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Alasdair Duncan avatar 2:19 PM on 10.07.2012  (server time)
Review: Cards Against Humanity

Cards against Humanity is a very simple game. It can also be a staggeringly offensive game if you are so inclined. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Cards Against Humanity gained notoriety online and it's been something my friends and I have been keen to play. Now, after a few games at PAX, and the fine folks at Cards Against Humanity providing me with copies of both expansions, I can whole heartedly recommend you play Cards Against Humanity as soon as possible.

Gameplay is very simple; each player has a number of white answer cards that have a variety of things written on them; people, places, objects and actions. A randomly chosen "card tzar" will pose a question from a black card and the remaining players will place a white card answering the question on the table. The card tzar will then pick his or her favourite answer card and the person that played the winning card will win the question card. Then a new card tzar is selected and we start over. Simple.

But there's an amazing amount of depth to this game; since the cards are played anonymously, there's a meta game taking place where playing to the card tzar's tastes come into play. Standing out from the crowd with left field and surreal answers can also work in your advantage too. Sometimes the more apt (and probably the most shocking) the possible answer, there's less chance of it standing out from the other answer cards.

And here's where we get to the meat and bones of Cards Against Humanity. The answer cards can get into scorchingly touchy subjects; certain actions, historical events and bodily functions are all fair game in Cards Against Humanity. But the truth of the matter is that by themselves, the cards aren't offensive, it's the players. YOU are the person that chooses to answer the question "What's the crustiest?" with the card marked simply "my vagina".

And thus the meta-game continues with games of chicken being played between those who wish to get a reaction out of other gamers. As such it's best played with newbies who have no prior knowledge of what is on the cards. Getting through those first few rounds produces the most laughs and it's something that Card Against Humanity can produce over and over again.

However, it's best that you play Cards Against Humanity in short burst with small groups of people. I've found between 4-5 people and playing up until 1 player has amassed 5 cards is a real good way to play. A group game I played with 10 other people didn't have a good flow to it and became unwieldy. There's also the temptation to play for hours just to see how crazy/offensive your answers can be but again, that just leads to a game running out of steam.

Photo via Beccy Caine. I was the one who selected The Force and I won. Naturally.

As someone from the UK, some of the specifically American references went a bit over my head but there are blank question and answer cards in the main game and two expansion packs so you can flavour the game to your own regional tastes. Unfortunately the game isn't available in the UK ( won't ship Cards Against Humanity to the UK for some reason), so you're going to have to hit up one of your transatlantic Dtoid buddies for a copy. If you can't wait, you can visit the Cards Against Humanity website for a downloadable cards that you can print off yourself.

Play Cards Against Humanity; trim some of the answer cards if you have to and keep the game brief. Do all this an you're guaranteed a damn funny time with your friends.

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