There are some games that are just wrong. They are tasteless, offensive and morally reprehensible. Oh, and they are funny, very, very funny. That’s the case with this game, Cards Against Humanity.
Essentially, it’s Apples to Apples with no moral compass. It’s a party game for adults where you try to come up with the funniest, raunchiest answer to questions. It’s quick to learn, easy to play and, with the right group of people, a lot of fun. But is it something that you should spend your gaming dollars on? Let’s see.
Cards Against Humanity came out in 2011 and is described as “a party game for horrible people”. Indeed, you can come up with some really awful answers, that’s really the point of the game. The game, which can be played by groups of 4-20 players, begins with each player being dealt 10 white answer cards. A randomly chosen Czar, specified in the rules as the person who has pooped most recently, plays a black card which asks a question with one or two blanks. Other players need to play answer cards to fill in those blanks. The Card Czar reads the answers and picks their favorite. The winner gets the black card as an Awesome Point. Play proceeds around the table with each person taking a turn as the Card Czar and awarding points. The game ends when the “Make a Haiku” card comes up, or everyone just wants to stop. The one with the most Awesome Points wins.
The base set comes with 460 white cards and 90 black cards and there are, at present, five official expansions, three theme packs and an upgraded storage box that will hold it all. There are also a number of unofficial expansions that have been released for a limited time over the years to celebrate special occasions, commemorate various TV shows, etc. You can also play an unofficial variant online called Pretend You’re Xyzzy, although I think it loses something in the translation, it’s just more fun in person than online.
While I don’t know that it’s really a problem, it is clear that most of the black cards in the deck have an associated white card that is really intended to answer the question. They are just so perfect that they are almost guaranteed to win a round. Of course, with so many cards in the game, having those perfect answers come up is a very rare occurrence, which is why I don’t think this is a game-spoiling issue, but it is something to be aware of.
The game is only available online from the manufacturer. Creators of the game have refused to allow it to be sold in regular retail stores, citing concerns that a general public release might require them to soften the impact of the cards. Personally, I think that’s an excellent way to look at things and hope they keep it under their own distribution channels. It’s ridiculously successful as it is, being one of Amazon’s top sellers consistently since it’s release.
Overall, assuming you play with the right crowd, this is a really fun game to bring to the table now and then. There is an almost unlimited variety of potential answers and combinations and enough ways to play the game that it will be a long time until you’ve exhausted it’s potential. Yes, it isn’t a game for kids or the easily offended, in fact, the game goes out of it’s way to be as offensive as possible, that’s something that just has to be accepted and embraced by the players, but if you can do that, you’ll really spend a lot of time laughing while playing Cards Against Humanity.