes first.
The first player will take a pen and draw one line on the pad. The line should be part of a drawing of the word on the card.
Each player in turn adds one line. They must not lift their pen. Including the fake artist who is now frantically trying to guess what the word is. Those real artists are drawing enough to not give the game away.
This is done for two whole rounds. Once completed the questions master counts to three and everyone points to who they think is the fake artist. The majority of fingers will decide who is accused as the fake artist.
The fake artist then reveals themselves. If they were not accused they and the question master get 2 points.
If they were accused then they must guess what the word is. If they are correct then they and the question master still get 2 points. If they are incorrect then each of the artists get 1 point.
The next round is then started and the first person to 5 points wins the game.
Why is A fake artist goes to New York so good?
A fake artist in New York is a really fun and easy game to play. It is perfect for a more relaxed and fun, non competitive, evening of board gaming.
Whilst the markers will eventually run out you can always replace them and the pad with something bigger. Just won’t be so transportable.
A fake artist goes to New York is a fun light game to play and perfect for dropping in your pocket and carrying with you.
Crosstalk announces itself as a game of subtle conversation. The game is similar to Codenames in that the Clue Giver (spymaster equivalent) can only give one word clues.
It is further complicated in that straight after the clue is given the opposing team gets to guess.
It is an interesting game and you will be walking a tightrope of giving your team a clue without letting the other team guess.
In Crosstalk you split up into two teams. Similarly to Codenames each team assigns a clue giver.
The game consists of rounds with one point to the guessing team. First team to 5 points wins. There can be a different clue giver for each round to mix it up and give everyone a turn.
The two clue givers then pick a card with 6 words on it. They choose one of the words and can roll a dice to determine the word if they wish.
Now each clue giver writes down a private clue for their team. Only the clue giver and team know this private clue. Don’t share it with the opposition.
One of the clue givers now writes one word onto the clue board. Here is where the Crosstalk bit comes in as now the opposing team gets to guess what the word is.
The trick is to give your team a clue without leading the other team to the answer.
After the opposition has guessed it is time for the opposition clue giver to write one word. Now your team can guess.
Each clue giver gets to give 4 clues. If either team guesses the word then they win that round and get one point. If after 4 clues neither team has guessed the word then there is a final opportunity for each team to guess once more.
If neither team guesses then there are no points awarded for that round.
Finally there is a Hint Board that will allow the clue giver to give a hint during a round. This gives the clue giver a chance to indicate which words are important, which ones to disregard.
They can also indicate if a word is a synonym or opposite of the word. This is a really powerful tool and should be used at the right time. Which is only after your team has just guessed.
Why is Crosstalk so good?
Crosstalk is a good game similar to Codenames. If you already have Codenames and enjoy it then this could be a good alternative to add to your collection.
The game is fairly fast paced and a really good puzzle game that is both collaborative and competitive which makes it social and fun.
If you are looking for a new two team game for 8 players then this is a good choice.
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!
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.
Next 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.
Play and Action card
The player can choose to play an action card which will either:
- Reverse play
- Add 1 to the stack value
- Allow the player to choose the next person to take a turn. 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.
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?
Unlike the previous three games there is no drawing required. This is a really fun card game that will get everyone thinking. How will you best serve their opponents with gut wrenching indigestion while keeping your own tum in check.
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.
For my next recommendation for the best 8 player boardgames for 2021 it has to be Telestrations. This game was released 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.
Finally 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.
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?
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.
These 5 board games are all great choices for 8 players. I think it comes down to personal preference.
For the more hard core board gaming group then I recommend Deception: Murder in Hong Kong.
Finally, Codenames is such a fun game for the tabletop. Being collaborative makes it really great and is my all-rounder recommendation. You can find out how to play with 2 players in the article How to play Codenames with 2 players. Or perhaps you would like to see some other excellent drawing games recommended in 7 Best drawing art boardgames.