Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Party Game Review - Apples to Apples
There's an old saying that says, '50 million Americans can't be wrong.' Predictably, it's an advertising slogan. People will say anything when they're trying to sell you something.
The cover of Apples to Apples boasts quite happily that it has sold three million copies. That's not 50 million, but it sure ain't peanuts. That's an awful lot of games sold. For the sake of comparison, if every person who had a copy of Apples to Apples were to read this review on the same day, my email would be flooded with hate mail.
Because I'm going to swim upstream here. I'm going against the grain. I'm bucking the system. I'm a maverick. If I need to, I'll even invent new stupid cliches, because I really don't see why anyone likes Apples to Apples.
It's a very simple party game. One player is the judge, and he gives every other player seven red apple cards. These have random stuff on them, like Robert DeNiro, Popcorn or Penguins. Then the judge draws a green apple card and reads it aloud. The green apple cards have descriptive terms like Peaceful and Lucky and Global. Each player picks a red apple card that matches the green apple card, and the judge looks at all of them and chooses the one that fits the best.
There are no rules as to how the judge decides which red apple fits the green apple the best. If the green apple card says, 'Harmful' and you pick 'Penguins', the judge might choose that over nuclear bombs and the electric chair, just because it makes her laugh (yes, I said her. Because where I usually use the more correct male pronoun, in this case, there's every likelihood a woman wanted to play this game. Real men want to play stuff where people die).
The green apple card goes to the player who picked out the match the judge liked. If you get a certain number of green apple cards (the exact number depends on the size of your crowd), you win.
You might be reading this and thinking, 'that actually sounds pretty fun,' or 'wow, what a clever idea.' If you are thinking that while you read this, bang your head on something really hard, then check with your doctor to see if you have a brain tumor. Because that's not a game, it's a word-association exercise with an incredibly limited vocabulary. In fact, that's really my problem with Apples to Apples - there's just no game here. There might be an inane conversation, there might be some giggles, but there's no game.
Apples to Apples is just stupid. My family picked up this stupid game because so many people rave about how much fun it is. And having played it twice (and being unwilling to finish it the second time), we have determined that not only can 50 million Americans be wrong, the three million who thought this game was a good idea are quite possibly simpletons.
I fully expect to get a huge pile of negative feedback for this review. I didn't write it just to be provocative, though. I mean, I don't mind having people send me hate mail, but I really wrote this review because someone ought to stand up and say, 'Enough is enough! This is not a good game!' It's like a public service announcement, and sometimes you have to just bite the bullet and say something the public won't like. Cigarettes give you cancer, kids, and Apples to Apples is a waste of money and time.
Some people like it
OK, lots of people like it
I don't know why anyone likes it
No link today. I'm going to be taking enough heat as it is, without linking to a site about laxative suppositories.
Oh, who am I kidding. This is my favorite part.
Posted by Matt Drake at 5:34 PM