Clockwise from left: NBC; Patrick McElhenney/FX; FOX
Sometimes the best games are the ones that only exist on TV. Who wouldn't want to play a patriotic drinking game with the cast of New Girl or try for world conquest with the Parks and Recreation crew? Here, some of the greatest fictional games to grace our television screens.
Patrick McElhenney / FOX
True American (New Girl) As Jess (Zooey Deschanel) explains, True American is 50 percent drinking game, 50 percent Candy Land --though Schmidt (Max Greenfield) argues the proportion is really 75/20 , with the leftover 5 percent being the extra twist that the floor is made of lava). While the ultimate goal is to make it to the central castle of beer cans, the rules are never fully explained, which makes for a chaotic and mystifyingly patriotic experience. It's likely that you'll end up chanting "JFK! FDR! And it's even more likely that you'll end up making out with your best friend, as Jess and Nick serendipitously found out during one of the series finest episodes "The Cooler". That alone is more than enough reason to play along.
Cones of Dunshire (Parks and Recreation)
During a long and maddening bout of unemployment, resident nerd Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) designed a board game more competitive and convoluted than Settlers of Catan and Dungeons and Dragons combined. As a perfect combination of luck and strategy, its true essence lies in obtaining the colorful cones, which are gained by building civilizations. Leave it to fans bring the game to life via a recent Kickstarter campaign
. Pretty soon we could all be obsessive with Dunshire's wizards and warriors, much like the Pawnee accountants, who are utterly beguiled by the complicated game.
Patrick McElhenney / FX
Chardee MacDennis (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)
In the words of Charlie (Charlie Day), Chardee MacDennis
is more than a game, it's a war. Three intense rounds of trivia, physical challenges and possible public humiliation - take Danny Devito wolfing down all the ingredients to make a cake while imprisoned in a dog cage for instance - make for a hilarious, albeit depraved, viewing experience.
Flonkerton (The Office) It may or may not be the official sport of Iceland's paper companies, but it is definitely the best event in Dunder Mifflin's Office Olympics. Who wouldn't want to race around a room with cardboard boxes strapped to their feet (the plastic yellow binding that keeps them attached is the "flonk") in hopes of winning the most glorious prize of all -- a gold medal made out of Jim Halpert's (John Krasinski) yogurt top.
Gayle Force Winds (Bob's Burgers) Crazy cat lady Aunt Gayle (voiced by Megan Mullally) entertains the Belcher kids after they've run away from home to escape a looming dentist appointment the best way she knows how - with the an adorable, six-hour game of Gayle Force Winds. It's a board game of love and war, fantasy and plagues, as Princess Gayle strives to save the five realms of Worldlandia from the evil sorceress and (upstairs neighbor) Rebecca. And yes, the massive board will cover the entire floor of your apartment--there are five full realms after all.
Blernsball (Futurama) As all inhabitants of the 31st century know, Blernsball is the "jazzed up" future version of baseball. While the home runs and strike zones remain the same, there's the added thrill of giant tarantulas and mandatory steroids. In an homage to "A League of Their Own," Leela becomes the first woman to play Blernsball professionally, after a team manager notices her startling lack of depth perception on the field (given her one eye.) However, the New New York Mets still remain one of the worst teams in the league. Some things never change.
Satan's Path (The Simpsons) Only The Simpsons could come up with a meta version of Jumanji. In other words, Satan's Path has the power to bring all the other board games to life. The game wrecks havoc on Bart and Milhouse's afternoon as the train from "Funopoly" crashes into the house, the mouse from "Mouse Catch" escapes and their "Battleboat" sinks. Another strange fact about the game: the only known pieces are a demon and thimble.
Marshagammon (How I Met Your Mother) Marshall (Jason Segal) has the best intentions in mind when he creates Marshagammon, combining the most awesome elements of the most awesome games including Candy Land, Twister, Poker, and Pictionary (but not Backgammon - the only awesome element there is the name). But the rules are so convoluted that he's ultimately the only one who understands it. In reality it's just Marshall's devious way of interrogating Ted's new girlfriend, Victoria . Ultimately it devolves into a lot of buzzer-clicking and sharing of embarrassing stories; but with a gang this fun, that sound pretty awesome, too.