This variant is partially inspired by StormKnight's two player Dixit variant. Giving credit to where it is due.
This is a variant of Apples to Apples that will only work for two players. Both players are working together in order to guess which cards the other player would play.
How To Play
* Each player is dealt 6 red apple cards.
* One player is considered the judge for a round. The judge flips over a green apple card and reads it aloud.
* The other player picks one card from his hand that he thinks the judge will guess.
* Four red apple cards are taken from the unused deck and are shuffled in with the played red card. (Three for easy mode, five for hard mode.) Each card is flipped over and read aloud.
* The judge chooses which card he thinks the player has played.
* If the judge was correct, the green card is retained and placed in a "success" pile for the players. If the judge was incorrect, the green card is placed in a separate "failure" pile.
* The player that played the card that round may now discard one card, if he chooses. He then draws cards to fill his hand back to 6 red cards.
* The role of judge goes to the opposite player and the game resumes.
* If the "success" stack of green cards reaches 7 points, the players win. If the "failure" stack of green cards reaches 7 points, the players lose.
Easy - Take three cards from the deck to shuffle with the player's red card.
Normal - Take four cards from the deck to shuffle with the red card.
Hard - Take five cards from the deck to shuffle with the red card.
A note on table chatter:
Table chatter could easily derail the experience and make the game far too easy. It is encouraged that after playing a red card, the player remains silent (or at least refrains from talking about the choices) until the judge makes a guess. The judge is encouraged to discuss his thought process as much as he would like, describing why certain choices are good and certain choices are bad.
I have played using this variant a few times, and I find the game to be much more interesting than as written. It actually makes for a very challenging, cerebral game, instead of a light party game. It actually makes being the judge quite intense, as he has to pick "the right answer" instead of whichever answer he likes the most. If anyone else tries this, let me know if it works for you.
Re: Two Player Cooperative Version (Easy to make 3 player)
I like it. My 9 year old son enjoys co-op games much more than competitive ones. I'll try this tonight and see if we can make a 3-player version out of this. Here is what I'm thinking for 3 players.
How To Play
* Deal 6 red apple cards to each player.
* The “judge” reads the green apple card
* The player to the right picks one card from his hand that he thinks the judge will guess.
* Shuffle 4 red cards from the unused deck.
* The other 2 players choose which card he thinks the player has played.
* If correct, put in a “success" pile. If incorrect, put in a “fail” pile.
* The player who played the red card may discard 1 additional card, then draw up to 6.
* The role of judge goes to the next player and the game resumes.
* The game is over when one stack reaches 7 cards. If the success pile reaches 7, then all players win. (No table talk for the red player, but table talk is encouraged for the other 2 players.)
Easy - Take 3 cards from the deck to shuffle with the red card.
Normal - Take 4 cards from the deck to shuffle with the red card.
Hard - Take 5 cards from the deck to shuffle with the red card.