Board games allow the family to sit together and share memorable times together. While there are many board games in the market, some are obviously better than the others. Most board games focus on kids and make it difficult for adults to enjoy themselves. But this is now changing. There are award-winning board games that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike, as long as players understand how the games are played. One such board game is Apples to Apples. If you have ever played this game, designed for four to 10 players, you will know why it is one of the most popular family and party games in the market.

Image used under Creative Commons from David Goehring

It can bring life to family get-togethers, reunions, and parties. Even if you invite neighbors for a meal, bring out a fun board game (other than monopoly) can make it a memorable evening. You can be certain after playing games like Apples to Apples and other similar games, your neighbors would love to keep coming back to your home to spend time with you and with the hopes you take out the board game for them!

Board Games Similar to Apples to Apples

There are many other board games out there that are similar to Apples to Apples and are as fun and interesting. The key is knowing which games these are, so that you can switch between them and keep the fun and laughter going.

The T-Shirt Game

The T-Shirt Game

PROS

  • A party-ish version of Apples to Apples
  • Offers hours of fun for the whole family

CONS

  • Average design

This game is similar to Apples to Apples, but instead of nouns and adjectives, players have to submit captions for a T-shirt image. The game is made for 3 to 6 players and can go on forever if you don’t decide at the outset the winning score.Just like Apples, here too players get turns to be judges. It is a fun game that is great for group gaming and can evoke a lot of laughter. Essentially, each player must design their own shirts by pairing silly slogans to hilarious images. Just remember you can go for one round where everyone gets a single turn to become a judge, or you can make everyone a judge multiple but equal number of times.

Each set comes with 70 T-Shirt Cards, 209 Slogan Cards, 77 Hot or Not Cards, and Instructions. The T-Shirt Game is a lighthearted game that’s perfect for kids 14 years old and up. If you’re a hardcore Apples to Apples fan, this is by far one of the most similar games we’ve tried.

We love the variety of funny components, which makes every game a hoot. The premise is simple enough and this can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending on the ages of players. Also, despite its striking similarities with Apples to Apples, The T-Shirt Game falls short on its lasting appeal to players and the design could be better. Still, we loved the game just like this Amazon reviewer who cannot wait for its second edition:

A great party game I’ve brought to my gaming group and conventions. It always provides a good time and some laughs. I hope they make a second edition or an expansion pack for this game. Bottom line, if you like Apples to Apples, you’ll like this game too!

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Say Anything Family

Say Anything Family

PROS

  • Great replay value
  • Builds creativity and storytelling skills
  • Great for family bonding

CONS

  • Not for everyone

Say Anything Family is a family-oriented version of a Say Anything. There’s a deck of cards with questions and everyone gets to write down their take on the question on a piece of paper. Then everyone shows his or her answers and the reader chooses (in secret) the winning answer. Then players bet on which answer is chosen by the reader. Players get point for writing the best answer and for guessing whose answer reader chooses. The reader gets points for people who correctly chose his favorite answer.This award-winning game is clearly more than just an alternative to Apples to Apples. The family edition variant is perfect for kids ages 8 and up and it requires at least 3 players. Up to 6 people can play the game but you can also split the players per team. The average playtime is about 30 minutes, perfect for those who prefer a quick game.

Say Anything is a bit more complicated than Apples to Apples, as you can score points not only for answering correctly but also for betting on the right answer. The game can provide pretty much endless entertainment. While the questions, obviously, stay the same all the time, in each new game you have an opportunity to give a new answer.
The family version of Say Anything is great for spending time with other family members, especially those you don’t hang out with that often, as it provides a way to naturally learn more about them. If you want to get your children to talk with their grandparents, Say Anything is a perfect choice as it encourages players to tell stories about themselves.

