Cards Against Humanity Party Game Review
Cards Against Humanity is one of the most popular party games to be released in recent years. The game has become popular not just because of its outrageous cards and its pop culture cachet, but also because it's very easy to pick up and play. Before you go out and buy a box, though, you might want to take a look at this Cards Against Humanity review to figure out if this game will be a good fit for you.
This Is the Game We're Reviewing
At first glance, the game isn't actually all that intimidating. You're just looking at a series of prompts and answers, helpfully separated into black and white cards. Most of the prompts are fairly innocuous, while the answers tend to range from generally silly to the almost absurdly offensive.
There's something in here for everyone, allowing players to be as offensive or as safe as they'd like, though it's safe to say that the first-time player is going to be shocked by some of what they might see. It all comes down to chance, of course, but shocking answers will often be the norm.
If you've never seen the game before, the rules are simple—all you need to do is to fill in the blank that the dealer (or card czar) considers to be the funniest. Some of the sillier (but still work-safe) combinations might include:
- Q: Why Can't I Sleep at Night? A: Being on Fire or A: Your Weird Brother
- Q: I've Got 99 Problems but ______ Ain't One A: Burping and Vomiting at the Same Time
- Q: Instead of Coal, Santa Now Gives Bad Children A: Cards Against Humanity
This is an incredibly easy game to pick up, even if you've never played anything similar before. The average player is only going to take a single round to grab onto the concept, making it one of the easier party games to learn. There's not even a learning curve to this game—there's as a good a chance for a first-time player to win as there is for anyone else in the game. This is the type of thing you'll either love on the first hand or you'll hate, though having some early success will help the game to grow on you a bit.
Repeat Play Experience
Does Cards Against Humanity hold up to being played more than once? The answer is a qualified yes. As long as you have the right group of people playing the game, it's precisely the kind of game that will become a staple of your game nights. As long as everyone has a relatively similar sense of humor and you all know that nothing in the game ought to be taken seriously, there's definitely a lot to be gained from seeing all of the various combinations and playing multiple rounds.
In fact, the game actually matures a bit if you play it with the same group more than once. Once the shock value of a few cards wears off, you've got to start getting really clever with your card pairings. This is where the humor of the game really shines, as well as the actual strategy behind the card game's systems. You're not looking to just get a laugh—you're trying to figure out how well you know the Card Czar and attempting to find the card combination that's going to work the best for that person. This really is a game that will grow as you get to know a group.
Knowing Your Group's Tastes
The game does fall apart a bit, though, if you're not careful. Too much repetition can be a bad thing, and it's certainly not appropriate for every crowd. You should have a good idea of the limits of your potential players before you pull out the game, and you certainly shouldn't make this one a mainstay for groups that have a somewhat more delicate sense of humor. This doesn't mean that the game's bad on a repeated basis, but rather than you should pay attention to who's around before you play.
As with many modern card games, you're not going to be limited by what's in the original box. Cards Against Humanity has a number of expansions, some of which are much better than others. Below are some brief thoughts on the expansion packs:
The Color Packs
The Red, Green, and Blue packs are all huge expansions to the game, each adding about three hundred new cards to the game. These are definitely the best expansion packs out there, as they're composed of the older expansions and still tend to push the unexpected a bit more than some of the contemporary packs. Consider these expansions if you're looking for more general jokes.
The Holiday Packs
At around five dollars, the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Holiday Packs are among the cheapest expansions. With only about thirty cards, though, they are't exactly a great deal. These can be good stocking-stuffers, but they're not worth your time if you really want to get the most out of the game.
Each of the specialty packs has a specific theme, some of which are going to be more useful than others to specific groups. If you're into one of the themes, these small packs of thirty cards will add a little bit of group-specific humor to your game. If you're not, though, you are't going to have much fun. These themed packs include:
- Period Pack
- Pride Pack
- Sci-Fi Pack
- '90s Nostalgia Pack
- Weed Pack
- Theatre Pack
- . . . and several more.
Again, each pack only costs about five dollars, but each only includes around thirty cards. These packs are only a recommended buy if you know that your group has a sense of humor dependent on a specific niche.
In Conclusion: Play It at Least Once!
What's the verdict of this Cards Against Humanity review? In short, it's a good game that's worth playing at least once. If your sense of humor trends towards the raunchy or towards the absurd, you'll have a great time with the game.
The expansion packs can help to make the game feel fresh after you've been playing for quite some time, but they're not a necessity. While this is definitely a game for adults, you'll have much more fun if you can bring a juvenile sense of humor to the table.