Jesse Kornbluth reviews a rather raunchy (albeit hilarious) game (for adults only).
Friends reported that they had an obscene and hilarious evening playing Cards Against Humanity.
We immediately bought the game.
For best results, you need five to ten players, but we wanted to dive in, so we asked the small person if she’d like to play.
Of course she knew about this game. And her refusal to play it had nothing to do with the common problem of the young: being pressured to enjoy themselves in the presence of their parents.
“It’s completely inappropriate,” she said. — That is, as it happens, is the great charm of this game, which is so adult that some have suggested children be far from the game room — ideally, out of the house.
You may know all of this. Because it’s not like Cards Against Humanity just came on the scene. It has been the #1 game on Amazon since it was introduced in 2011. Packs of additional cards are #2, #3, #4 and #5. There are 14,800 5-star reviews of Cards Against Humanity from Amazon; the rest are 4-star. [To buy Cards Against Humanity on Amazon, click here.]
At the end of 2014, Cards Against Humanity caught fire all over again. Before Christmas, it was a Trending Topic. My Hollywood correspondent: “Everybody out here is talking about it.” And here are Lady Edith, Mrs. Patmore, and Mrs. Hughes of “Downton Abbey” playing Cards Against Humanity.
Cards Against Humanity is simple enough:
There are Black Cards and there are White Cards. At the start of each round, one chosen player (The Judge) will select a Black Card from the stack. On these cards will be a phrase or question that needs to be answered/completed. This is where white cards come in.
Players have 10 White Cards, which they use to complete the Black Card’s question(s)/blank(s). After each player (besides The Judge) has chosen the best White Card in their hand to go with the Black Card, all players turn their White Cards in to The Judge.
The Judge reviews the White Cards and decides his/her favorite pairing of the White and Black Cards. The player who played the Judge’s chosen White Card gets a point (if that matters to your group) and the game play starts all over.
Does winning matter? Not at all. Laughter does. And for maximum laughter, veterans suggest “moderate lighting, heavy drinking.” They also recommend that you pre-screen the players — and eliminate prudes. When played correctly, we are told, Cards Against Humanity is “absolutely, horribly, disgustingly, beautifully, brilliantly, gloriously filthy.”
What sicko created this game? A crew of eight 20-somethings who went to high school together in Illinois. They played it at a New Year’s Eve party and everyone had a good time, so they launched a Kickstarter campaign. They raised more than enough money to produce the game, then priced it at $25 so it could qualify for free shipping from Amazon. The first shipment sold out in a month. The next took a week to sell out. The third shipment took three days. The fourth took 24 hours.
Potential investors sniff around; they’re sent away. Retailers propose terms; the creators are sticking with Amazon. (Your option: Download the deck for no charge and start scissoring the cards.)
On their web site, the creators welcome your suggestions for new cards; they call them “your bad ideas.” They invite you to write to them: “Take a deep breath. Contemplate the transience of all things. In your mind’s eye, envision the faces of everyone you love and everything you hold dear, and let them go. Then email us.”
The creators still have their day jobs. “The game is too stupid to do full time,” one says. Yes, it is. Also “horribly, disgustingly, beautifully, brilliantly, gloriously filthy” fun.
[Many thanks, D. and F.]
This article originally appeared on The Head Butler.
Photo credit: jjesskalee/flickr