As for the negatives, the experience varies greatly, some loved the game while others didn’t have as much fun. Still, this family oriented game is one of Amazon’s bestsellers, with one player leaving a five-star rating and a positive review on the website:

It kind of reminds me of a cross between Apples to Apples (the playing and picking answers), Wits and Wagers Family (the betting aspect), and any one of a number of party games that rewards you for knowing the other players well or provides an opportunity to get to know each other better. While that may sound like a bit of a mash-up, it plays very smooth and really hit the sweet spot for us.

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Bubble Talk

Bubble Talk

PROS

  • Fun party game
  • no questions asked, just matching images and captions

CONS

  • Fun factor depends on players

Bubble Talk is another Apples to Apples spin-off. This time around, you match funny captions with images. For starters, each player gets 7 caption cards. Then the judge for the round draws an image card. Now other players pick one of their cards that they think matches the image best. Round is won by the player who makes the judge laugh the most.Unlike some of the other games described here, this one doesn’t require storytelling skills and convincing the judge that your answer is the best. Players don’t have to answer any, sometimes uncomfortable, questions. It’s a fun game to blow off the steam without breaking a mental sweat. Great choice for a party and to play with people who you just met. And don’t worry about players’ age, both kids and adults find it really entertaining.
This award-winning game works by matching funny pictures with even funnier captions.Perfect for game nights and parties, Bubble Talk is fast-paced, hilarious, and engaging. This is the kind of game that every avid gamer should own. Each set includes 150 picture cards (4”x 6”) and 300 hilarious caption cards. This game can be played by 3 to 8 people. Bubble Talk is a great game for children and adults alike. However, the fun factor will depend on the players so it’s best played with a group of introverts otherwise, the captions aren’t as funny.

Here’s what one of the reviewers wrote about Bubble Talk:

We have played with family ages 3-65 and groups of friends. Great developmental game for the 3 yr old, necessitates quick reading for the 8 yr old and is just fun for the rest of us. With friends the “bubble talk” cars can often have double meanings, thus the game can become anything from dirty to downright odd. A quick wit can work wonders matching the bubble talk statements to the quite often hilarious pictures.

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Snake Oil Card Game

Snake Oil Card Game

PROS

  • Promotes creativity and imagination
  • Great for both adults, kids, and families

CONS

  • Not as fun when played by a small group

In Snake Oil, you get to be an oil salesman. One of the players draws a Customer card and becomes the skeptical customer. Others, having a bunch of Word cards on their hands, choose two cards of their deck and, based on those cards, try to convince the customer to buy their oil. The one who sells the most oil wins.This card game requires 3 to 10 players and a typical playtime takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Each box comes with 324 Word Cards and 36 (double sided) Customer Cards. The makers claim that the mechanics are so easy to understand, it will only take five minutes to learn how to play this game and we agree.

Snake Oil has a really easy to understand mechanics so after a minute or two of describing the game you can get started. Also, since convincing the customer is the core of the game, you can keep it family friendly when playing with kids or go nasty when playing with other adults. It’s pretty much up to you what you’re going to make of the game. With the right group of people and positive attitude, you will laugh the entire game and get back to Snake Oil as often as you can.

There are 3 different versions of Snake Oil: Snake Oil: Party Potion, Snake Oil: Elixir and the original Snake Oil that comes in a blue box. Each can be played separately or combined. One thing worth noting is that this is one of those games that are best played in large groups rather than a small group of friends.

Let’s see what one of the reviewers wrote about Snake Oil on Amazon:

We LOVE this game! We pack this whenever we go on a trip and I keep a new box in my gift-stash closet for anytime I get invited to a birthday party and I need to bring a gift. This is an amazing game in that it’s appropriate to play with kids, grandparents, friends from church, etc. and, depending on your group, your conversation can slip into the gutter and become pee-your-pants funny!

