China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: The Many Incarnations of Apples to Apples

Christine.August12.2Apples to Apples has emerged as a go-to party favorite for players of all ages. Since its debut in 1999, the game has become incredibly popular and has been reinvented time and time again to cater to different audiences. It is now published by Mattel and is available online and at retailers worldwide.

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples Party Box contains more than 1,000 cards. Each player begins with seven red cards that contain “Things.” One player selects a green card and reads the “Description” aloud. The other players must then decide which of their red cards is the best match for the green card. For example, if the green card says “A day at the park,” players must choose the best card to fit that card. Players can select anything from the literal (perhaps “picnic”) to the silly (“dancing clowns”) to the ironic (“sad and lonely”). The player that read the green card must shuffle the cards and then pick the one they like best. The player that put in the winning card keeps the green card. The first player to get five green cards wins.

Variations

Apples to Apples To Go is a condensed version of the Party Box, containing more than 300 cards in a magnetic-close box with a handle, designed for four to eight players. Apples to Apples Junior is designed for kids ages 9 and up and contains more than 500 cards for young players. The game helps kids expand their vocabulary and thinking skills and is great for play dates or family game nights. Apples to Apples Dice Game includes a 20-sided green die, a six-sided red die, 25 green apple chips, and is packaged in a soda can-like container for easy storage. One player rolls the green die, and says an adjective that begins with the letter on the side face-up. That player then rolls the red die, and the other players must say a noun that begins with the letter on the red die. The player with the best noun earns a chip; the first player with five chips wins. In Sour Apples to Apples, the player with the worst answer must spin the spinner, and is then subjected to whichever “punishment” the spinner lands on.

Christine.August12In addition to even more variations of the Apples to Apples title, including Apples to Apples Bible Edition, Disney Edition, and others, the concept of the game has been adapted by other games. Cards Against Humanity: A Party Game for Horrible People is an adult version of the game, played the same way. Cards feature vulgar, inappropriate, politically incorrect, and suggestive words and terms, and is aimed at players ages 17 and up. Picwits, from MindWare, is a visual version of the game. One player pulls a caption card, and the other players must select one of their full-color photo cards to correspond with the caption. The game, for four or more players ages 10 and up, includes more than 500 photo cards and 144 caption cards.

The success of Apples to Apples has been tremendous. Many of these variations now offer expansion packs to keep the fun fresh. With a version for just about everyone, this game is a winner.

For more commentary from Christine, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!