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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Aug 30, 2012

Review – Cards Against Humanity (Tabletop)

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Growing up, many players remember a game called Apples to Apples. It’s a board game that’s been out for a while, but still played thoroughly today. Since I’m a Redditor I’ve seen all kinds of pictures on the site of this game called Cards Against Humanity, and a lot of people say it’s much like Apples to Apples, though a lot more “adult.” While I was perusing the exhibit hall at Gen Con I strode past a large display with this game stacked as a pinnacle of greatness. Once I finally came across this mysterious game I decided I simply had to pick it up. Now that I’ve got it and have been playing it since the con ended, it’s easy for me to say it’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

What is it?

Cards Against Humanity is a multiplayer party game. It’s designed to be played by 4 or more players, and with this game the more players you have, the better the game plays. The game was designed by a group of alumni from Highland Park High School as a game for their New Year’s Eve celebration. It took a dedicated group of friends and writers to get the game going, but once it was finally pushed through to the end it became immediately successful. Though the original game released back in 2011, this year has seen a re-release of the original core set with brand new cards. An expansion was also released last year, and both the core set and expansion have sold out immediately after release. For this reason the developers made a free print-and-play version that can be found on their site.

How do you play it?

Cards Against Humanity is simple, though it remains a very well-executed game. In the box you’ll find both a deck of black cards and a much larger deck of white cards. You’ll shuffle both of these decks and deal 10 of the white cards to each player. One random player begins the game as the Card Czar and flips over a black “question” card. It will either ask you a question or have a fill-in-the-blank statement. Each player then answers the question or fills in the blank by playing a white “answer” card from their hand face-down on the table, passing it to the Card Czar. Sometimes the question card will have more than one blank, in which case more than one answer is played.

Once each player (other than the Card Czar) plays an answer, the Czar picks up and shuffles them. Then, one by one, the Czar reads them out loud in a humorous fashion and chooses their favorite answer. Whoever played the chosen answer gets to revel in their awesomeness and keeps the question card which will count as one Awesomeness Point (I’m not making this up.). After each round a new player (we usually just go clockwise) becomes the Card Czar and each player draws back up to ten cards.

Scoring can be done in different ways such as having an Awesomeness Point limit, or playing until everyone gets tired. Once the game is declared over, the player with the most points wins. It’s that simple.

Final verdict?

I’ve played plenty of Cards Against Humanity games since I’ve picked up the game. It retails at $25 which is an amazing price considering the amount of play you get out of it. It’s a great game to play with friends, especially if they’ve got a sense of humor. I will say, though, that there is an age limit on the game for a reason. Cards Against Humanity is marketed as “A party game for horrible people” for a reason. There are some cards that can be offensive and raunchy, even without being played at inappropriate times. Still, that aside the game is a whole lot of fun. I don’t think I’ve gotten this much play out of any other tabletop game I’ve purchased for a long while.

The game has its own subreddit and has become immensely popular in the short time it’s been out. I do see the similarity between it and Apples to Apples, though this game is definitely for a more grown-up, yet still immature audience. There’s always going to be a hand that gets played that will make you fall out of your chair with laughter, and you’ll never have a bad experience with this game. If you’re in the market for a game that takes a short amount of time to setup, play, and end all while spending a decent amount of money, then you need to pick up Cards Against Humanity. I don’t think I’ve ever played a party game that’s been this hilariously fun. It sells out quite often, so make sure you grab a copy while you can!

The Good

  • quick setup and play time
  • easy to learn, hard to put down
  • travel-ready with small packaging
  • fun time and time again
  • great game for a great price

The Bad

  • cards could be offensive to some
  • you do get used to the questions the more you play

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