Article

Five Alternatives To Cards Against Humanity

10 Dec , 2014  

Cards Against Humanity provides a fantastic and fun time for everyone involved….the first time you play it. The fun can keep going, the jokes can keep flowing but in the times I’ve played it, it quickly descends into who can be the most disgusting and/or offensive which wins the points. The game loses it’s wit and there’s no charm to it whatsoever. It’s strengths lies in it’s ability to scale to however many people you need it to play but there are other choices out there for you. Safer, friendlier potentially funnier and definitely gamier for you to play. So if like me, your love for this game is waning, or if you fancy something of a change, check out five alternatives to playing Cards Against Humanity.

 

ONE | Apples to Apples

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Apples to Apples is on the opposite end of the spectrum content wise in comparison to Cards Against Humanity but  it’s otherwise pretty much the same game. In Apples to Apples a player acts as a judge for the turn and draws a green apple card. Then the other players play a red apple card face down. Once this is done, the judge shuffles the red apple cards and reveal them one at a time. The judge then picks the card that matches the green apple card. The player that played that red apple card reveals themselves and wins the green apple card as a victory point. The player first to reach a pre-determined number wins.

So it sounds exactly like Cards Against Humanity then. This game works perfectly for younger players and its definitely much more safe for work. It also plays four to ten people so scales well enough that it fits into our good alternative to Cards Against Humanity. Probably not for everyone though so we’ll move on.

 

TWO | Dixit

This one is a bit left field but there’s genius to my madness don’t you worry. In Dixit there are a lot of oversized cards each with a unique (and arguably quirky) art piece. On your turn you say something about the card, it can be a sound, a sentence, a word, a sonnet, pretty much anything you want to say about it. Then the other players each choose one card that relates to the piece of audio brilliance you’ve provided. All cards are played face down and then shuffled. Once the cards are revealed the other players try to guess which card you’ve put down. The scoring is interesting because if everyone guesses your card correctly OR if no one guess your card correctly then you get zero points. If there’s something in between then the correct guessers and yourself gain three points. Anyone else’s card who gets guessed gains one point. The game ends when the card deck is empty.

Dixit really challenges you to be creative. It doesn’t scale as well as Cards Against Humanity but you get to come up with some ridiculous things which are actually hilarious. The cards can get quite repetitive after ten or so games but thankfully there’s more editions to add cards to mix things up. The game only supports three to six players but you could add more at the expense of the length of play. Not a permanent alternative, but a very strong candidate.

 

THREE | The Resistance: Avalon

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I know this isn’t that similar to Cards Against Humanity, but this game has the scalability for a medium to large group. In The Resistance: Avalon you and your friends are Knights of the Round Table. Loyal to the one true King, King Arthur. Except, not everyone is your friend, some are loyal to the evil Morgana and are actively trying to cause pain, grief and suffering. On your turn you have to complete a quest, dependant on the number of players is how many Knights you need to help you complete the quest. The problem is, who can you trust? Even taking one agent of evil can deter your team and cost the quest. Once a team has been chosen the group votes on whether it should go. A pass allows the quest to go ahead, a fail means the turn passes to the next person for them to pick a new group. Careful though, as five consecutive fails instantly ends the game as a win for Morgana as Arthur’s men fall into a state of distrust and bickery. If the quest goes ahead though all participating Knights are handed a pass and fail card. Good Knights must play a pass card, Morgana’s minions have the option to either pass or fail. Cards are played secretly and usually if there’s ever even one fail the whole quest doesn’t succeed. There are five quests and plays to best out of five.

Now I’ve basically described standard Resistance above, however Avalon provides a bit more variety. When handed loyalty cards at the start of the game, informing you whether you’re good or bad you also have the chance to be given a character. The characters can be used as little or as much as you like giving some players a bit of extra information whilst making them more vulnerable. The game with the right group can be a hilarious case of false accusations, trust issues and laughter. In a bad group there will be over-analysis, long discussion and a sense of formality. So if lying is your thing, you’ve got four to nine friends and like quick games this is perfect for you. However for the strategy buffs this might not be the one. Thankfully we have two more choices.

 

FOUR | Snake Oil

Snake Oil, this is the one for you sir, yes, step right up, step right up. Let me tell you about the most electrifying, edifying game in the history of tabletop games. This elixir of creativity can banish negativity that ensures some conductivity. It’s suitable for three to ten players and challenges you to be the best salesperson at the table. Like Cards Against Humanity one player is the judge and picks out a character card. The characters range from dictators to rockstars to anything really. Then the other players have to combine two other cards to make an invention the character wants. Then each player gets a chance to sell the item and the best salesperson wins. The thing is though, you won’t have normal combinations. You’ll have abstract things like a glitter carpet or a beard map and have to somehow make it to relate to a random character.

