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January 17, 2016 / Jett

My Problem With Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity stormed into my life in a big way years ago. I was the first in my social group to have a copy, so for a good few weeks, it was a game that was played all the time. Then one day not long after that, it just stopped.

I bought a number of expansions and supported many of their holiday campaigns, but the magic that first came with the game disappeared and never came back. What happened?

I think that the game’s biggest strength is its biggest weakness. The game works because it allows people to communicate horrible jokes without having to come up with them on the fly. Those jokes, while funny the first or second time around, grow old fast. No matter what question card you pair it with, you can only squeeze out so much laughter from “A windmill full of corpses”.

Then there’s the matter of how those joke cards work mechanically. With too many players, the context of the question gets completely lost and judging often devolves into which card featured the most shock value. Heck, that problem exists with virtually any player count. Who cares if ” Two midgets ******** in a bucket” makes no sense within the context of the question? Just play it and you might win solely on that card’s merits.

Beyond the jokes, there isn’t much here to keep players engaged. The Apples to Apples engine, while fine for what it is, isn’t enough to make this game fun for the long haul. Instead, you need to keep buying expansions to keep the game feeling fresh, though it never reaches the heights of its glory days.

Kudos to the creators of Cards Against Humanity for the game’s continued success after all these years. Every time I go into a board game cafe, at least one, if not many, groups are playing it. I also have a few friends who are still into it.

In spite of all that, I jumped off the bandwagon years ago and haven’t looked back. The novelty of the jokes wears off way too quickly and the game mechanics aren’t enough to keep me interested. I’ll still play it if a friend really insists, but otherwise, I’ll defer to almost anything else on my shelf.

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