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Tabletop Game / Apples to Apples

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Describe Apples to Apples here.

"Pleasing", "enjoyable", "charming"... Show me "Delightful"!

People tend to like games of word association. Apples to Apples by Out of the Box Publishing takes this idea and runs with it. Each player draws a hand of seven red nouns, and then take turns being the judge and drawing a green adjective card, with the other players tasked with submitting the red card they believe most fits that adjective. Of course, it's smart to play the judge as well as the cards, and making a completely inappropriate suggestion can lead to a player winning a given round, too.

The position of judge rotates every round and the player who wins the round keeps the adjective card for that round. Whoever gets a certain number of greens (or has the most whenever everyone gets bored) is the winner.

See also Cards Against Humanity, which takes the core gameplay of Apples to Apples and employs gratuitous amounts of Black Comedy.


This card game provides examples of:

  • Game Mod: Blank red and green cards are provided for players on which to write personal ideas. They eventually became popular enough that there's an official variant game where all green apples are blank so you can write new answers every time. The box has as an example "Name something you would not want to bite" with one answer being "The dust."
  • House Rules: Some players leave the aforementioned blank cards blank and allow players to come up with whatever they want.
    • Another is to throw in a random card from the draw pile into the pile of cards for judging. The draw pile is amazingly capable of winning.
    • Or putting in the red cards before anyone knows what the green card is.
    • Inverting the roles of the cards, so adjectives describe a noun, is very popular.
    • Put in a pair of red cards, and the judge describes how they think the pair relates to the green card.
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    • The game gives a list of how many green cards a player should gain to win the game based on how many people are playing, but very few people actually use that limit and just play until everybody agrees to stop.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: The whole point of the game, with the Kingmaker switching every round.
  • Lighter and Softer: Apples to Apples Jr., which uses simpler words and more kid-friendly references that don't involve serious or tragic events.
  • Metagame: "Playing to the judge" is highly encouraged.
  • Noodle Implements: Happens if your hand consists of what you consider garbage words.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Some of the possible plays (like just about any dead person and "Fragrant") clearly invoke this. "Helen Keller" is practically a magnet for these jokes: "Touchy-Feely", "Senseless", "Visionary", "Easy"...
  • Rule of Cool/Fun/Funny: The game practically runs on all three.
  • Self-Deprecation: The judge can deprecate themselves in some cases, because "My" cards (for example My Prom or My Room) have to apply to the judge and not the person who played them. This leads to being able to say things like "My Room is Disgusting" or "My Love Life is Imaginary."
  • Shaped Like Itself: Matching "Fuzz" to "Fuzzy", "Masculine" to "Men", "American" to "United States of America."
  • Shout-Out: Way too many to compile into a mere list, and growing all the time.