Preparation: Hidden Messages is a great game to liven up conversation around the dinner table during your entire evening. All that's required from you is a little imagination beforehand.
Great fun game that can go on in the background while you and your guests enjoy the rest of your dinner party, or it can be played at the same time as you and your guests are playing other games.
To Play: Write down various different phrases on pieces of card for each guest (these are the 'Hidden Messages'). I suggest two or three different phrases on each card. Each phrase must be a bit odd but useable in a conversation e.g. 'have you ever stood on your head to watch TV?' or 'Did you know I am doing a night course in roof thatching?' or 'can you smell broken glass?', you get the idea.
Make each phrase on the card more peculiar than the previous one. This adds to the fun, but don't make the phrases too outrageous or they will be spotted too easily! Each card is then placed in an envelope on each of your guests plates with their names written on them - this then doubles up as a place card.
Ask everyone to secretly read their cards to themselves and NOT to reveal what is written on them to anyone else. Explain that the object of the game is that over the course of the evening they try to incorporate their phrases into the general conversation without being challenged by any of the other guests.
The winner is the one who manages to use most phrases naturally and without anyone else noticing, or you could make the winner the first one to use up all their phrases. The beauty of the game is that if you know your guests quite well you can tailor the 'Phrases' to suit each one of them. Enjoy!