The best thing about Snake Oil in comparison to Cards Against Humanity is that you’re the one making the jokes. You’re relying on the cards the same, but in Snake Oil you need to invoke your imagination and come out with these absurd reasons to justify your product. It’s a bit silly but still requires some skill, there’s more of a game here then just picking the most disgusting card you can. This game, like most party games amplifies in fun when you add some alcohol into the mix. This is a great replacement for Cards Against Humanity.

 

FIVE |  Say Anything

Finally in my list of alternatives we arrive at Say Anything. A fun party game that just unleashes your own in jokes, wit and intelligence in a game where you can go from the lofty heights of academic puns to the lowly gutter of disgusting filth. The game plays three to eight and sees you draw a question card on your turn. You pick one question to ask out of the ones available and they range from  a variety of opinions you can have. From ‘What’s the best invention ever made?’ to ‘If you could have a “BIG” anything, what would it be?’. Then the other players write down their answers on the provided whiteboards. They can say anything (see what happened there) and reveal their answers to you one at a time. Here’s where the game evolves a bit from the standard though as you secretly choose your favourite answer and the other players then bet on which they think you’ve picked. Every player has two betting tokens so they can split for a safer bet or double up for high points. The answer is then revealed and people score based on their bets.

This game is pure fun. I love it, because in Cards Against Humanity, you’re handed cards with the joke and the punchlines and just have to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks, but in Say Anything you write the punchline, and you can make it personal. In one game I played with a couple and made a joke about one nagging the other and we all had a laugh. The game’s questions are varied and there’s a LOT of them to go through. Some people might find it daunting to have the amount of freedom, but everyone can find something humourous to write down.

 

These are my five best alternatives to Cards Against Humanity, the very best in getting your mind working, having fun but also playing a bit more of a game. Of course this is just my opinion. Am I wrong? Is there a better game out there? Or is Cards Against Humanity just fine? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Wow.. Apples to Apples? As much as I don’t like CAH, A2A is actually somehow more boring. Because there’s no barrier to the cards they include. There’s an insane amount of boring cards in A2A in three rounds you could end up with a hand of Russian heads of state, and European PMs that on one else knows.

    I’m glad to see Snake Oil getting some love. The rest of your list is solid.

    • Andy Jones

      Thanks! I think Apples to Apples is the weakest game on the list, but it’d almost feel wrong not to include it considering the strong link it has to CAH.

      I could play Snake Oil for days 😀

    • Behrooz Shahriari

      I agree with the thoughts on A2A. I have a copy, left in another house, and wouldn’t be bothered if I never saw it again.

      Say
      Anything is the best – it can be as dirty as CAH if your group is that
      way inclined. The only barrier against that is that 1) folk need to take
      ownership to their dirty jokes and 2) there might be equally amusing
      clean jokes to make.

      • Say Anything is nice but i’m definitely a Snake Oil man. I think SA is just a touch too open for most of the groups I play with (which isn’t a bad thing. it’s just bad for my people). It requires too much creativity. heck I run into creativity block playing Dixit with some of them. I think Snake Oil gives you some nice parameters so you can be creative/dirty or whatever while still guiding you and that’s nice.

        • Behrooz Shahriari

          Interesting.

          I don’t personally feel that SA has fewer limits/guidelines for your creativity. I personally am not as much a fan of Snake Oil, since its rules don’t allow you to play to win. Snake Oil is really easy to break/be a jerk about. (Give the point to the current loser!) and whilst most folk wouldn’t go down that path, knowing it’s against the spirit of the game, the fact that this is such a temptation makes it into more of an activity for a specific audience, to my mind.

          I’d personally prefer to play an activity that didn’t involve points at all.

          Of course, that’s largely my own personal tastes and foibles. I’m glad that there’s something out there for both of us. 🙂

          Btw, my favourite games of SA have been played with relative strangers at the ‘Language Tea Cafe’ – a group for international students looking to make new friends. Relatively few games were played but when I brought out SA after folk had just gotten to know each other, it was always a hit.

          • oh now that is very interesting. Because I do want to get into some language sharing game and I’m always looking at my library to see what games I think can work with a crowed that’s multi-lingual. I’ll definitely consider Say Anyting in the future because why not round off Wits and Wagers and Evolution with yet another Northstar game.

        • Inventory Management

          If you’re into Role-Playing Games at all, I made a free card game that mixes Snake Oil with D&D. http://inventorymanagementgame.com

  • Ken Edger
  • I just created a Cards Against Humanity alternative for tweens and teens (and anyone else who doesn’t want to tarnish their soul) ; )

    It’s called SICK (Slightly Inappropriate Cards For Kids) and it’s just edgy enough that tweens and teens feel like they’re getting away with something…but still hilarious enough that they keep playing it again and again.

    We’re in the Kickstarter phase right now. Order your copy of SICK today at bit.ly/GetSICK .

    Thanks!

    -Shaun