A variation of hide & seek. This works best with at least four players, but the more the merrier.

One person goes to hide somewhere within the agreed boundaries and everyone else in the group counts to ten, twenty, a hundred to give them a chance to get away, and pretend they are not peeking.

The group splits up, and each person goes looking for the person in hiding.

If anyone finds the hidden person, they must join them. The next person to find the hidden pair, has to join too. This carries on until there is only one person left looking, and everyone else is piled into the same space, trying not to make too much noise.

If you are choosing the hiding place, be sure to consider the numbers who will have to fit in with you. A wardrobe is not a good place for more than about 3 people, even if they are good friends.

Once you are in your twenties, sardines can get pretty boring. Grown-ups don't have nearly as many potential hiding places as little kids. To keep it interesting, I suggest some or all of the following variations:

  • Booze: If you can't make the game harder, you can always just artificially lower the skill of the players. Nothing accomplishes that in a socially-acceptable manner like a few (dozen) drinks.
  • Turn the lights off: Playing in a near pitch-black house at night is a whole new game since you are forced to navigate in large part by touch. Picture 6-8 drunk people stumbling around a house with their hands outstretched and you can easily imagine what kind of accidents can happen. When we play, we usually kill all of the lights except for one strobe in the living room.
  • Loud Music: Most public gatherings go better with some music and sardines is no exception. Ideally, you play it so loud that it is possible for almost everyone to be hiding in one room without the odd man out being able to hear them. Personally, I recommend some Underworld, Juno Reactor, or any drum and bass.

This can be surprisingly fun even for groups of people who consider themselves too mature for such stupidity. And really, what can be more fun that being one of seven people crammed in a shower stall in a pitch-black bathroom with Pearl's Girl blaring in the background? Finding those people and turning the lights on, that's what.

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