To those close to me, I am known for my keen, if somewhat unrefined, taste for whiskey. Though my knowledge of alcohol is questionable at best, I have dulled, honed, and calibrated my system specifically for the consumption of straight Irish bourbon. Despite this, I sometimes find myself low on options and, left with only softer drinks to consume, I am forced to partake less satisfying beverages, lest I spend the remainder of my night sober and socially crippled.
In cases such as this, I find it far easier to drown my sorrow when I am given an objective of sorts. For some, the act of drinking is merely enough, for others it is the pursuit of lesser pleasures of the flesh. Though I am not beyond such conquests, it must be noted that my journey towards intoxication is severely hampered without the crutch of hard liquor. In times like these I suggest a game of drink. And, correct atmosphere willing, I advise away from cards and single cups in preference for something of more substance- video gaming.
I present a list of entertaining, easy to enjoy, and unique, video game centric drinking competitions to be played both cooperatively and competitively. An important note, however, before I begin: A true lady or gentleman does not play games to *avoid drinking* or reinforce their crumbling self esteem through dominating their comrades. All of the soon to be mentioned games involve all participants partaking from their personal chalice, and no man or woman will be able to avoid drinking simply by playing well. In fact, several games outright punish the victor, so be prepared to imbibe no matter who is in the lead.
A simple game by most standards, yet deceivingly cruel, “Don’t Drink and Drive” actually contains a healthy bit of strategy on top of what would already be an exciting cartoon kart race. Every player starts the race with a drink of identical size and comparable liquor. The rules are simple- finish your drink before the end of the current race or you forfeit the circuit and must leave the console in shame. The catch? You cannot drink while your vehicle is moving.
In order to win, you must either chug the beer in one stop before the finish line or take short pitstops along the way. Casual players seem to enjoy this game immensely, as they can take advantage of errors in driving (directing your kart of a cliff, for instance) to take large swigs of your drink rather than force it all down in a single act. Best played at a larger party, the losing players must give up their controllers to the next players in line. All players must always start with the same amount of drink, and shots are mostly forbidden.
This game is extremely efficient in decimating booze provisions, knocking even the most tempered spirits flat and keeping dominant players from man handling their competition every race. After three or four games, most people will find their driving skills quickly diminish, also making this game a fantastically literal example of why you should never step behind the wheel of a moving vehicle while drunk.
Super Smashed Bros
Game: Super Smash Bros Brawl
Projected Drunkeness Post Play: 5/10
More of an excuse to play Smash Bros than anything, this game does force participants to drink often, though the chaos can quickly overwhelm any man’s thirst.
You are knocked off stage (one drink)
When you suicide (3 drinks)
When nobody is sure who killed who (1 drink to all participants)
When a Final Smash is cast (Chug until the animation has finished in the case of cinematic smashs)
When the game is over (Drink the number of drinks equal to, or doubled, of your final rank)
The benefit of this title over DD&D is that it can be played longer without the sudden necessity to scream off the couch and into the cool embrace of the bathroom floor. That being said, the rotation rule is still in effect, and the losers must give up their controllers.
Another simple game that can be adapted into multiple titles (try this with oddball in Halo, for instance) but a classic, nonetheless. In this game, all players make a mad dash for the Golden Gun on any map. The only kills that count are those dealt by this weapon, not that it matters as you will be playing for an indefinite amount of time. If you are killed by the Golden Gun you must partake of the chalice of shame. Generally, two to three swigs is enough to please Bacchus, but for a shorter game mini shots may also suffice. Woe be to the man with the Golden Gun, however. Dying while holding the weapon is punished with an excessive tax- a drink for each man killed. It is up to the players to police themselves, of course, so a strict honor system must be upheld.
Game: Little Big Planet or New Super Mario Bros Wii
Potential Alcohol Abuse: 3/10
Competitively or cooperatively, this is a very light game with only a few guidelines. The point of the game is to finish the level. You drink every time you die. In a perfect world, the entire group could complete a stage without ever taking a swig from their drinks. There are two instances where this game can turn very badly very quickly. One- play a difficult stage in which players will be expected to die often. Two- one person begins purposefully hindering his team mates by tossing them into pits or sabotaging their platforming. Once pandora’s box has been opened, it is difficult to reign players back into cooperative play, meaning that some emotions must be kept in check, especially when you are being picked on. Otherwise, this game can quickly escalate into an arms race of nearly constant drinking, then bottle breaking, then trips to the hospital and several major lacerations.
