Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Cards Against Humanity

"A party game for horrible people"

Cards Against Humanity: UK Edition

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for 3-20+ created by Max Temkin and published in 2011. It originally started life as a Kickstarter project and has developed a cult following since. Have you every wondered if you truly are a nice human being? Well, this game will confirm it either way! Want to know which side of the line I fall on? Then read on!

Anyone who has played Apples to Apples will recognise the format of the game; it's basically a clone, a very sick and twisted clone. For people who haven't, the premise is as follows: all players draw 10 white 'answer' cards and decide who goes first. This person is the Card Czar! They will draw a black 'question' card and read it out to the group. Players will then try to find the best match and pass their card/s to the Czar anonymously. The Czar then reads them out and picks the winner, who will gain 1 Awesome point. The title of Czar is passed to the next player and play continues. Doesn't sound too bad at the moment does it?

Where this differs from Apples to Apples is through the content of the cards. As you can probably guess from the name of the game, there'll be no sunshine and rainbows here! Cards Against Humanity was designed (I imagine) to make people feel as uncomfortable as possible, but to also induce incredible amounts of laughter too! Some of the answer cards don't seem too bad on their own. Pair it up with one of the question cards though and you can have something truly hilarious/inspired/horrific etc.

All sound particularly troubling!
The black cards can come in several different guises, including basic questions (What's that smell?), the fill in the blank (A romantic candlelit dinner would be incomplete without ______), and choose 2 cards that fit the description/blanks (That's right, I killed ______. How you ask? ______). The combinations are almost endless and there'll always be a few funny answers in each round. You can always tell when people think they have a winner; you can see them sniggering behind their cards!

The first time I played this I didn't really know what to expect. I hadn't heard of it prior to playing (early in my board gaming life) so was going in blind. Within a few minutes I was barely able to contain my laughter! Luckily our gaming group, usually 6-8 people, all have a similar sense of humour (we're all a bit warped i guess) which made it extremely fun to play. On the first playthrough, some of the cards can be a bit shocking but eventually 5 minutes later you're laughing too much to care!

The curative powers of... racism?
The key to this game is definitely finding the right people to play with. One of the most fun aspects is playing to the personality of the Card Czar. Being the close knit group that we are, when the right card card combination comes up it usually goes down on the table instantly. It's even better when several people do this for the same person! Watching the dread in their face as they prepare to read the answers is priceless! Playing time for us usually takes between 40-60 mins. We generally play until someone gets to 7 Awesome points or when it's agreed that we're a disgrace to human kind and shouldn't be allow to talk to real people!

Not much to say about the components. There's 500+ well made cards and they come in a well made shiny box. That's that then.

Obviously this is not a game for everyone. It's not suitable for younger kids and isn't really a family game. Not one you can play after Christmas lunch with the family (unless you're open about EVERYTHING). It's also not great for people with weak stomachs/are adverse to profanity/on their high horse, although I would imagine if anyone like that is reading this they've probably not made it down this far. If you can realise that this game is NOT a social commentary and don't take everything seriously, then you'll probably have a good time playing it. Just take it as it is, which is a good party game which will guarantee a few laughs.

Just pray that someone doesn't say to you 'what does this mean?' You're about to have a very awkward conversation...