Publisher: Gale Force Nine
Release Date: November 2016
Game Designer(s): Aaron Dill, John Kovaleski, Sean Sweigart
Format: Card Game
Number of Players: 4+
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Age Rating: 14+
Product #: FG001
ICv2 Rating: 2 Stars out of 5
This is an odd cross between Cards Against Humanity and Mad Libs, based on Seth McFarlane-style humor. Much of the humor comes from things that are funniest if you watch and enjoy the Family Guy show, especially in a bonus card deck based on the most annoying character on the show. If you don’t like this style of humor, or if you don’t like Family Guy, you probably won’t like the game. If you like the humor, but also want an interesting game, you probably won’t like this one, either.
The physical components are adequate, but nothing special. The cards use generic art for the various characters, so there’s nothing special visually. The rule book is simple and easy to understand. Supplemental decks are available to add to the variety of word choices, at an additional cost. A simple improvement would have been to provide more variety on the artwork of the cards, but it may be that the designer thought this would confuse the target audience, which seems to be Family Guy fans that have already had a few drinks before the game.
The active player uses a spinner to determine a style of party, and draws a card with blanks to fill in to make a sentence. Without showing other players the sentence being constructed, the active player asks for a type of card from each of the other players [person, action, etc.] to fill in the blanks, in order. The active player chooses one of the offered cards for each blank, and makes the sentence.
The idea of filling in the blanks to make funny sentences is entertaining, and might make a good party activity. In fact, it does. It’s called Mad Libs, and already exists. As a game, though, this Family Guy "homage" has several weaknesses.
The first weakness is the scoring system, which gives the active player fewer points for all that work than the other players are receiving just for drawing cards and playing them. If the active player has gotten words that make a funny sentence that matches the party style on the spinner, and if the other players vote for the active player, then the active player scores 3 points. If the words the other players offer just don’t provide a funny sentence, or the other players just don’t like the results, the active player gets nothing. The non-active players get points for cards played, and those outweigh the points earned by the active player.
The second weakness, for players who want a game involving skill: this one doesn’t, other than for the active player, who gets the fewest points.
There is almost no skill involved for the non-active players. The players need to be able to recognize that cards with a character go with other cards with that same character. Then, don’t give one of such a pair to the active player, but play them yourself for bonus points. Because of that, it’s just luck of the card draw that determines most of the point scoring. The game ends when all the point chits have been given out.
Third is the humor. If a gamer that is also a Family Guy fan needs a limited version of Mad Libs consisting of double-entendres, rude comments, and funny sayings based on quotations from the show’s characters, they might want to buy this game. Otherwise, probably not, but some Family Guy fans will find it worth playing.
The suggested age 14+ rating might be low, due to sexual innuendo and references to alcohol and drug use.
--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.