The two games are dramatically different in actual play, however. Whereas Apples to Apples has family-friendly content, Cards Against Humanity is chock full of crude, raunchy, and politically incorrect material—not surprising for a game designed by a team of high schoolers who gave it the subtitle "A party game for horrible people." Here are a few examples of cards in the "Answer" deck:
- Dead babies
- Dwarf tossing
- German dungeon porn
- Glenn Beck catching his scrotum on a curtain hook
- Jerking off into a pool of children's tears
- Mr. Clean, right behind you
- Not giving a shit about the Third World
- Pac-Man uncontrollably guzzling cum
- Praying the gay away
- Racially-biased SAT questions
- Smallpox blankets
- White privilege
However, the game's strengths may also cause trouble. The level of gross-out humor can make some players uncomfortable. More importantly, specific cards touch on hot-button issues such as classism, racism, sexism, rape, and abortion that some players may find profoundly offensive. One of my fellow players, whom I like and respect, was so affronted by my enthusiastic hooting and hollering about some of my more socially inappropriate card choices that he wouldn't even speak to me after the game.
So although Cards Against Humanity is very well put together, I can't recommend it as a party game. Casual games shouldn't anger or distress their players! Moreover, players who might feel comfortable saying they don't want to play a game because they think the rules are boring or badly designed might not want to be seen as the wet blanket who's not up for a little bawdy humor. Better to leave it on the shelf.
If you've already played Cards Against Humanity, what do you think—is it offensive or hilarious? Post your comments below.