Alfie Dix, 18, reviews board games that he plays with the family and subsequently with groups of friends. Here’s his review of Cards Against Humanity Family Edition.
The rules of gaming usually follow a certain pattern, you must have a balanced game with good themes and components and of course the main goal is that it must be enjoyable. However, party games don’t adhere to many of these rules as they attempt to cater to a much larger audience, many of whom may not play more strategic games. So party games can just focus on being fun and simple… an activity that’s quick to explain and always enjoyable (even when drinking). Cards Against Humanity Family Edition should be no different… (minus the drinking). This is a family friendly version of Cards Against Humanity, the Blankety Blank style adult party game. The only problem is… it’s just not funny.
Don’t get me wrong I love the original Cards Against Humanity. It is an iconic party game with risqué, dark and offensive humour that makes it the bad boys’ comedy game. Today, with multiple expansions and regional decks, it is almost as well-known as Monopoly or Cluedo. But for those of you who haven’t yet played, let me explain. One player is the ‘Card Tsar’. They pick a black card to read aloud. The black card will have a sentence or mini-story with one word blanked out. Then all other players choose a white card from their hand and give it to the Tsar, face down. These white cards contain the possible missing word or phrase. The cards are shuffled and read aloud. The player who contributed the card that the Tsar declares makes the funniest complete story is the victor. That player keeps the black card. The game has no set end-point but your group will choose 5 to 20 black cards to win depending on how long you want to play.
The issue here is that the whole appeal of CAH is that it is subversive and outrageous and without this, the level of humour severely decreases. In the family friendly deck you will find a lot of comedy based around poo, piss, farts and other cheap giggles. The first problem here is that games, especially party ones, are not fulfilling their role if only half of the participants are enjoying themselves. I is highly unlikely that the parents will be entertained for longer than a few minutes. The adults in my family certainly weren’t. Better use of double entendres would have made a huge difference. In its current state you would simply be playing for the sake of someone else instead of your own enjoyment, a fatal flaw surely – and totally unnecessary.
The next issue is its age rating, 8+ is simply too old. I think that children that will realistically find this funny would be aged 6-10.
However, the packaging and card quality is top notch and the box is full to the brim of cards, so there’s a good amount of replayability. Although don’t expect any fancy art – it’s a much more minimalistic style, which has its own charms.
To conclude, I cannot say that I recommend this game for the British family market. Its overly childish humour makes simply fails to make people laugh, which is the only goal. This also isn’t aided by the fact that the language is overly American with words such as ‘barfing’, ‘soccer’ and ‘republicans’ making appearances, many of which would need explaining to a British child – which is a mood-killer. It’s such a shame. There’s a lot of potential, but they’ve really missed a trick here. The game needs cleverer cards that will appeal to all ages. Without drastic changes I simply don’t see the appeal.