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The best party game I played at New Year’s was totally free

by Joey Davidson | January 12, 2020January 12, 2020 8:30 am EST

I played a party game at New Year’s that was completely free. Not only that, it wiped the floor with every other game we played over a span of more than three days. That’s right, a totally free game that was better than every other board game we played.

You may have heard of this game. It might be something you’ve played before. Me? I’d played versions, but never one by this name or this set of rules. It was called Salad Bowl.

Salad Bowl is a beautiful mix of Taboo and charades with a few extra layers of insanity. To play, all you need as at least six people (I’d recommend eight), paper, writing utensils, a sheet and, of course, a salad bowl.

How to play Salad Bowl

Every player writes three-to-five clues on individual slips of paper (one slip per clue), folds them up and tosses them in a salad bowl. The clues should be charade-able (Is that a word? It is now!).

Players split into two even teams.

From here, Salad Bowl plays in four rounds.

Round 1: 45 seconds on the clock. One player attempts to get their team to guess as many clues as they can by speaking without using any words on the slip of paper. Teams go back and forth, using 45 seconds each, until all clues are spent. The scores are tallied and the slips are tossed back into the bowl.

Round 2: 45 seconds on the clock. Now, one player attempts to get their team to guess as many clues as they can through charades. Teams go back and forth, using 45 seconds each, until all clues are spent. The scores are tallied and the slips are tossed back into the bowl.

Round 3: 45 seconds on the clock. This time, one player attempts to get their team to guess as many clues as they can by speaking only one word. Make it a good one. Teams go back and forth, using 45 seconds each, until all clues are spent. The scores are tallied and the slips are tossed back into the bowl.

Round 4: 45 seconds on the clock. Final round. Now, one player attempts to get their team to guess as many clues as they can through charades. The catch? The charading player has to stay below a sheet. Teams go back and forth, using 45 seconds each, until all clues are spent. The scores are tallied, and the team with the most points wins.

Salad Bowl is delightful insanity, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.


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Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson is a dad. That makes finding time to nerd out about games, movies, TV, books, cooking, beer and whatever else super difficult. It's