Games that DO work nicely in an International crowd.
Susan
Netherlands
Noord Brabant
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Ok, so I've done a list of games that really didn't work with an international crowd. I figured that I should also do a list of the successes as well.

Our gaming group and friends is a pretty diverse bunch. Many come from different languages and English was not their first language.

Some games work really well in that sort of setting because they are neither language or culturally specific. Here's my list of a few of those.

Feel free to add some of your suggestions and tell why.
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Susan
Netherlands
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Carcassonne is a terrific game for an International crowd! The tiles have no written language upon them and it makes it easy for anyone to play.

As long as you print out the rules in your own language, you can learn to play Carcassonne. We have played this with people from several different countries and everyone liked it and enjoyed themselves.

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2. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:279] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Susan
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This game also appeals to an international crowd. Luckily, there are very few game items that involve a written language. Even those are not culturally based. So, it is easy enough to get a translation for them.

With the tiles not having any written language on them, people from around the world can grasp onto the game really easily. It works well in an International setting.
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3. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:336]
Susan
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This is another game which we have successfully played with an International group. Again, it isn't language or culturally specific. You just program your robot where to go and hope that he doesn't crash and burn.

This is a really fun game to play with an international crowd as many people have not heard of it. They do find it addictive though!
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4. Board Game: Abalone [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1402]
Susan
Netherlands
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Abalone is a 2 player game that crosses all language/cultural barriers. Anyone can play it. You don't even need to speak the same language to play together.
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5. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:415] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
 
Susan
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Chess is probably the ultimate international game. It has appeal across the world. You don't need to be able to speak the same spoken language to play chess together. You can communicate through the board.
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6. Board Game: Chinese Checkers [Average Rating:5.08 Overall Rank:15271]
Susan
Netherlands
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Chinese checkers is another game that anyone can play, even in an international setting. It is all about the strategy and the movement on the board.
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7. Board Game: UNO [Average Rating:5.35 Overall Rank:15225]
Susan
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Now, UNO seems to get an awful lot of bad press and grief from people for some reason. It is still a terrific game to pull out for a mixed crowd. We have played UNO with people from different countries and in different age brackets. Everyone enjoyed themselves. It works well in an International setting and should not be dismissed due to bad mouthing. It is still around for a reason.
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8. Board Game: Jenga [Average Rating:5.56 Overall Rank:11192]
Susan
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This is another game that always works in International groups. There's no need for special language skills with it. It is particuarly fun when wine/alcohol is involved. As the manual dexterity decreases, the laughter increases.
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9. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Susan
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Alhambra can also work with an International crowd. The game is simple and goes slightly at a slower pace. The players choose between colours and numbers, so it is not completely language specific. We've played this with people from 4 different countries at once, and everyone enjoyed it.
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10. Board Game: Pachisi [Average Rating:4.46 Overall Rank:15319]
Susan
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India's national pasttime makes for a good choice in with an International crowd. It is a luck based game and can be played by anyone. Strong language skills in different languages are not needed for this one.

My husband finds this a maddening game, only because he usually looses!
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11. Board Game: Pictionary [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:3856]
kSwingrÜber
United States
Ridgefield
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Played this once with an local friend, and his Chinese fiancé (her English was quite good, but she had a limited vocabulary). She was amazingly good at it... kicked our asses! When she would get a word she didn't know, someone that wasn't doing the guessing would explain it to her...
Afterwards, we were commenting to her about how good she was, and she said that it's kinda what she had to do all day long, just to communicate with us English-speaker... when she didn't know the right words, she had to describe what she meant. So drawing something out to make herself clear was easy for her.

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12. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:392]
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Wurtsboro
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As long as someone is able to explain the rules in whatever languages are necessary, language is not an issue for this game - it's about numbers! You either pick up the card or play a chip. Lowest score at the end wins.
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13. Board Game: Toss Up! [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:11547]
Dice bags!
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I don't think this little game gets enough love. No language needed - just colors (red, yellow, green), and the concepts are familiar from stop lights - green is go, yellow is caution, red is bad.

You start with 10 dice, with 3 green sides, 2 yellow, and 1 red. As long as you roll at least 1 green, you get a point for each green die, and can roll again or stop and record your score.

If you decide to roll again, you set your green dice aside, and roll the rest. If you roll all yellows, that's okay, but if you don't roll any green AND you roll a red, you lose your points for that turn.

As many or as few can play as you want, it fits in your pocket, and costs less than $5.00. It's not our favorite game, but sometimes it's just right.
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14. Board Game: Doubles Wild [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:10356]
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The board is a grid of holes that marbles sit into, like in Chinese Checkers, with the numbers 3 to 11 on each edge. The numbers correspond to a row of holes or column of holes. You roll two red and two blue dice, and place your marble at that spot (say, 5 red, 8 blue).



You score a point for each 3-in-a-row you make (they count in every direction, horizontally and diagonally - it is beneficial to make more than one at once). Doubles are wild, so you can choose where to place the marble. If you roll a spot that contains your opponent's marble, and that marble is not part of a 3-in-a-row, you can challenge them. You both roll for that spot to see who gets the higher score. You play until someone runs out of marbles, then high score wins.

For 2-4 players.
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