When it comes to card-based games, many of us are very likely to be familiar with Apples To Apples, Uno, or (the more mature) Cards Against Humanity.
And though there’s nothing quite like letting your inner competitive-self out, for those who are looking to swap out points for collective self-reflection, conversation card games might be your jam.
Conversation cards have become a go-to icebreaker tool for people seeking ways to foster connection away from their screens.
Whether you’re planning a dinner night, team bonding exercise, or intend on using it as a self-reflection tool, conversation card games have offered people a framework to embrace humanity, vulnerability, and develop better conversation habits.
The best conversation card games ultimately challenge us to listen and empathize with ourselves and others. When played in a safe, affirming environment, we’re reminded how valuable it can be to courageously engage in hard conversations.
Conversation cards are one of the most entertaining and meaningful ways to stop and think about the world and people around us — and that’s when the magic happens!
We’ve scoured marketplaces, tested some of the coolest conversation cards in the game, and have ultimately curated a list of the best decks that we felt empower people to go out and do good in the world.
By the way, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Our favorite conversation card games for adults:
What’s good: Whether you’re looking for inspiration to impact the world around you (check out their Impact Deck), an entrepreneur who needs a little help stepping outside of their comfort zone (Courage Over Comfort Deck is the way to go), or a parent seeking ways to help their children feel seen and heard (the Little Talk Deck is so sweet), there’s a pack that helps you create meaningful life habits that empower you to go out and do good in your community and workspace.
Details: The Icebreaker Deck (which is the one we tested) contains 150 conversation prompts that spark meaningful discussions and move you from small talk to real talk (perfect for the kitchen table or the conference room).
This deck comes packed with six different categories: life, random, deep, experience, if you could…, and would you rather…
- Packaging and design: The box is small and easy to grab, throw in your bag, and bring along to a dinner with your partner, family, or friends.
- Sample questions:
— What do you regret not doing when you were younger?
— What book have you read recently that you would recommend and why?
— Would you rather have a rewind or pause button on your life?
- Why it’s special: We love how most of the questions are general enough that you could ask them again and get a different answer — especially with some of the deeper questions, the cards could present an opportunity for vulnerability with loved ones.
Other Notes: Though we did enjoy our experience using BestSelf, we want to flag a “would you rather” question that came across as ableist: “Would you rather not have arms or legs, and why?”
It’s important to us that companies remove such language from their products. We hope that BestSelf Co. considers removing this question and similar questions from future print runs.
Update: Within 72 hours, the Best Self Co. team read this article and reached out to thank us for pointing this out. They said they're already working to edit this deck and exclude this card from future print runs. We're glad to see them taking action so quickly.
Let’s Get Real Bro
Where to buy: Let’s Get Real Bro
What’s good: Described as “Cards Against Humanity meets your therapist,” Let’s Get Real Bro (LGRB) is geared towards dudes (but playable by all). They aim to create space for men to talk about their feelings, emotions, and masculinity.
Their focus on men’s mental health support doesn’t end with the card game. With every purchase, they donate $1 to support men’s mental health, as well as offering one free month of therapy from BetterHelp!
Details: This deck comes packed with 90 questions (separated into three levels), six dry erase cards, and markers. Players take turns selecting a card while others jot down their responses. The first player to get to three points wins.
Ideal for 1-6 players and for ages 17 and up, each game comes with one free month of therapy from BetterHelp.
- Packaging and design: Consistent with its bold (obsessed with their color scheme) and sleek branding, LGRB does a fantastic job of giving us all the necessary details to play in a straightforward way. Its compact box makes it easy to have on hand.
- Sample questions:
— What’s your internal gas tank at?
— Describe your emotional state in the last week as a weather pattern or landscape?
— What’s the first thing you feel/think when you hear the term “male privilege”?
- Why it’s special: I enlisted my partner, Andy, for his honest feedback! Andy is not one to share intimate emotions in group settings, so I thought this would be a great case study!
Though admittedly it felt awkward and a bit foreign to him (at first) he appreciated that LGRB eased players into the game with funny and interesting icebreaker questions!
The dry erase boards, markers, and point system make it a little more like a game and relieves a lot of pressure for players who don’t traditionally have these kinds of conversations.
Other Notes: Mental health (just like our physical health) is so important. I think it’s great that companies like Let’s Get Real Bro are trying to destigmatize mental health for men. I fully intend to gift this pack to every male-identifying member in my family!
