Perfect for parties
Takes a round or two to get the hang of scoring
Pencils not included
Hot Seat is an adult party game that shines the spotlight on one player at a time as everyone else scrambles to write down what they’re thinking. Points are awarded to those who truly know the player and to those who can most believably fake it. At our last game night, seven friends broke out this card game to test its design and entertainment value. We also assessed how it stood up to other popular games like Cards Against Humanity and The Voting Game. Check out our rundown to see if Hot Seat could be your next game night hit.
Design: Fast-paced and fun
Hot Seat is a game meant to be played by four to ten players. Our group of seven was easily able to play around a large coffee table. Because writing is involved, it was nice to have a surface to bear down on, but the answer pads are thick enough that you could get away with writing in your lap. After each player is given an answer pad and pencil, you’re ready to start the game. As a note, pencils aren’t included, so be ready with your own writing utensils.
Our group of seven was easily able to play around a large coffee table.
The person with the most recent birthday is the first in the hot seat. They’ll start the game by drawing three cards and choosing one to read aloud. After reading the card—which could be something like “What do I know more about than anyone in the room” or “What would a documentary about my life up to this point be titled?”—everyone (including the person in the hot seat) writes down their answer. Then, the player in the hot seat collects the answers and reads them out loud.
Once all the answers have been read, each player takes their best shot at guessing which answer was written by the hot seat player. After all guesses have been made, points are awarded: For the hot seat player, 1 point is awarded for each player that correctly guessed their answer. For everyone else, 1 point is earned for each person who guesses your answer; 2 points are earned when you guess the hot seat player’s answer; 4 points are earned if you wrote the same thing as the person in the hot seat. Whoever gets to 25 points first wins. The box stated the game would last 30 to 60 minutes, and this proved accurate as the winner of our game hit 25 points around the 45-minute mark.
There’s also a fun twist on card selection. If the person in the hot seat draws a card they want another player to read, they can place it face down in front of that player. Then, instead of drawing three cards at the start of their turn, that player must read the card they’ve been given.
Entertainment Value: Steady laughs and a little strategy
This game had our group laughing, strategizing, and learning a whole lot more about each other. It took a round or two to get a hang of scoring, but afterward, it went smoothly and was a lot of fun. Because players write unique answers every time, the game has a high level of replayability. And, because the questions are more often hypothetical like “If I were a drug, what would be my side effect?” rather than specific to someone’s personal history, it makes the game easier to play with people you may not know well. This feature also makes this game a great ice breaker.
Hot Seat had our group laughing, strategizing, and learning about each other.
The way that scoring works ensures players pay close attention to every round, not just when they’re in the hot seat. We particularly liked the opportunity to score points even if you don’t know the hot seat player all that well. As long as you write something that other players think is the hot seat player’s answer, you still win points, adding another layer of strategy to the game.
If you play this game quite a bit with the same friends, you may find the cards become predictable. If you’re looking to get extra mileage out of this game, we recommend the expansion packs which retail for roughly $13. There are three packs available including NSFW, Even More, and Create Your Own.
The box stated the game would last 30 to 60 minutes, and this proved accurate as the winner of our game hit 25 points around the 45-minute mark.
Age Range: 17 and up
The age range for this game is 17 and up. There are some sexual questions that may cause you to blush when playing with family members. That said, if you’re opting for more wholesome gameplay, a quick culling of the cards will leave you with plenty of funny options that won’t make family game night totally awkward.
Price: In line with the competition
Hot Seat retails for $25 but can sometimes be found for less from online retailers. The price is in line with similar games and because it’s highly replayable, we think it’s well worth it. Plus, as we mentioned before, you can purchase expansion packs which each add 100 new cards to the deck.
Competition: Stands out from the rest
The Voting Game: There are a few similarities between The Voting Game and Hot Seat. Both are designed to help you get to know the other players better as all the questions are about the players rather than trivia or pop culture. But, Hot Seat outperforms The Voting Game in a few key areas. It has a quicker pace, allows for more creativity, and is easily played by a broader group of people including couples and acquaintances.
Cards Against Humanity: Both Hot Seat and Cards Against Humanity excel in letting players get creative in the art of adult content and bawdy humor. If you could only pick one, Cards Against Humanity may be your safest choice as it’s always a crowd-pleaser. If you have room in your budget for two, however, both are worth adding to your game night line-up.
- Product Name Hot Seat
- Product Brand Player Ten
- MPN 39685
- Price $24.99
- Release Date August 2016
- Weight 1.61 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 5.9 x 3.9 x 2 in.
- Number of Players 4 or more
- Manufacturer Recommended Age 17 and up