1. How good are you at word games, and what's a word game you really enjoy?
I'm very good at word games, and I still love that old standby, Scrabble. I'm not sure whether this is *in spite* of the fact that succeeding at Scrabble is as much about being a slow and steady strategist as it is about being clever at word-play, or *because* of that fact (and maybe it's a little of each). Among my sons, Number Two is also a good player, and I enjoy a game with him even when he beats me.
2. How good are you at trivia games, and what's your strongest category?
I'm very, very good (maybe add another "very") at trivia games, as long as we are talking General Knowledge -- Trivial Pursuit "Genus Edition," Jeopardy!, etc. I don't particularly excel at any of the specialty edition games (all-1980s, all-Disney, etc.), so I guess I am a breadth- rather than a depth- girl. My strongest category is (wait for it ...) "Arts and Literature" or its equivalent.
Since September, Sons Two & Three and I have played as a trivia team in a weekly pub match run by a friend of ours. It's not super-challenging, but there is healthy competition from some good opponents, so we're pleased that we usually place first or second. (We're skipping tonight, however, to watch the Oscars.)
3. How good are you at spot-the-difference or what's-wrong-with-this-picture games?
I'd say I'm better than average, as long as I'm wearing glasses. Relatedly, I can usually instantly spot the "one odd thing" (e.g., the lone panda in a pile of penguins) in one of those Facebook picture memes, and Waldo has a pretty hard time eluding my gaze.
4. How good are you at memory games, and have you ever played Simon?
I have played Simon, which is not just a memory game, IMO (there's also co-ordination and speed involved). I usually do about as well as anyone else in the room, but I think I'm better at visual memory games like Concentration and its clones.
5. What's your favorite party game of all time?
"Party game" as in game specifically designed to be played by the whole room at a party? First let me tell you the kind I hate: those standard bridal or baby shower games. They are almost always goofy and tend to make an occasion less festive for me.
On the "favorites" side, I used to love Charades, but I can't think of too many times when I've been able to persuade more than a couple people in a room to agree to play, so that one's more of a theoretical pick. Ditto scavenger hunts, which were fun back in my church youth group days, but which I don't ever seem to be invited to participate in as an adult. (Too bad; it seems I shall never be sent to find a "forgotten man" and turn up William Powell.)
Let's see ... If we are ruling out board games but allowing "boxed" games that will tolerate a decent number of players, then I'll go with Scattergories, which involves words but doesn't require cleverness (kids can play, too), and can get downright hilarious. The box says six players tops, but I know I've played with more than a dozen people at a time.
However, the single most fun evening I ever had playing a game at a party occurred thirty years ago, when my then fiance (aka the Man) took me to a Pictionary party with his work friends. The once-popular drawing game would not ordinarily be my favorite form of Charades (I lack the art gene), but that night the Man and I, newly in love, seemed to be reading each other's minds, and our team crushed the rest of the room. I think everyone else benignly hated us, but that didn't stop me from thrilling at the connection we shared. On the strength of that evening, we even bought our own Pictionary set (which I'm not sure we ever used). It remains a memory I can't lose, though I wish it were one I could enjoy more now.