Review: Cards Against Humanity Game | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Cards Against Humanity Game

Posted by Eric Minton Saturday, March 8, 2014
If you've ever played the party game Apples to Apples, you'll find Cards Against Humanity familiar. The rules are basically the same. Each player takes a turn as a judge; he or she draws and reads a black "question" card for which each other player selects a white "answer" card from his or her hand. The judge then assigns a point to whichever player gave the funniest or most apropos answer.

Party game raunchy gross mean-spirited

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
  • Jew-fros
  • 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
Play moves quickly. At last night's open game night, rounds only took a couple of minutes apiece, even with 11 players. Furthermore, the transgressive humor left most of the players in stitches, with constant efforts to one-up the others with grosser and more shocking responses. There are even strategic elements to play; some answer cards are more specific or amusing than others, making it a hard choice as to which one to pick for any specific question. Knowing whether a given player is more entertained by the absurd or the grotesque can help you select which answer cards he or she might favor.

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.
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