This is a review for people who aren't intense about gaming and play casually. This is written by a gaming layman, for gaming laymen. For those wondering, in my mind, Gaming layman = casual gamer who doesn't know or care what terms like "game weight and game components" mean.
This game doesn't have much to it. Basically, you have green apple cards, red apples cards and a tray to hold them. The cards are made of a thin cardboard and not very interesting. They have a tendency to get bent during play and since they are cardboard, the bend kinda stays. The tray is a thin plastic that makes a horrible scraping news when you scoot it around the table.
All in all, the bits aren't very impressive. However, they don't really need to be so flashy or fancy. I think it might take away from the simplicity of the game.
It's really hard to find a simpler game than Apples to Apples. It takes about 2 minutes to explain the game to a brand new player and you can just hop right in to play. That's a huge plus in my book.
Basically, everyone has 7 red cards in their hand. Each red card has a noun on it. Everyone takes turn being a judge. The judge draws a random green card that has an adjective on it. Everyone who isn't the judge races to play an appropriate red card. If they are 5 people playing red cards, then only the first 4 red cards count. So you have to be fast.
The judge then takes the red cards and decide which card matches the green card the best. It can be something that makes perfect sense. It can be something that the judge thinks is really funny. It can even be the opposite of what you would think. It's entirely up to the judge. The person who's card wins gets to keep the green card. And first person to get enough green cards win (the amount changes with the amount of players).
And that's it. Honestly, the best way to learn the game is to play an example round and see how it's done if the rules seem confusing (I'm also kinda bad at explaining rules).
This is a party game. That's pretty much all there is too it. Play is fast and usually hysterical as people race to play their cards in time. It's a pretty quick game so it doesn't take long to play. It's also no hardship to add another player in the middle of the game.
This game is very American-centric however. We usually play this game with a group of international people (i.e. British, South African, Australian, ect. ect.) and I find that they can get frustrated or annoyed at how many cards are about American things. This game is made in America, so it's not really at fault.
Plus, we bought the bilingual Japanese version as well as the normal version and that seems to go over much better (since it's Japan-centric and we are currently in Japan). Maybe if more versions were to come out for specific countries, it would do even better.
There isn't really strategy to this game. The best thing to do it play to whoever is the judge. The judging is completely subjective and if you can figure out the judges style, then it's easier to guess what they might pick. Also, another valid (yet slightly annoying) strategy is if you have a crap hand, just throw out a card quickly. You never know. It just might win!
Set Up and Break Down:
This is a simple game to set up and break down. To start, just deal 7 red apple cards to each player. Then, someone is chosen to be the first judge and that's it. Because of the tray, the cards stay separated and are easy to store.
When you are finished, simply place all the red apple cards back into the red apple spots and the green cards in the green spot. Then, if you take the tray out (like we do, just stick the tray back in the box). That's really all it takes. I think it's the easiest game he own to put away. You don't even need to shuffle if you just play one or two games.
This is a great party game. Most people have a blast when you crack it out. It's definitely best playing with as many people as you can. It's a good icebreaker during parties and can help people feel more comfortable around each other.
This is a game my husband and I like to whip out at the beginning of a game night because. It can wear a little thin, so it's really only good for one or two plays a night before it gets boring. However, I still recommend it for anyone who is looking for a really easy party game that doesn't take much time.
I'm sure I've seen a UK-specific edition somewhere.
Firstly, congrats on a nice overview of the game for those who have not have the pleasure of playing the game. A local friend introduced my wife and I to it, and we expose everyone we know to it. The game variations can be amusing when you want to mix things up.
In response to the first reply: Amazon sells a British Isles edition, a German version, a Jewish version, Junior, Yiddish, and Bible editions as well as expansions and accessories. My wife actually ordered the German version of it for us today. I can't WAIT to play it.
I am VERY interested in the Japanese edition you spoke of Susie. My wife and I are working on our Japanese skills again, and this would be the perfect addition to our piles of books, e-docs, software, and so forth. Do the cards list the Kanji of the card's content, or the Hiragana/Katakana? If it's anything like the videogame manuals and anime we have I guess it could be a mixture of all three but am curious how the cards look. I am really enthused about tracking a copy of this game down since it is not American-centric. I prefer to learn about the culture and language of the people studied, not try and fit it to American views and standards.
Any other recommendations from members here of German or Japanese board games to track down would be awesome. My wife speaks a small amount of Spanish, a bit more German, and wants to learn more Japanese since her step-grandmother is Japanese. I have forgotten much of my Spanish learned from class/California living, but speak some German and French. I would love to speak more German/French, and learn to speak some Spanish, Japanese and Cantonese so any data in those realms is fine. Our eventual children will have the options I never had with regard to language skills.
Thanks ahead of time to anyone who replies or emails me with info.