Today I got to climb up the Eiffel Tower – an amazing experience, especially given the superb views you get of Paris. While there were a lot of crowds, and some waiting in queues for elevators, I highly recommend it to anyone who gets the chance. Afterwards, I was relaxing with my girlfriend in the park in front of the Eiffel Tower, and I saw all of these names inscribed around the first level – Foucault, Cauchy, Coulomb and so on. They were all famous French scientists, engineers and mathematicians, although I didn’t know all of them. I did know some that my girlfriend didn’t (mainly due to my background in science and mathematics), which led to an fun sort of game where I was trying to remember precisely what these people were most famous for. A game you say? Read on…

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Day 28: What are they famous for again?

There are two decks of cards – one with cards with the names of famous people or characters on them, and one with cards with different phrases of the form ‘is best remembered for X’ or ‘was famous for Y’. Each player is dealt 4 cards of each type as a starting hand.

Each round, each player will choose to play 2 cards from their hand, 1 of each of type, keeping them secret until all players have chosen their cards. Then in turn each player will reveal their pair, forming a sentence such as ‘Albert Einstein was best known for growing the world’s longest moustache’ or ‘Picasso is best remembered for discovering the cure to the common cold’. Once all the cards have been revealed, each player has 30 seconds to defend their statement by any means necessary, trying to convince the others of the veracity of their combination.

Once all players have had a chance to speak, each player votes for the player they believe made the best defence of their statement, or made the funniest combination. They vote secretly by playing a card matching the colour of that player face down in front of them, and cannot vote for themselves. All votes are revealed simultaneously, and the player or players receiving the most votes get to score the pair of cards they played that round (with the other players discarding theirs).

Everyone draws replacement cards for their hands, and then starts a new round. The game ends when the deck runs out, and then the player with the most cards in their score pile is the winner.

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As I’ve said before, party games are not exactly my forte, so this may (again!) be the clone of an existing game. I wanted to move away from the Apples to Apples/Cards Against Humanity style of judging, and this system might be the best for involving everyone every round (although it gets better with more players). You could really have some very bizarre ‘famous for’ cards, which could lead to some very funny combinations. Better yet, you could make sure that there is one card for every person in the deck that is absolutely correct, and have a second way to play the game, as a trivia game where you have to try and match the person to the achievement! Good idea or not?