This game was a favourite method of avoiding homework in my college dorm. At least once a week a group of us would cram into one of our rooms for several rounds of fierce competition and fun times.
Scattergories is a word game in which you compete individually against each other to have the most complete and the most unique answers to a series of 12 categories. Examples of categories are Something You Eat, A Girl's Name, A City, An Occupation, etc... The game includes a 20-sided die with letters of the alphabet on it. Whenever the die is rolled, the letter that comes up on top must be the first letter of every word you use in a category. For example, if the letter "S" was rolled, your answers to the above categories could be: Salad, Shannon, Saskatoon, and Singer.
The game is played by handing out identical category cards to each player, rolling the letter die, then setting the timer. Each player individually writes down their answers to all or as many categories as they can before time runs out. When the round is over, each player reads their answers aloud. If two or more players shared a response, they must cross it off their list. Each player's score is the amount of unique words they have left after all the duplicates have been crossed out. Of course, the one with the most is the winner. This game can be played for several rounds with scores being tallied up at the very end.
This game is for 2-6 players. I would recommend it for ages 8 and up because you need to be able to write quickly. If however, you wanted to play as a family, perhaps a little one could team up with mom or dad and whisper their suggestions for the adult to write down.
Scattergories can be purchased at toy and department stores and online for about $20-$25.