→ Shop the Let’s Get Real Bro deck online.
Loam: Down To Earth Deck
Where to buy: Loam
What’s good: Intersectional environmentalists, you’ll love this conversation deck! Loam — a team of compassionate and creative activists — has created a thoughtfully curated deck that specifically focuses on cultivating intersectional conversations that touch on advocating for climate injustice, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, Indigenous sovereignty, and feminism.
To reduce waste and avoid overproduction, Loam hand-assembles their decks and only offers pre-orders. Their packaging is also plastic-free — we love that in a card deck!
Details: Loam is a beautifully-designed set of 40 conversation cards created to nurture healing and take action toward building a sustainable world.
- Packaging and design: I was beyond impressed with their packaging and design, especially since most card decks come shrink-wrapped in plastic. This pack simply came wrapped in a thin piece of kraft paper and a beautifully designed box.
- Sample questions:
— What is your first significant memory involving water? The sun? The Earth? Wind? Lightning?
— What do you need in order to grow?
— What privileges do you possess (e.g. racial, gender-based, financial, educational)? How can you intentionally use those privileges to disrupt harm to the more-than-human world?
- Why it’s special: I love the idea of gathering close friends and centering the conversation around climate change, advocacy, and care (for ourselves, our planet, and others). If you’re mindful about your purchases and want something that is as close to eco-friendly as possible, this deck is a great option for you!
Other Notes: For community organizations or libraries interested in stocking this deck, they can reach out to Loam via their contact form in the footer of their site for special rates.
→ Shop the Down To Earth Deck on Loam's website
In Our Feelings
What’s good: Though we feel like we know the ins-and-outs of our closest friends, In Our Feelings cards dare us to dive even deeper! The game comes with best practices on how to ensure your time with “friends, family, co-workers, or death metal unicycle club” is set up for success.
They recommend agreeing on a time limit or number of rounds before beginning; this helps ensure everyone feels comfortable playing and knows that the conversation won’t go on forever.
Details: This deck includes 45 question cards, eight “Group Feel” cards, and instruction and story cards. Ideal for a group of 2-8 friends and small enough to pop into a purse or back pocket!
- Packaging and design: Created by design agency Luum, this card deck is beautifully designed, and aesthetically pleasing. The cards are light blue and minimalist in their design.
- Sample questions:
— What’s your favorite travel misadventure?
— When was the last time you felt truly creative?
— When was the last time you stood up for yourself?
- Why it’s special: What makes this game unique is its “Group Feel” cards. In general, you pass the deck around, and the person who picks the top card off the deck answers that question during their turn. If they find the question especially interesting, they can play their “Group Feel” card to invite everyone else to answer the question as well.
Where to buy: unCURATED
What’s good: unCURATED was designed and created in Atlanta and printed in the USA using environmentally friendly and sustainable printing methods.
What makes this game unique is its “Shared Agreements” card. Before the game, players agree to abide by the card’s guidelines, which are inspired by The Circles of Trust developed by Parker Palmer and The Center for Courage and Renewal as well as Dr. Cherini Ghobrial's extensive research on recovery groups.
Details: This pack was created to spark meaningful conversations to cultivate all the things essential for our emotional well-being and connection with others. It includes 50 cards that are separated into three rounds of creative questions.
- Packaging and design: These colorful cards are designed by artist Niki Malek and make even the most challenging questions feel whimsical.
- Sample questions:
— Round 1: What emoji do you use most frequently?
— Round 2: If you could know the answer to one question, what would you ask?
— Round 3: What is one thing you wished you never believed?
- Why it’s special: This deck was created by Dr. Cherini Ghobrial, a proud first-generation Egyptian American, with the goal of helping people “pursue health beyond physical well-being.” Her life experiences and passion for helping people shine through this deck.
→ Shop the unCURATED Card Game on their website
We’re Not Really Strangers
What’s good: WNRS is an essential card game for any conversationalist who is sick of the same small-talk or gossip that dominates their relationships. It provides thought-provoking prompts that will resonate with almost anyone and encourages healthy vulnerability for all.
Developed by photojournalist Koreen, We’re Not Really Strangers (WNRS) was inspired by conversations and questions asked when she was in the field as a photographer.
