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Cat suits, dance routines, bowling: the best games for groups

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Mario in a cat suit is everything.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NINTENDO

The Cave (Double Fine Productions; Xbox 360, Wii U, PS3, PC, Mac, iOS; three players) A hillbilly, a knight, a Buddhist monk, a pilot, a scientist, a time traveler, and a pair of creepy horror-movie twins all stand waiting for a choice. The three characters you select will spend the next few hours trapped in the cave, a place where they'll face their inner demons made manifest. If Mario games were slower, more intellectual affairs, you'd have The Cave. Up to three people can play at once, all trying to outsmart the omniscient narrator as he lays out traps and riddles that tease out the desires the characters are hiding even from themselves. The writing is sharp and constantly chuckle worthy, and it's no wonder — its creator worked on the classic Monkey Island games. You Don't Know Jack (Various publishers; Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Android, iOS, Facebook; four players) "No, be smarter! Be smarter!" Games that yell at you are rare, and this one is rarer for being funny about it. Originally a PC game from the 1990s, You Don't Know Jack is a trivia game in the guise of a TV game show. Four players can share one controller, using different buttons to buzz in their answers. Fun little tweaks like the ability to "screw" someone into answering the question make Jack crazily competitive. Amid the many available versions, the Xbox 360 and PS3 are the standouts — but if you don't own a major console, you can fire this game up on your laptop or mobile phone for a spontaneous brain workout. *

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