Rana Puer
United States
Michigan
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I find others' debate over the 'greatest game of all time' to be a bit futile; different games have different purposes, and no game can fulfill all of them. What's more important to me is how well a game fulfills its specific purpose. And in that regard, Apples to Apples is awesome. For a light, flexible card game that can be equally enjoyed by gamers and non-gamers, Apples to Apples is basically perfect. Here's why:

-It is an extremely accessible game in a hobby full of great but complicated offerings. Not only can anyone play this game, anyone can enjoy this game. The rules are a complete non-issue; people can instantly understand them and start having fun. The fact that they can do this without thinking means they have brainpower left over to actually have fun.
-More than any other game, this changes based on the people you play with. We keep telling non-gamers that one of the best parts of board gaming is that it lets each player brings his or her personal style to the table and contribute to an experience unique to that group. This game demonstrates that better than any other.
-It is one of the most moddable games of all time. This is really what makes the game shine; if you plays with the cards out of the box without changing any of them, the game probably gets a 7 or 8. All those lame cards like 'Cabbage' and 'Doing the Dishes' that others complain about become way cooler when you sharpie over them with funny and/or personally relevant stuff. After you do this, you can be guaranteed of experiencing several great memories and/or moments of comedy every round. If permanently altering your cards makes you squeemish, just use sticky notes and tape [trust me, shuffling is not a problem if done correctly].
-There are some great variants, both included in the box and online.
-It scales perfectly from 5 to 30+ players and from 5 minutes to however long you need it to be. [I don't know anyone who actually listens to the side of the box; they do the smart thing and just keep going until people are ready to stop].
-One time, this game got myself and thirty other people kicked out of Taco Bell. At that point, nobody wanted to stop playing, so we all drove to a house [each of us kept our hands with us] and kept on playing.
-This game is largely responsible for getting me into board gaming. Anyone who plays a good game of this will develop a more favorable impression of board gaming.
-This game is hilarious.

The one major complaint you'll hear about this game is that your fate is controlled by the cards, not by play skill. That's absolutely valid, and if you don't like games where good players can easily get unlucky and lose, then this game is not for you. But if you accept it for what it is and enjoy the cognitive challenge of making good decisions without guaranteed success, then you will love it. This should be the first game in and last game out of any gamer's collection.
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Adam Kazimierczak
United States
Falmouth
Maine
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Point taken, I agree that 10 years ago I felt as you do. I was a roleplayer with a nongamer wife; this game came along and everyone had a lot of fun playing it. We even gave it as a Christmas gift to her brother. modest

Fast forward 3 years: Only ever play as an icebreaker when we have new friends over for dinner. Really not fresh anymore at all; like mealy, powdery overripe red apples from the supermarket. gulp

Fast forward another 7 years: Played during a family reunion because my wife's brother remembered how fun it was. Unmitigated disaster. yuk One family member (who shall remain anonymous) ruined it for everyone by declaring that "none of you are playing right! You're picking all the wrong answers!"

When played to win, this game is downright awful because of the extreme subjectivity of answers. I also noticed that in mixed company everyone goes conservative with their answers and doesn't choose zany/wacky ones as much for comedic effect. It was boring, and I almost welcomed the outburst and game ending.

Would I ever play Apples to Apples again? No.

What would I recommend instead?

Well, if you have an openminded (read: sick and twisted) group, then the far better game is Cards Against Humanity.

If you just want a good party game then The Resistance is my go-to game.

I prefer my apples from a tree.
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James Pinnion
United Kingdom
Peterborough
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Play with the right group. Played with anyone too keen to "win" then this breaks right out of the box (bring out ricochet robot instead). Played with a less competitive group then I agree this is a shiny gem of a game that will keep any number of players occuppied as long as they want.

Best served chilled with moderate levels of alcohol and snacks.

[Edit to remove double negative - d'oh!]
 
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United States
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This is just me, but some people treat the purpose of A2A is to get to know other people. If that's the real purpose, then I'd rather do that the old fashioned way.... by TALKING to them, not masquerading the whole situation with such an activity.

That said, I generally don't play party/social games. I do like Wits & Wagers and Scattergories, but that's about it.
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Mathue Faulkner
United States
Austin
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My non-gaming family is apparently too competitive for this game. Once a player only needs one more card to win, nobody will choose their answer... Draws out a game that is meh to begin with.

Party games that I'd much rather play: Telestrations, Ugg-Tect, Reverse Charades, Time's Up!, a variety of dexterity games, or even Pit. The Resistance is great for the right crowd as well...
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The Freshmaker
United States
Overland Park
Kansas
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It's out of print, but if you can get your hands on a copy you should check out Attribute. It takes A2A to the next level.
 
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Steve Burt
United Kingdom
Cambridge
UK
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You don't know who gave which answer, so I don't see how you can not choose somebody's answer deliberately.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
United States
Austin
TX
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steveburt wrote:
You don't know who gave which answer, so I don't see how you can not choose somebody's answer deliberately.

Well, the only fun in the game for us is arguing our cards. If you eliminate that aspect, and players silently pick cards, then it's 10x worse IMO.
 
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