Cards Against Humanity (CAH) has been a popular party game since its release in 2009, but nearly a decade later (yikes!) some of the jokes are getting a bit stale. Keep your next party fresh with one of these fun alternatives - they offer new twists on CAH’s spirit and snark.
Disclaimer: This article is squeaky clean, but most of these games aren’t. If you’re shopping for a family-friendly game, please double-check what you’re getting - you don’t want to grab something unintentionally educational...
EXPLODING KITTENS - NSFW EDITION
Like its family-friendly version, Exploding Kittens - NSFW Edition is essentially a card game version of hot potato. Explosive kittens are hidden in the deck, waiting to take you out of the game if you aren’t prepared to defuse or relocate them. It’s a game of defending yourself and sabotaging others - with kittens!
This version is NSFW (not safe for work... or kids) due to its references to genitalia, street drugs, and other exciting topics, each lovingly depicted in The Oatmeal’s unique illustration style.
Fun fact: the NSFW and family-friendly editions are unique - mix them together for more explosive fun!
Ah, the age-old question: Who would win in a fight - a class of kindergarteners reliving the same day over and over whilst riding a battle cat, or Abraham Lincoln who can control plants and has a beard made of bees?
Frankly, our money’s on the kindergarteners. Wily little buggers.
Superfight brings these and other ridiculous - yet crucial - questions to the fore. Your goal is to assemble the mightiest challengers and convince other players that yours is the superior fighting strength.
Superfight is a great option for 3-10 players (or more - you’ll just go through the deck faster) and is surprisingly kid-friendly.
Made by the same folks who brought you Superfight, Red Flags is the game of terrible dates. Players will try to woo you with their romantic creations - An Olympic gymnast who writes poetry... - before sabotaging each other - ...who punches every barista they see. Then it’s up to you to make your ill-advised match.
Red Flags is good for groups of 3-10 players (5-7 is ideal). It does contain some adult content, so save this one for the grown-ups.
In Balderdash, players make up plausible definitions for ridiculously obscure words, earning points for every opponent they trick. Balderdash has been a games night classic since 1984, but has been recently updated with more words and themes.
Fun fact: Andrea’s parents forbade her from buying this game as a child, knowing she’d exploit her sisters’ gullibility. So… if you’re playing with gullible people, this might be the game for you!
Balderdash plays 2-6 people and is family-friendly (especially trusting younger siblings).
APPLES TO APPLES
Apples to Apples was the game that inspired CAH, so it’s only fair that we include it in the list. Apples to Apples is the game of word association, matching nouns (celebrities, politicians, ideas, feelings) to adjectives. Nouns and adjectives sound like a snoozefest, but this game has become a modern classic for a reason.
Apples to Apples is great for 4-10 players, ages 12 and up (younger kids might not get the pop culture references). It’s squeaky clean, but that cleanliness really scales to its audience - we’ve played more than a few adults-only games that got hilariously dark.
Baby Blues is not the game to show you are a responsible caregiver.
As workers in a horrible daycare, players try to keep their own group of babies happy while sabotaging their neighbours with poopy diapers and missing pacifiers. Only happy babies score points at the end of the game, so you’ll need to make your opponents’ babies cry before they can do the same to you.
Baby Blues is technically appropriate for ages 8 and up, but we don’t recommend it for a “surprise, you’re going to be a big brother / big sister!” party. Anyway, it’s good for 3-5 players.
Funemployed is the job interview of your nightmares. You just want to be a mad scientist, but your only qualifications are that you own a pair of safety scissors and have a split personality. It’s up to you to fill in the blanks and explain to the group why you are the superior candidate to, say, a dragon that speaks panda and drives a DeLorean. (Sorry, but we’d hire the dragon.)
Funemployed is best with at least 4 players, with no upper limit - time to broaden that hiring pool! And like most employment in BC, this game is best for teens and up.
As in the regular version of Anomia (a One Stop Shop favourite!), players flip cards until the symbols on two cards match - sending those two players into a face-off. Whichever player shouts a word fitting the category on their opponent’s card wins the point, and could even trigger a cascade of face-offs around the table!
In Anomia X, however, those words could be… slightly naughty. Can you think of a type of lubricant before your opponent can supply a whiskey brand? How about a sexy verb before “don’t touch it”?
Each box of Anomia X comes with four decks, enough to keep even a large group entertained.
WHAT DO YOU MEME?
What Do You Meme? is like CAH for visual learners and/or millennials (hey, no hate here - the game’s full title is What Do You Meme?: A Millennial Card Game for Millenials and Their Millennial Friends).
Instead of sentences prompting each round, a famous internet meme image kicks things off, then each player submits the funniest caption from their hand. The judge for that round presides and selects their favourite to receive a point.
What Do You Meme? is a quick-playing game for at least 3 players, but larger groups are better. It’s absolutely not a game for kids - just people who act like them.
So here’s an interesting statistic. From September 2017 to March 2018, Joking Hazard has easily been One Stop Shop’s best-selling game.
It’s easy to see why - Joking Hazard is like the comic strip version of CAH, but with way more replayability (someone did the math - apparently there’s 15.4 million unique combinations in the base game alone!). Joking Hazard is by the folks who do the webcomic Cyanide and Happiness, so you know it’s going to be a good time.
In each round, you build a three-panel comic strip. If it’s your turn, you start everyone off with a two-panel prompt, then turn it over to the group. Like CAH, everyone submits a single card from their hand to be the thrilling (or creepy or sexy or murderous) conclusion, and you get to pick your favourite.
Unless you’re ready to have The Talk with your kids in the most brain-searing way possible, this game is for adults only. A minimum of 3 players is needed, but the more the merrier.