Details: The original WNRS set includes 150 carefully crafted questions and wildcards and is ideal for 2-6 players. The cards are arranged into three sections to help guide your conversations, and a pad and two pencils are included in the box.
- Packaging and design: WNRS has a very simple design, sticking with the brand’s signature white and red color scheme to allow for the simple goal of reading questions as a means to connect with someone new.
- Sample questions:
— Do I remind you of anyone?
— How do our personalities complement each other?
— How are you, really?
- Why it’s special: My ideal hang-out is sitting on the couch with a cozy beverage and a friend, ready and willing to talk about my feelings. WNRS is an awesome way to invite people into conversation and community without it feeling weird or awkward.
Other recommended conversation starter games and decks:
What’s good: Actually Curious is a family-led, Black-owned socially conscious business using the science and psychology of emotional connection to teach the tools of active listening and empathy.
Their team drew references from psychologists, journalists, crisis negotiators, game developers, their parents, and friends to develop a game that centers around empathy while getting into important topics. Expansion packs include Happy Hour, Culture, and Human Rights.
Details: Based on the science of trust-building and emotional intelligence, this deck has four levels that help you get more vulnerable as you build trust.
The Curiosity Edition consists of 52 pocket-sized cards and is produced with ethical labor and a sustainable paper supply.
— What are you willing to fight for and why?
— What makes you unique?
— Name three things you’re grateful for and why?
rosewell: Dinner Parties
Where to buy: rosewell
What’s good: rosewell is a woman-owned business focused on creating considerate, inclusive, and welcoming conversations around intimacy. This sustainably-printed deck makes zero assumptions on sexuality, gender, or preference.
Details: This beautifully minimal black and white set features a collection of 50 questions on emotional, intellectual, and physical intimacy.
— How do your morals impact everyday life?
— What is something that comes naturally to you?
— How do you approach opposing opinions?
Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin - A Game of Stories For Couples
Where to buy: Esther Perel
What’s good: Created by therapist Esther Perel, (who you may know from her widely popular podcast “Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel”) comes a card game that prompts conversations about stories we rarely share.
Details: This kit comes with 250 story cards, 30 prompt cards, and 12 tokens, and can be played with 2-6 players.
— A person who doesn’t know they’ve impacted my life is …
— I’ve never shared the whole story about the time …
— The last thing I looked at that I wasn’t supposed to …
Flex Factory’s ReFlex #1
What’s good: This Black woman-owned small business seeks to create a conversation card experience that encourages refreshing banter and real connection through its ethically-made relationship-affirming decks. You can bust these cards out any time, any place, and with anyone (even by yourself as a self-reflection exercise).
Details: This water-resistant deck is for those who are sick of answering basic questions and want to go a little deeper. Complete with 49 prompts on love, life, death, politics, religion, career, and psychology.
The School of Life’s The Therapy Game
What’s good: Created by The School of Life — a global organization of professionals and specialists helping people connect with thoughtful mental health resources and tools — they’ve curated a slate of emotionally intelligent questions designed to build a safe space to listen and speak to one another in the comfort of their own home.
Details: This beautifully-designed deck covers categories like work, sex, relationships, anxiety, and self. The game comes with 100 cards, a timer, and an instruction booklet to guide you through it.
— Who do you need to impress?
— What did you learn about relationships from your parents?
— If you were a friend of yours, what would you tell yourself about the challenges you face?
TableTopics Original Edition Cube
What’s good: TableTopics has been developing award-winning conversation starter sets for the last ten years (including a pet expansion pack that I fully plan on adding to my conversation cards collection).
With over 35 products sold in specialty stores across the U.S., Canada, and the world, they got almost every social situation covered for you!
Details: Their ‘Original Edition Cube’ card kit comes with 135 cards filled with fun, thought-provoking prompts created for adults, but appropriate for ages 12 and up.
— Is it more important to be book smart or street smart?
— If you could have front row seats to any concert, who would you like to see?
— If you could give all human beings one virtue, which would you choose?
- We've also heard great things about Let’s Get Closer by Intelligent Change.
- We linked to Amazon for accessibility, but absolutely encourage you to shop directly from game-makers or Amazon alternatives. We've also discovered many of these card decks at IRL and online bookstores.
- Want to start having deeper conversations faster? Play a couples question game via lists of online questions.
- Lastly, check out Good Good Good’s curated list of deep questions to ask — a great resource for any great conversation.