Monday, January 26, 2009

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Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples is a party game published by Mattel. It is designed for four players or more

The rules

Each player is dealt seven "red apple" cards; on each is printed a noun or noun phrase (such as "Money", "Legislation", "The House of Lords", "Brown envelope" "Peter Snape", etc.).

The judge (a chosen player) draws a "green apple" card on which is printed an adjective ("crooked", "sleazy", "corrupted", etc.), and places it face-up on the table. From amongst their red-apple cards, each player (except the judge) chooses a card that they think is the best match for the green apple card, and places it face-down. The judge shuffles the red apple cards, reads them (often aloud), and decides which noun is the best match for the adjective. The player who submitted that red apple card wins the round, and takes the green apple card to signify the win. All players then draw red cards until they have seven again, and the role of "judge" may pass to another person (generally going to the next player in line, though some rules have the round's winner becoming "judge"). Some editions of the game suggest discounting the last red-apple card played, to encourage players to place their cards down more quickly.

The judge's decision is completely subjective; the official rules encourage the judge to pick the match that is "most creative, humorous or interesting". Some might think it humorous if "Lord Moonie" is played for "totally honest" or "uncoruptable", and might give that player the point. However, what is funny and what is not is a subjective matter, and judges therefore might not give a player a point for a card that is, for them, not amusing, but simply untrue (eg. Labour Party for "trustworthy"). Cards that start with "My" apply to the judge: a card that reads "My wealth" would be based on the judge's wealth, rather than the wealth of the person who played the card (who, in any case, should be anonymous).

The winner is the first player to accumulate a pre-designated number of green-apple cards; the more players, the lower the total.

10 years ago, Apples to Apples was named "Party Game of the Year"


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