Easy to play
Highly replayable—especially with expansion packs
Not fit for all audiences
Experienced gamers may get bored
Chances are, if you’ve been to a game night in the last eight or so years, you’ve encountered the ever-popular card game, Cards Against Humanity. When it came out in May 2011, the modern classic took the adult game scene by storm with its shock and awe meets Apples to Apples style. We rounded up our friend group to see how the design, overall experience, and entertainment value has since held up. Read on to see if Cards Against Humanity still deserves a spot on your game night roster.
Design: Simple and shocking
The gameplay of Cards Against Humanity is simple. There are two types of cards: white and black. There are 500 white cards which are used to answer the questions or fill-in-the-blanks found on the 100 black cards. To start the game, everyone draws ten white cards. Each player then takes turns being the Card Czar, whose job it is to draw a seemingly-innocent black card—“A romantic, candelit dinner would be incomplete without…” or “Up next on Nickelodeon: Clarissa Explains…” for example—and read it aloud. The first Card Czar is decided based on whoever has pooped most recently (let the crude humor begin!).
As you can imagine, it’s helpful to know the Card Czar’s sense of humor since they are the ones doling out the points, but we like that it’s still fun to put together a joke and punchline even if you don’t win.
Once the black card is read aloud, each player picks the funniest white card they have and passes it facedown to the Card Czar. We’ll refrain from quoting these cards as they’re intentionally lewd, but once everyone has handed their card in, the Card Czar will read each aloud and then select the funniest one as the winner. As you can imagine, it’s helpful to know the Card Czar’s sense of humor since they are the ones doling out the points, but we like that it’s still fun to put together a joke and punchline even if you don’t win. At the end of the round, a new Card Czar is chosen and everyone draws another white card, ensuring their pool is back up to ten.
Entertainment Value: Novelty is key
This adult card game has been a household favorite for the last several years. But, for all its popularity, Cards Against Humanity is not for the faint of heart. Many of us had played the game before, but upon replaying it a few years later, it was clear that some of the cards had not aged well. Many matched cards still drew big laughs and there were lots of opportunities for funny pairings throughout the game. But, the insensitive nature of some of the cards was frankly a little awkward—especially among people from differing backgrounds.
Many of us had played the game before, but upon replaying it a few years later, it was clear that some of the cards had not aged well.
Awkwardness aside, however, there were some really funny moments from the absurdity of the pairings, which is the ultimate charm of this game. We liked the added challenge of cobbling together something funny for the Pick Two cards.
Age Range: 17 and up
With cards that touch on sexual conduct, racial issues, humanitarian crises, and a host of other taboo topics, this game is best played by people 17 and older. Unlike some other adult games, we don’t think it’s worth removing cards in order to make it safe for younger audiences. If you want a similar game experience for younger, more impressionable players, try Apples to Apples.
With cards that touch on sexual conduct, racial issues, humanitarian crises, and a host of other taboo topics, this game is best played by people 17 and older
Price: Middle of the Road
Cards Against Humanity has an MSRP of $25 and its price is fairly consistent among online and brick and mortar retailers. Because this game is so popular and has been played by so many, you may need to invest in expansion packs to keep it fresh. There have been six major expansions released so far, which have recently been repackaged into three different colored boxes: Red, Blue, and Green.
The Red Box contains the first, second, and third expansions. The Blue Box contains the fourth, fifth, and sixth expansions. And, the Green Box contains 300 entirely new cards. Each box costs $20, making them perfect stocking stuffers and hostess gifts for CAH fans. There’s also new 30-card theme packs released every few months, like the Weed Pack, which will run you around $7. With all of these options, the replay factor of this game is high.
Competition: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
Apples to Apples: If you’re looking for something with similar gameplay but no vulgarity, Apples to Apples is a great alternative. Both games come with around the same number of cards and each costs about $25. Apples to Apples is ideal for family game nights, but if you’re playing with a group of adults who are expecting to cut loose with inappropriate, raunchy jokes, it will certainly be too tame.
What Do You Meme?: If your crew loves Cards Against Humanity but is looking for something new, What Do You Meme? is a solid choice. Players match caption cards to popular memes and the presiding judge decides which is the funniest. What Do You Meme? will run you roughly $5 more than Cards Against Humanity, but for a fresh take on the same kind of game, it’s a fun option.
Some cards haven’t aged well, but it’s still a worthwhile purchase.
Cards Against Humanity is a modern classic that’s as cringe-inducing as it is beloved. However, once the novelty wears off, the gameplay leaves something to be desired so you’ll likely have to invest in themed expansion packs to keep it fresh.
- Product Name Cards Against Humanity
- Product Brand Cards Against Humanity, LLC
- MPN CAHUS
- Price $25.00
- Weight 2.25 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 7 x 4.1 x 2.7 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age 17 and up
- Number of Players 4 or more