Friday, 19 September 2014

37. 'Cards Against Humanity (UK) un-boxing and review. The Cardboard Cartographer issue 12.

Welcome to issue 12 of The Cardboard Cartographer here on The science of selling yourself short.

A whole month since the last issue! Well, if you would like to see what I've been up to in that time head over to The Underhive Hero

In this issue we are not only un-boxing Cards Against Humanity (CAH) (UK edition), but because there isn't a great deal to look at, we'll also be reviewing it too. I know right!


Cards Against Humanity is a multiplayer party game available in published hardcopy via purchase and as a free download that players can print off to create their own cards via print shops. Its development originated from a successful Kickstarter campaign and has since received nationwide acclaim for its simple concept backed up by its satirical, mature content

Cards Against humanity is a game that was hugely successful on Kickstarter.
I'd go as far to say that it was on of the first board game type projects to gain such notoriety and continued popularity after the campaign had ended.
Since then it has become a force in its own right, with even those who are not traditional gamers getting involved and loving it.

I must admit that I did not discover Cards Against humanity until long after the end of the Kickstarter campaign, so my knowledge of this game comes post Kickstarter.

If you want more information I suggest heading over to the CAH website. You can download a print and play edition of the core game for free! -

Lets get started shall we?

In this issue we're just looking at the core game, and here it is;

As you can see, the box (black with white text) and rule book (white with black text) are very clean, very simple. This is a design feature throughout the game.

The only other items in the box? Cards. Lots of cards.

Again, these are split into two colour schemes.
The black cards have a statement/question/situation printed on them, while the white cards have an 'answer' printed on them.

That is literally it. 

First Impressions.

Design wise it is minimalist to the extreme; simple, plain, clean but clear and contrasting. It isn't visually exciting or pleasing, but then it isn't terribly dull or offensive either.
The card stock is pretty flimsy, and as a party game which will see a fair amount of handleing this is a bit of an issue, and there are far too many cards to use sleeves on.

I like a bit of colour and artistic licence in my games, but in the case of CAH I think simple is better.


CAH is a tad fast and loose when it comes to rules.
The basic rules are as follows.

Each player is dealt ten face down white cards.

A 'card-tsar' is selected (insert arbitrary 'first player mechanic here').
The card-tasr then deals a face up black card for everyone to see.
All other players then pick one of their white cards to 'answer' the black card.
The card-tsar then shuffles them and deals them face up, reading the black card and then the white card each time.
The card-tsar then decides which white card is the funniest.
The player who played that card takes the black card.
All players draw back up to ten (some cards require multiple cards for the answer).
The role of card-tsar then passes clock wise.
The game ends when there are no more black cards left/ you get board/ a pre-set number is reached.

That is it.

There are a bunch of rules that can be thrown in for added complexity/ variety, but how many you use, or don't is entirely up to the players.

Personal Opinion.

While on the face of it CAH's game mechanics sounds unbelivably simple and repetative (they totally are by the way), the game itself is outrageously enjoyable, so long as you are not easily offended.

What makes this game so outstanding is humour.
CAH uses a shock and awe tactic when it comes to the answer given. Some answers are tame, some morbidly realistic, while others are gonzo and/or offensive as possible (I for one was not slightly bothered. I have a high redolence when it comes to this type of humour).

This is not a game to be taken seriously. In any way.

However its simplicity does allow for a the 'player behaviour' mechanic to flourish.
This is a mechanic not always written into the game; it forms naturally as a result of empty space.'
In CAH this takes the form of strategic answers, or in others words, knowing how to make certain people laugh.

For example; Some people find gonzo humour funny. If the card-tsar is one of these people, you aim to play an answer that fits in line with their sense of humour.
While on the other hand, if the card-tsar is not into that type of comedy, you simply play something else.
So while the game isn't serious, nor is it based on tactics or skill, there is still a little room for intelligent play...
...but only a little.

Overall, I enjoyed the game. I am blessed with a group of friends who are not easily offended and have a similar sense of humour as I do.
The game has obvious drawbacks;
If allowed to go on for too long it gets very, very repetitive. There are 5 expansion out (accurate at time of publication).
Also if played with the wrong people it just will not be any fun,so be careful (100% NSFW).

Digital Spotlight.

Nope. There are no official digital editions of CAH (other than the print and play pdf).

However, their website states;
Cards Against Humanity is available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. That means you can use, remix, and share the game for free, but you can’t sell it without our permission. Please do not steal our name or we will smash you.'
A such there are so very many in browser and app versions of this game (even more than coin age).
I haven't played any of them as they all vary in quality/ malaware.
Some have online matchmaking which is potentially hilarious...

I feel that CAH isn't about that though. It is a more intimate, party setting game. Take that away and it loses its soul and character.
That might just be me.

That is all for this, very text heavy, issue of The Cardboard Cartographer!

What do you think of Cards Against Humanity?
Have you played any web or app based versions?
What is the best card combinations you've had?

Feel free to comment on this post or hit me up on Twitter @DarKHaZZl3

Until next time, thanks for reading.