Apples to Apples is a great game for a party night for ages 12 and up–and with the weather that we’ve been having lately, every night is a party night. The game requires a minimum of 4 people, but you can play with up to 10, and is actually more fun with at least 5 or 6 players. The game involves strategy, humor and quick thinking. It has won several awards, including Mensa Select by Mensa International and Party Game of the Year by Games magazine. At least one of those organizations is run by very smart people.
The game itself is also educational, since it teaches how different things can be compared to something else. The players are first dealt red cards, and then the judge (who varies each round) pulls a green card that has an adjective on it. That card is displayed for everyone to see. Each player then takes one of their red cards that they feel best describes the adjective and places it on the table. The winner is the person with the red card that the judge likes the best. That’s how simple it is. We never said it was impartial.
The main entertainment value is in seeing what the players choose in various situations. For instance, the adjective “awkward” may result in red cards that say “Dandruff,” “My First Kiss,” or “Oil Spills.” Don’t worry about any actual awkward family moments, though. There aren’t any particularly scary surprises in the game.
The party box edition contains the cards that were in the original game, plus the cards that were available in two expansion packs. Totally there are 756 red cards and 252 green cards. The only real problem to Apples to Apples is that this is the rare card game where the manufactures may have put the age range too high. We’ve had really good luck with smaller children enjoying card games marketed to older kids. We’re more comfortable thinking of Apples to Apples as a card game for teenagers–but we’re glad to see there’s a Junior Version for ages 9 and up. You might want to keep that in mind.