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Subject: Joking Hazard Review after five games in a row rss

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Reed Dawley
United States
Delmar
New York
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I wish I could play more games.
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My nephew loves Cards Against Humanity and in his defense I will say he is a freshman in high school. So I keep current with the boxed expansions and every now and again he slams it on the table, the adults have some bourbon and we play for a half hour. That is the enforced time limit. Much like Monopoly being highly maligned due to house rules making it excruciatingly longer than it needs to be I find Cards Against Humanity to be insufferable for more than a half hour. We play to five points and start over if there is time. My nephew liked to play for hours and once you are recycling through cards you have seen before the bloom not only comes off the rose it tramples it in to the ground and sets it on fire. In small doses I find it to be a fun activity every now and again but I will never bring it out to play.

Now on to Joking Hazard whose similarities to Cards Against Humanity are many with a few subtle but kind of interesting differences that have a chance of making it a better activity. One more thing is that this is based on the comic strips of Cyanide and Happiness which is a very funny and oftentimes disturbing web comic. If you are easily offended, avoid, but I find them highly amusing. Here is how you "play" the "game": The Judge draws a random card off the top of the deck and plays it face up on the table, this becomes a single panel of a three panel comic. The Judge then plays a card from their hand either to the right or left of the card on the table, these become the first two panels of a comic strip. Now it is the other players turn to provide a card for the "punchline" third panel played face down which are shuffled together and the judge then picks their favorite and that player gets a point. Get three points and you win the game.

Anyone lost yet? No, it is very simple and the rules is a single glossy sheet folded in thirds. On the first panel is the rules, the second is rule and game play variants and the third is drinking game variants. The back is just a picture of a Cyanide and Happiness guy. It is quick to learn and play for people who are not gamers. The final rule per the Kickstarter page is if a red card comes out it is a bonus round and everyone can discard as many cards from their hands as they want and draw that many cards, then the red card becomes the final card and every player plays two cards as the first two panels and the judge picks from them and if you win you get two points. I may have read it wrong in the Rules but we were playing it if someone played a red card as their third panel and won then there was a bonus round judged by the same Judge. I may have goofed it up but really it didn't matter in the end other than someone could win in one round. In a game you don't want to play for hours that is not necessarily a bad thing.

The concept is simple but the execution is, well, OK it is simple as well. I find that Cards Against Humanity tends to devolve into either "What will the judge find funny even if it has nothing to do with the card" or "I have trash in my hand lets get rid of this card as it is the least worst in this situation". In Joking Hazard most of the cards have two dudes on them, one in a blue shirt and one in a green shirt and for the most part one of them will be speaking or doing something on each card. This can matter, if panel two has blue shirt guy's head exploding then if you have a card with just a green shirt guy on it it may make more sense to the flow of the comic. In other words playing the one that is the funniest may not make sense for that comic and does not promise victory. I will say may not because the judge may not care or everyone may have cards in their hands with both dudes on them. I found that a little interesting. I found the red cards a little interesting. I found people's interpretations of the cards and what was happening to be a little interesting.

So far I like this better than Cards Against Humanity, there are a few little things that make it more interesting to me but if you hate juvenile humour do not get this game, play this game or be in the general vicinity of this game. If you found Cards Against Humanity to be an OK way to pass the time while drinking, check out Cyanide and Happiness and if you find it funny, give it a go. If you found Cards Against Humanity to be too highbrow of comedy for your tastes please seek professional help. If you have no opinion on Cards Against Humanity but are a fan of Cyanide and Happiness then give it a try. I do love the web comic but few of our creations were as funny as theirs. You can only do so much with randomness of the draw. There were a number of laugh out loud moments and we all had a good time but this is still more of an activity than an actual game. As long as you know that going in you'll be fine.
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Randy Miller
United States
Westminster
California
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The funniest moments of these kinds of games seem to be laughing at the serendipity of having something that actually makes perfect sense. Generally (from the few games I observed last week) this happens to 1 or two players every couple of games.
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