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Dixit

Dixit

PROS

  • Promotes creativity
  • Great replay value

CONS

  • Issues with quality

Just like Apples to Apples, this game deals with phrases, but with a twist. The premise of the game is to bluff your opponents and guess the image that matches the story. However, that is just half the game. One player is selected as a storyteller, who then says a phrase aloud to match the image present on his/her card. Thereafter, other players have to choose the card that matches the storyteller initially saw to create the story. The key is to convince other players your card is the best.This game can be played by kids and adults and spurs them to be creative which matching card images to phrases. It is created for 3 to 6 players and each game lasts for 30 minutes. Each set comes with 84 new cards, 6 game pieces in 6 different colors.

We loved the game because it’s hilarious and every game feels different. Also, this board game is perfect for those who prefer a quick game rather than one that lasts for hours at a time. The mechanics are also pretty easy to understand, even a beginner will get the hang of it in no time at all.

Dixit is versatile too; it’s a great choice for kids and adults alike. As one of the most highly rated games on Amazon, Dixit is a fan favorite. That said, there were issues with the quality of the components, particularly the packaging and the illustration. Still, buyers loved the game because it provided hours of laughter:

Last night I brought it to a gathering of adults who had never seen a game like it, and were initially put off. After some cajoling, they stepped up and tried it. I won the first game, but everyone else wanted to play it again, and the second time a gentleman won who had been the toughest to convince to play.

The comments I received were like, “This is the most unusual game I’ve ever played,” and, “I’m engaging parts of my brain that I never use!” It was a hit and a half, so if you’re reading this you need to get this game.

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Cranium Whoonu

Cranium Whoonu

PROS

  • many players get points for each turn
  • engaging gameplay

CONS

  • expensive

Designed for 3 to 6 players, this is another board game that is like Apples to Apples, but with a difference. Apples to Apples has its judge, while Cranium Whoonu has its Whoozit. The other players are dealt 4 cards each with words, concepts or phrases on them. Each player chooses 1 to 2 cards and puts them into a sleeve. The Whoozit has the responsibility of then laying the cards from the most favorite to least favorite and accordingly giving each card a numbered chip.The numbered chip is the score and once the round finishes, the next player is selected as the Whoozit until all players have had their turn. At the end of the game, the scores are tabulated and the one with the highest score is declared the winner.

Each set comes with 300 cards, 36 scoring tokens, and a secret envelope. The game is literally full of fun surprises, which players must uncover along the way. It’s a lighthearted game that will appeal to families especially the kids because of the level of interaction between players. What’s more, as the game progresses, you’ll learn new things about the players, debunk assumptions, and other discoveries that’ll sure to make game night a great bonding time!

The only downside is that Whoonu is more expensive than other board games. Is it worth the extra $$$? This Amazon reviewer thought so:

This isn’t a “how much do you know the other person” game as much as it is just a good old fashioned great time. Knowing the people CAN help, but with the “luck of the draw” aspect, it sometimes doesn’t matter. Bottom Line: FUN!

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Fun Facts About Apples to Apples

Understanding Apples to Apples

The game does require knowledge of English, so to say. Here, players are dealt five cards – the Red Apple cards – that have nouns printed on them. These nouns can be gerunds, proper nouns or common nouns. Then there are Green Apple cards that have adjective printed on them.

The aim of the game is to match a noun from your hand to the adjective and the player who acts as a judge decides which Red Apple card matches the best with the Green Apple card. The aim of the game is to win the most rounds. Each game lasts for around 30 to 75 minutes, depending on the number of players.

It definitely is fun and will create camaraderie and laughter all round with well-meaning arguments. Make sure every person playing has a chance to be the judge and choose the favorite adjective.

Why is Apples to Apples is so Popular?

Apples to Apples has won millions of fans because it allows players to get to know each other in the goofiest ways possible. It’s a lighthearted game that gives players a peek into each other’s heads and lives.

What’s more, there’s less restriction as you play. It’s not an overly structured or complex game that has to be played in all seriousness. It helps that Apples to Apples is such an easy game to play. There’s no complicated mechanics to deal with, even the uninitiated can play the game within minutes.