Name: Apples to Apples
Creator: Matthew Kirby and Mark Alan Osterhaus (published by Mattel)
Intro: Apples to Apples has carved out a niche within the judging games genre, appealing to a wide audience and becoming a classic family game through its simplicity, humour, and social interaction.
Critical Formal Elements:
- Each player is dealt a hand of seven red apple cards. During a round, one player serves as the judge and draws a green apple card, revealing the adjective to the group. The other players select a red apple card from their hand that they think best matches the adjective and submit it facedown. The judge then shuffles the submitted red apple cards, evaluates them, and selects the one they find most fitting, humourous, or appealing. The player who submitted the winning card receives the green apple card, and the role of the judge rotates to the next player.
- Objective: Winning a pre-determined number of green cards or a set time limit is reached, can be house rules.
- Outcomes: It is a zero-sum game in the sense that only one or two players will be “winners”, depending on the rules decided on. However, the fun is created by the gameplay itself and is not really shaped by the outcome, since the ambition to win (at least in our case) doesn’t really create a driving force to keep playing. The inter-player humour and fun of seeing what cards others will play trumps the desire to win.
- Resources: Comprises two decks of cards: red apple cards, which contain nouns, and green apple cards, which contain adjectives.