Apples to Apples Review
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Players: 3-10 players
Playing time: 30 minutes (average)

Being a philosophical type of guy, my friend Ted is always looking for a game that will really make you think past trying to remember what year the Treaty of Versailles was signed, á la Trivial Pursuit. He found such a game and has subsequently gotten me hooked on it.

In Apples to Apples, there are two types of cards: red ones and green ones. Green cards contain adjectives or adverbs on them (“dangerous,” for instance), while red cards have nouns (names of famous people, places, things, or events). Each player gets dealt seven red cards, and one person, acting as the “judge,” draws one green card (the judge rotates clockwise, so it’s not the same person each time a red card is drawn). The other players must look at their cards and decide which one describes whatever is on the green card, and throw it down. The judge then decides which red card fits best, and the person who threw that card is awarded the green card. The first person with four green cards wins.

What makes this game so much fun are the examples written on the cards—they can be almost anything, forcing you to be really creative in how you find a match and forcing the judge to decide amid vastly different options. For instance, the judge draws a green card reading “chunky,” and you hold cards reading: “The Manhattan Project,” “Rosie O’Donnell,” “Baseball,” “Ants,” “Tobacco Companies,” “Chicago,” and “My Personality.” Decide which fits best (in this instance I’d choose Rosie O’Donnell, of course), and throw it into the pile. Among my friends, “Rosie O’Donnell” would beat all choices, even if one were “Chunky Peanut Butter.”

This is an extremely fun and creative game that can last any amount of time, depending on how many people are playing. You’re guaranteed to laugh while playing, and it’s interesting to see how people make their choices. Apples to Apples can be found, among other places, in Barnes and Noble bookstores, and I recommend it to anyone who’s looking to think outside the box.

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