Literary Games

As we approach the holiday season with everyone at home, we have put together a list of games for book and literature lovers that will keep your friends and family entertained. Plus, Using games to explore literature can ignite a passion for books and stories, while helping children to work on other reading and communication skills such as summarising or predicting.

The paperback game

Get yourself a pile of paperbacks – romance, crime, and other genre novels make the best candidates. The first person picks one out and reads the blurb from the back of the book. The other players then have a go at writing the first sentence of the novel, while the first person writes out the real first sentence, and then reads them aloud to the group. They must all then decide for themselves which they think is the real first sentence. 1 point if your fake sentence is voted as the real one, and 2 points if you correctly vote for the real first sentence.


All choose a line from a novel that marks the beginning of a dramatic scene. Write the next sentence, and pass it on. And so on. When your creative depths have been plumbed and no more tales can be spun, read them out. Stories will be enhanced by using names of other fictional characters as you go.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Take it in turns to read quotes by or about various characters – they could be from classic novels you all know or from your latest book group read. Others must guess who said what and when, and about whom, where relevant. Could be a quiet way of passing the time and patting yourself on the back at your astounding literary knowledge, or you could get competitive by dividing into teams and keeping score.

Name in the hat game: literary version

Give everyone 4 or 5 slips of paper and get them to write down one person – real or fictional – on each. Since this is a literary version they should all be authors or characters. Fold the pieces of paper and put them all in a hat. Or bowl. Or any receptacle you can find. Split into teams of four to five.

One person from team 1 kicks off by grabbing a slip from the hat. She can use as many words as she likes to describe the name on the slip; her teammates must correctly guess who she is talking about. Once they have, it’s onto the next slip from the hat, until 1 minute is up. Depending on how confident you’re feeling, you might decide to only allow one pass per round…

The team gets one point per correct guess in each round. When the minute is up, it’s the next team’s go. This keeps going until all the slips from the bag have been read out.

Round two: put all the names back in the hat. This time, you’re only allowed one word to describe the person on the piece of paper. Round three: names back in again. This time: all acting, no words. The winning team is the one with the most points across all three rounds.

Booktastic! Modern Literature Edition

This simple game is for two or more players of ages 12 and up. Based on a card received at the beginning of the game, players race to buy, sell, and collect books from various shops on the board. Money is earned by answering from a selection of more than 800 questions, all centered around modern fiction authors and their work. From casual reader questions with no wrong answer to moderate multiple choice trivia to difficult open-ended queries, this game tests your knowledge of today’s finest literary works.


This social interaction game requires three or more players. One at a time, players will choose a card which contains the title, author, and synopsis of a real book. After one player reads this information out loud, the other players write down a plausible opening line for the book described. All of the potential fake openings are read alongside the actual first line of the book, and it’s up to the players to sort out which of the options are legitimate.

Trivial Pursuit Book Lover’s Edition

For anyone who thrived in the Art & Literature category while playing Trivial Pursuit, this game is for you. Two to four book lovers (or teams of book lovers) race to correctly answer a question in each book-related category, with your progress determined by the roll of a die. The six categories include Beloved Children’s Books, Popular Classics, Riveting Non-Fiction, Book Club Favourites, Favourite Authors, and Book Bag Surprises.

It Was A Dark & Stormy Night

This tricky two to four player game requires a vast knowledge of books. On the board, there are 12 different categories of literature, which players navigate based on the roll of a die. When a player lands on a particular category, a card is drawn and someone reads off the opening line from a book within that genre. The first player to correctly identify eight books based on their openings is declared the winner.

Shakespeare: The Bard Game

Become an Elizabethan theatre entrepreneur and stage extraordinary Shakespearean plays!

Shakespeare: The Bard Game centres around players producing plays by collecting scripts, finding actors, gaining props as well as financing the whole production. This game is perfect for drama kids or people who enjoy playing a behind-the-scenes role.

This game offers different strategies and complexities, keeping the questions interesting!

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

Based on: Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional character, Sherlock Holmes

Roaming the streets of London, players will try to solve some of the most heinous crimes. Each clue you find will bring you closer to the truth.

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is a cooperative game in which players work together as a detective team to solve mysterious cases. Interview suspects, search the papers, and go to the streets to solve one of the ten epic cases.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

Based on: J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series.

Players will choose the role of one of the beloved characters, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, or Neville Longbottom, all while defending the wizarding world from the forces of evil, A.K.A Voldemort.

With this cooperative deck-building game, players gain spells, recruit allies, and uncover magical items. Hogwarts Battle has loads of game adventures, all with different difficulty levels, that become progressively more challenging with each exploit unlocked.

Agatha Christie Bingo

This high-stakes game features 64 characters and clues from Agatha Christie’s novels, perfect for dedicated crime fans and bingo players.

Follow the trail of murder, blackmail and mystery set by the Queen of Crime. Travel down the Nile, on the Orient Express and into the drawing rooms of quaint English country cottages hot on the heels of Poirot, Miss Marple and other famous characters while you play this fun new bingo game. Includes a booklet packed full of Agatha Christie trivia for discerning crime fans.