Game: Any bullet hell shooter
Chance for Severe Intoxication: 7/10
SHMUP’D UP is easily my favorite drinking game of all time, but it is not for everyone. This is a cooperative game that rewards solid play while severely punishing simple mistakes. Every time you die you must take a drink. No exceptions. But if you are forced to continue, you must chug your drink until your character returns from the virtual hell you sent it to. Two rules seem especially simple, but under specific circumstances this game can snowball out of control.
In certain games, death and respawning become extremely difficult while holding or drinking a beer, leading to a soul crushing loop of drinking and defeat. Though there are unlimited continues, in a perfect environment, players will almost certainly find it too difficult to continue playing. I love this game because it is efficient and creates a unique camaraderie, spawned out of a mutual trauma. You haven’t seen a man or woman’s true self until they’ve been sent to “Continue” seven times in two minutes under heavy intoxication.
Friday Night Fights (Place Your Bets!)
Game: Basically anything, but fighting games work best
Players: Unlimited, but two-four playing
Bad Decision Meter: 1/10-10/10
Another game that is great for big parties, though difficult to execute, is FNF. Two players of, hopefully, equal skill are pitted against one another in a fighting game (or competitive anything). They do not have to drink, though are encouraged to (especially if they are playing Super Smashed Bros or Don’t Drink and Drive). Everyone else, who is spectating, places a bet on who they believe will win. From this point on, the rules are flexible, but the general foundation is thus:
You must drink your initial bet (so two drinks for two drinks) but you recieve double that if you win (so you drank four, you get 8). These winnings can then be distributed, in whatever manner you see fit, to the other spectators (or players). At the end of the round, everyone drinks the drinks given to them and the players rotate (spectators take the spot of the losers, etc) and new bets are placed. For even more fun, make up odds per player to increase the winnings and the initial investments.
Walk The Line
Game: SpecOps: The Line
Players: Unlimited (one playing)
Potential for Calling it an Early Night: 4/10
Another large group game that is severely stretching the constraints placed by this article’s definition of “video game drinking games,” Walk the Line was actually suggested to me by a Spec Ops game tester. The game is simple. Play a level of Spec Ops and drink every time Walker swears, or sand dynamically shifts the gameplay, the players drink. At the end of the level, everyone must “walk the line,” attempting to walk a straight line without stumbling. Failure results in public shaming and more drinking.
The Dark Descent
Game: Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Players: Unlimited, hot swapping
Pants-Wetting Probability: 7/10
Another audience based drinking game, The Dark Descent is a hilarious way to get drunk AND humiliate your friends. One player plays Amnesia, but every time he or she jumps, squeals, or is otherwise too frightened to go on, the audience drinks. There are two ways in which the player can escape this hell: He or she can take the cowards way out by standing up and fleeing the computer, which is penalized with a shot of whatever alcohol he prefers. The second way is through death, which is punished in the same fashion. After the penalties have been dealt, a new sacrifice is chosen, and they must continue from where that player left off. Audience participation is encouraged, though it is best enjoyed by remaining silent and only occasionally screaming at the player to startle him or mock his cowardice.
So these are my favorite drinking games, but we’d love to hear from our other “of-age” readers on their favorite modifications and unique drinking competitions. Feel free to leave them in the comments, or, if you try our games, let us know what you think. Just drink responsibly and, if you are under the legal age for drinking alcohol, just ignore everything I wrote and move on. Some day you will be a successful, sophisticated gentleman, as I am, but for now you must continue to live in the never ending summer of childhood. You’ll earn that drink someday, when the world has grown cold and bitter thoughts cloud your mind, constantly thirsting for an escape from the reality that you have sewn. Only then, mustached and armed with a cane, will you too know the joys of a quality Irish Bourbon and the euphoric escape that a dulled mind brings.