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Subject: How to Make Friends and Laugh at People- What the F*ck? Review rss

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"Every Board Game I Reach Is Dead"
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INTRODUCTION
There's only so much you can expect from party games. They tend to be on the light side, they're often a non-gamer affair with no decisions or strategies to make and drinking whilst playing them seems to be almost ritualistic. In many ways What the F*ck? is no exception. Despite this it can also make for an interesting social experience though, especially if played with close friends that you think you know really well.

It says on the box that it's for 2-100+ players, although I imagine you'd need some kind of special club or cult to actually get that many players involved (you could call it "F*ckers"). This review is regarding the "vanilla" What the F*ck?, there is also a Raunchy Version (with more sexually inclined questions and answers) and a Totally F*cked Up version (which contains only the most bizarre of questions and answers- I wouldn't mind this version either). Apparently it used to be known as "Preposterous Proposals"- a name which seems to suggest a pulp novel or possibly a game about politicians to me. You can see why they changed the name to "What the F*ck?".

OVERVIEW
Players take turns to answer the weird and wonderful questions contained in the booklets provided. Everyone else tries to guess the answer that the questioned player has selected (out of A and B). The answers are revealed and those that guessed incorrectly take -yes you guessed it- a drinking penalty. The winner is the player who has had the least to drink after a set number of rounds (I'm guessing because he is the only one still concious and can subsequently steal everyone else's wallets and let himself out).

COMPONENTS
Less is often more where drinking games are concerned, and What the F*ck? certainly isn't going to worry about being on the light side. You get two question booklets, 24 orange plastic counters that say "A" on one side and "B" on the other (not 100+?) and three dice in different colours (I'm guessing so you can call out the numbers in a colour coordinated order, but after a few drinks you won't want to do this and you won't care). The instructions are included in the first couple of pages of each booklet so as to avoid cluttering up the box with that pesky paper. The booklets (and the box) have glossy covers so they can survive on tables with sticky drinks which is sensible. The counters are simple and functional, if not a little on the small side. If you drink whilst playing you tend to find people start dropping them down the front of their tops and under the table/sofas, etc. The dice are dice.. one white, one blue, one red. I'm not sure what more I can say here! Overall component quality ranges from Good to Very Good.

I also noticed that on the back of the box it says "Not recommended to be played with alcoholic beverages". Since this completely contradicts the rules inside I can only assume there is something dangerous enough about one of the above components that you shouldn't risk handling the game when drunk (kind of like heavy machinery). Maybe if the counters get dipped in beer they chemically react and make sulphuric acid or something. Just don't say they didn't warn you!

GAMEPLAY
The gameplay is essentially as stated in my overview- the turn involves rolling the three dice and calling out the scores in whatever combination you want. Another player finds the corresponding number combination in one of the booklets and reads it out. You secretly answer A or B on your counter and everyone else guesses whether you would decide on A or B with theirs too. The answers are revealed and those that didn't correctly predict your answer take the 1/2/3 drink/shot penalty that is stated.

The 400 odd questions are obviously key to this game- if the questions are rubbish then so will be the game. The range and tone of the questions is strange and ecclectic in the extreme. There's topical debate, the worst of two evils, completely abstract and random, and tricky "which other players would you rather" questions. We usually substitute other people's names who aren't in the room when these come up so as to avoid akwardness. There's also incredibly deep and meaningful ones at times that can stun the drunken group into a few silent moments of contemplation to mutterings of things like "That's heavy" and "That's a really difficult one to answer". There's sadly the occasional lame one as well that has answers which seem too obvious and easy to answer. I would say that overall they are a mixed bag of generally good stuff. A level of de-Americanisation is required to play though, -even for us English- as many of the questions have Yank names and phrases which we sometimes go "wtf?" to. You also have to have someone handy who can convert all the Dollar related questions into the appropriate amount of your own currency!

The thing that raises this above "just another drinking game" for me is that with a group of friends this becomes a facinating look into the minds of the people you spend a lot of time with and think you know. The weird nature of the questions means you will gleam terrifyingly honest bits of information from each other about the strangest aspects of their minds. The results are often rib-cracking funny too and if you put the effort in to talk about the questions and answers a little you can make a great time of it ("you'd shave off the whole top layer of your own skin and roll around in a sand pit for £250,000?! What about the scaring and stuff?"). From our last session I discovered that if me and my wife were both in critical condition on life support and our friend Julie was paying for us but she only had the cash to keep one of us alive she'd pull the plug on me over Jess! Intrestingly enough I also now know that if Julie had to choose she'd also get a tattoo of a third eye on her forehead rather then "666" across her knuckles. Strange but true. We also thought that our friend Steve's descision to prefer being known as "smart and friendly" over "unapproachable and tough" if in prison may be a mistake... This is one of those games where if you don't get into the spirit you won't enjoy it. And yes, I would rather french kiss a cow crap then a hot hair curler so there! surprise

CONCLUSION
What the F*ck? has been with me for a long time now. It's small size and dead simple gameplay means you can take it with you to just about any social event and play with anyone who's willing. Although I still think this is served best with better known friends (not family). This is also not a kids game either, as it falls strictly into the 16+ category. I guess the only drawback is that after several rounds you have done many of the questions- but this isn't so bad depending upon how much you drink at the same time. It's funny that out of all the games we've played, I still can't remember them all or the answers that have been given. It's not a serious board game, and it knows it. When I bought it the price was £8.00 (around $12), but it's now probably out of print so who knows how easy it is to get hold of and what kind of price it goes for. It's light and often hilarious beer and crisps entertainment for open minded friends that aren't afraid to have a laugh about themselves and each other. I maintain my score of 6 out of 10- when in the mood you can have a good couple of hours with this, but otherwise it only comes out once or twice a year when the occassion is right. goo
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Georg von Lemberg
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Narlgoth wrote:
A level of de-Americanisation is required to play though, -even for us English- as many of the questions have Yank names and phrases which we sometimes go "wtf?" to. You also have to have someone handy who can convert all the Dollar related questions into the appropriate amount of your own currency!



I'm trying to imagine the situation as it might sound like maybe at a game group gathering somewhere in Tripoli:

Mutassim (selects next card from the pile): Would you strip all of your skin off for $250,000 and roll around in sand?
Muammar: I'll bet you'd like to skin me alive and leave me out in the desert, you ingrate, and you dare tempt me with the currency of the imperial american dogs?
Mutassim: Pop its only a game...
Saadi: Whoa, whoa, let's get some perspective here, that's only 309,125.01 Libyan dinars.
Muammar: I'll have your skin flayed for such insolence, my skin is worth easily 10 times the amount.
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ian o
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I'm glad you enjoy it when you're in the right mood, but personally I hate these "choice A or choice B" games. Just terrible, and there's so many of them. And two choice is not a lot of options, and leaves you in situations where you are embarrassed to answer either way, or are really not interested in either choice. Woo, fun.
There may be only so much you can expect from party games, but you should be able to expect more than that.
 
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"Every Board Game I Reach Is Dead"
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I maintain my "each to their own" phrase Ian- like I said you need the right type of group to play this, if you haven't then it won't work. Thanks for reading! goo
 
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