Apples to Apples

Many families in this world can say they have taken part in – or at the very least heard of – a family game night. Coming from a large family like mine, playing games together wasn’t an unusual occurrence. As time would pass, however, game night was lost to the wind, and times spent together became all the more important. So, a tradition of sorts (though it’s hardly regular) came into place: anytime we were all together, usually at birthday parties, we’d play a game we could all enjoy. Our choice? Apples to Apples.

Here’s some pros and cons to the game:

Pros:

  • Hilarious
  • Multiple people can play
  • Easy to play
  • Each round can last a while, without hitting the dreaded length of Monopoly
  • Up to ten players can play

Cons:

  • Humor involved can go over the heads (or be inappropriate for) younger players
  • You need at least four players to have a general game (not required, but recommended to avoid a super short game)

I will admit: I tried playing Apples to Apples years ago as a kid, and thought that the game was guaranteed to be something boring, or “only enjoyable by adults”. Thankfully, having tried this game, I can say I was very wrong, and now look forward to a round (or three) every chance I get.

Gameplay:
Apples to Apples is a card based game. The game with two large stacks of cards: green cards (which contain a description), and red cards (which contain a noun). The cards can be incredibly random, which adds both humor and a sense of challenge to the game. Each player is given seven red cards from the deck, and then a player is chosen to pull a green card from its stack, reading the description aloud for the other players. Each person – excluding the drawer of the green card – hand over a red card that they feel best matches the description, keeping the noun hidden from the drawer until each player has contributed a red card. This prevents any biased choice. Once everyone has submitted a red card, the one who drew the green card chooses which red card they believe best fits, and the winning player collects both their red card and the green card. The remaining red cards are discarded, and the person next to the drawer (clockwise or counterclockwise – it is completely up to the players) takes their turn at pulling a green card, with each person gaining another red card so they once again have seven. The game continues until the red cards run out, with the winner being whoever has the most “pairs” from their card being chosen.

Who Should Play:
Anyone who bothers to check the box will see that the game recommends players be at least twelve years old, or older. In truth, this is actually a decent rule to abide by – not because the humor found in the game is guaranteed to be inappropriate (ie: sexual or excessively violent – although dirty minds of the players could imply the former), but rather because they probably would not understand what would be the best match, or have any idea who a majority of the people mentioned on some of the red cards are. Even when playing with elder siblings and parents, there was times where we had to call the game to a pause and look somebody up, or request the “older players” give some insight to who this seemingly made up figure could possibly be.

Frankly, Apples to Apples is a super fun game. If you have ever heard of the game “Cards Against Humanity” (or have even been lucky enough to have played a few enjoyable rounds), then you may consider this board game to be a more “family friendly” version. Regardless, that should not let anyone stop themselves from playing – no matter what your sense of humor, you are pretty much guaranteed to have a good time!

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