I’m a pretty competitive person, so my ideal drinking games would be ones that involve at least a little bit of skill. I got the chance to enjoy a bit of cultural immersion hanging out with some Norwegian college students last summer during a study abroad trip, and they introduced me to a fast-paced, every-man-for-himself pong-style game that they called “cat & mouse.”
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In the States, the game is often called Rage Cage. There are some variations I’ve found, but these rules are for the version I played.
- At least 15 cups (more cups = a longer game)
- 2 pong balls
- A good amount of beer (your choice)
- Liquor (also your choice)
- Arrange all but two of the cups in a sort of “Star of David” shape in the center of a table.
- To do this, put one cup in the center, six cups in a ring surrounding it, and then use six cups to form the points of the star.
- You can make a larger shape if you want to use more cups, but the main idea is to have one cup in the center with rings of cups surrounding it.
- Each cup in the shape should be filled with beer.
- The amount can vary depending on how trashed you and your friends are trying to become.
- Spike the center cup with one or two shots of liquor.
- Again, the amount can vary based on your goals.
- Players sit in a circle around the table. Give each of the two remaining cups and the balls to two different players sitting across from one another at the circle.
- Each player places their cup on the table and attempts to bounce their ball into their cup.
- Once a player makes their cup, they pass both the cup and ball clockwise to the next player.
Simple so far, right? Bouncing a ball into a cup. Nothing threatening there. It gets more intense, I promise.
- If a player makes their ball into their cup AND the player they are passing to already has a cup and is still bouncing, then the player who made their cup stacks it on top of the cup of the player who is still shooting.
- At this point, some cheering and trash talk is optional, but definitely encouraged.
- If a player gets stacked on, they pass the stack clockwise. The player who receives the stack immediately starts shooting.
- The losing player then takes a cup from the center and chugs its contents before beginning to shoot again.
The stacked cups remain stacked for the rest of the game, while the newly emptied cup from the center becomes a single outside cup each time. The stack gets taller as more cups are removed from the center, making it harder to hit. This is the “cat & mouse” aspect: You’re chasing each other around the circle, trying to stack cups and make other players drink.
Play continues until the center spiked cup is reached and chugged, and then you set everything back up and start a new game.
- This rule keeps things especially interesting. If you make your cup on your first try, you can “teleport” your cup to any other player in the circle as long as they don’t already have a cup. This means that you can send it to the player right behind the other player shooting, piling on the pressure.
- If someone accidentally bounces the ball into one of the center cups, they have to drink it! They then stack it onto their cup and continue shooting.
I can say from personal experience that this game is not for the faint-of-heart. If you aren’t on your A-game, you’re going to get pretty drunk. Good luck!