Cards Against Humanity
Normally I try to avoid games that aren’t fun for the whole family, but in the case of “Cards Against Humanity”, I had to make an exception. I’d occasionally hear some very positive things about it from other people in passing, even though it contained a lot of inappropriate content. “Cards Against Humanity”, to sum it up, is an adult version of “Apples to Apples”. It’s rude. It’s vile. In no way is it politically correct, nor does it advertise itself to be so. If Goody Two-Shoes “Apples to Apples” had a sexier twin sister that flirted with the law every chance she got, then her name would be “Cards Against Humanity”. With that being said, I just had to try it out.
Cards – The core game contains 550 cards (460 white cards and 90 black cards). At the time of writing (4/28/14), there are four expansions that include one hundred new cards each. Black cards contain some type of question that has part of the sentence removed. White cards contain answers (nouns or phrases) to fill in these blanks.
Setup & Gameplay
Setting up the game is incredibly simple. Both decks are shuffled separately and placed in the center of the table within easy reach of all players. Next, each player receives a hand of ten white cards. One player is chosen at random to be the Card Czar (the judge) for the first round.
A typical round will start off with the Card Czar drawing a black card from the deck and placing it face up for all to see. They’ll also read it aloud so as to emphasize the part of the sentence that needs filled in. At this point, everyone else will select their favorite white card and give it face down to the Card Czar. Once the Card Czar has collected all of the cards, he/she will mix them up and read them aloud, preferably in conjunction with the sentence on the black card. The Card Czar picks a favorite and whoever’s white card was chosen gets to keep the black card as an “awesome point”. A new Czar is selected by the players (clockwise order, winner becomes Czar, etc.) and everyone draws back up to ten white cards before starting a new round.
It’s worth noting that some black cards require two answers. In this case, players will select two white cards. These two cards should be kept together when mixing up everyone’s answers (paperclips will work for those unable to perform this task). The rulebook also includes a number of different variants should players wish to try out something new. I’ll opt to cover some of these in the review portion of this article, just to keep this section at a respectable length. Players also have the option to gamble their awesome points to play extra white cards during a round, a concept that “Apples to Apples” surprisingly didn’t offer.
To sum all this up, games are played over a series of rounds until players have decided that they’ve had enough. The player with the most awesome points (black cards) at this point is the winner!
There isn’t much to say about the card art…the game comes packaged in a black box with white text. The cards are similarly designed in that they are either white text on black or black text on white…nothing all that fancy. The manual is very easy to understand, to the point where you can set up and play within seconds of opening the box. Even if you’ve never played “Apples to Apples” or similar games before, it will take you perhaps minutes to learn. The quality of the cards are fair…roughly the same quality as a regular deck of a playing cards in that it’s possible to bend them if you’re not careful.
Of course, people who have heard about “Cards Against Humanity” don’t buy it for the card art…rather, they buy it for the content on said cards. In a word, this content is inappropriate. This is one game that you should definitely not introduce to your kids, unless they happen to be over seventeen years of age. The vocabulary by itself is questionable, but some of the combinations that form between the black and white cards can really be…well, let’s just say you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) repeat them in public. With only 550 cards, the content does tend to repeat after multiple playthrus. Luckily, the game variants listed in the manual serve to mix things up a bit. One variant, for example, eliminates the role of the Card Czar while another introduces an imaginary player named Rando Cardissian (Billy Dee Williams impersonations are optional).
As fun as the game is, I’m a bit put off by the price tag. “Cards Against Humanity” is currently retailing for $25.00, all of which grants you a total of 550 cards. When you compare that to “Apples to Apples Jr” (576 cards for $10.00) or “Apples to Apples Party Box” (1,000+ cards for $25.00), it’s hard not to be a bit concerned. The four expansions themselves contain 100 cards each and retail for $10.00 each. If you add all of that up, you’d come to $65.00 for 950 cards…ouch. Suddenly the “Apples to Apples Party Box” is looking much more affordable and appealing. If the card art were superb, I suppose I could justify the higher price tag…as mentioned in the above paragraph, this simply isn’t the case. To be fair, you can download a print and play version for free…though the developers estimate that it’ll cost about ten dollars to print everything and buy a box to contain it. I didn’t have to time to fact check this estimate, though I’m sure savvy shoppers will find ways to beat it.
In the end, “Cards Against Humanity” requires a lot of things to be successful. First, you’ll need a group of adults. Second, you’ll need a group of adults who occasionally act like kids. Third, you’ll need a group of adults who have a sense of humor…a REALLY good sense of humor. The more warped the sense of humor, the better. Finally, you’ll need a group of adults who aren’t easily offended. If you can satisfy these requirements and don’t mind the price tag, then you’ll find “Cards Against Humanity” to be an outstanding party game. The more folks playing, the better. It’s best to keep the kids away from this one, due to the adult content listed on the majority of the cards. I’m looking forward to giving this a go during our next family get-together, just to see how other people I know respond to it.
Final Verdict: 7/10
You can learn more about and purchase “Cards Against Humanity” by visiting the following websites:
Play it online for free here: