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Cards Against Humanity is one of those games which is quickly become a pop culture phenom. Cards Against Humanity is described as a multi-player party game, though it uses cards to resolve all of the action. Anyone who has played Apples to Apples is going to understand the basic premise, because it involves matching one set of cards to another set of cards, then having a judge decide which reply is best. When this is decided, the player takes the original card as a trophy and this is used to keep score. Win enough cards and you win.
The origin of this game is interesting. It was started by alums of the ritzy Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas. During a New Year’s Eve party, the players were given topical questions and told to write their own fill-in-the-blank answers. These proved hilarious, offensive, and popular, and the game was called “Hyper-theticals”. It caught on quickly with the wider circle of friends in the Metroplex, and eventually a mass market version was created.
When it was time to publish in 2011, Cards Against Humanity began as a successful Kickstarter campaign, giving its designers the ability to publish copies for nationwide sales. While the creators sell their game online optionally, they also offer Cards Against Humanity as a free download to those who don’t want to pay. Players can have playing cards printed off at local print shops, which of course is going to cost money. Paying for Cards Against Humanity is probably best for all involved, but that’s your decision.
Comparison with Apples to Apples
Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples have two major differences. One, Apples to Apples is about matching nouns with adjectives, simply put. The judge cards in Cards Against Humanity has a sentence with one (or maybe two) blank words. The players who submit a card use the word or phrase on their cards to fill-in that blank.
Two, the difference which stands out the most is the adult nature of Cards Against Humanity. This is not a game for underage children. If you are offended by obscene language or sexual innuendo, then you should not play Cards Against Humanity. The game you’re buying has pre-written cards that contain all sorts of offensive references. The subjects are endless: Nazis, abortion, bedroom humor, fetishes, just about anything that fits into shock humor. It is a raunchy, obscenity-filled game. For a 21st century party crowd, it is perfect.
Black Question Cards
Black question cards are written with one, two, or three blanks. The latter two examples are called pick-2 and pick-3 cards. Most black questions contain one blank space, which range over all sorts of topics. Below are three examples.
White Answer Cards
Each player receives 10 white answer cards. Many of them are obscene, offensive, or shocking in some way. You select one and hand it to the judge, who randomizes them without looking at them first. Then, the judge selects the answer they find funniest. To win the game, you’ll need to collect a certain number of cards, with the number determined by how many people are playing.
Cards Against Humanity is highly subjective, as you might imagine. It’s all in fun, so if your card doesn’t get chosen, you move on to the next hand. This is a classic party game, so the laughs should come freely and no one should get offended.
People are encouraged to invent house rules. Some are included in the game guide, in fact. Sample house rules include player votes on the winning card, the ability to trade points for new cards (when your cards suck), or points given by ranks for really good answers. Awesome points allow people to play multiple white cards in one round, but these are just a few of the options.
Expansions and New Editions
The basic rules comes with 550 cards, including 460 white cards and 90 black cards. Five different expansions exist, which offer another 112 cards apiece.
A 2012 and 2013 Holiday Pack have been released, as well as the 90s Nostalgia Pack. Also, a “Bigger, Blacker Box” set is also in print.
Other editions include 2013 PAX East, 2013 PAX Prime, 2013 Reject Pack, 2014 House of Cards Pack, 2014 PAX East, 2014 PAX East Panel Pack, 2014 Pax Prime Panel Packs, and the 2014 TableTop Expansion Pack.
This is a politically incorrect game. People from a wide spectrum might get offended. Choose carefully who you ask to play and, in those cases where you aren’t sure they’ll like it, make certain to inform new players what they might be getting into. People have hot-button issues and Cards Against Humanity is certain to push some of those buttons each time out. In other words, play with cool people and not the easily-offended.