Sunday, January 11, 2009

Please Pass the Apples to Brad Pitt

Game Night 1/10/09

For several years now, my friends Jen & Larry have been hosting a Game Night at their house on about an annual basis.  We've played all kinds of different board games, and every time has ended in plenty of laughter.  I must have missed last year's GN because I didn't remember some of the stuff that everyone was recalling from that time.  I started to ask Shannon why I wasn't there, and we simultaneously concluded that I must have been at a Rockapella concert, since that's where I usually am when I can't be at other stuff.  Ah, my friends know me too well. ;)

Last night was supposed to be an Adults Only night, but plans always change when it comes to having kids, so there were still a couple of kids there.  I usually don't mind having the kids there, but I was hoping for a different dynamic where people didn't have to act like parents, and could act as peers, but that's OK.  We still had fun.

Our first game was "Catchphrase," which is like an electronic version of Hot Potato crossed with Taboo.  The object is to NOT be caught with the game piece in your hand when the buzzer sounds.  So you use a bunch of clues to get your teammates to guess the word you've been given.  You can change the categories for each round if you'd like, but I liked the "Everything" category because there was actually no way of knowing what kind of word you'd have to guess.  We had 2 teams of 6 people, and although there was some in-fighting over category selection in Team 1, they still ended up winning.  (I was on Team 2.  LOSER.  But at least I got people to say all of my words.  Others said that I had it easy, but all that matters is that I was never the cause of losing points for my team).  I just loved the blank looks on people when someone wanted to choose the "World" or "Sci/Tech" categories.  Our group is mostly comprised of people more familiar with the stage/entertainment industry, with a couple of scientists mixed in.  Of course, you know you're in trouble when somebody thinks that Gene Rodenberry directed "Star Wars."   I learned that Liver and Onions had stringy stuff on top of it, which is why kids don't want to eat it.

Since the 2 kids were getting bored playing "Apples to Apples" among only themselves, we played as a big group.  In this game, everyone gets 5 red cards, upon which there is a word (I think all of them are nouns) like "Chameleon" or "Meryl Streep" or "My Refrigerator".  Players take turns reading from the green cards, which have an adjective/adverb, such as "Eternal."  All of the other players take one of their red cards from their hand and place it in the pile.  The person reading the green card then judges which card is the best answer.  The "best" answer is, of course, up to the judge, so if your judge is particularly silly, you may want to give a card that is a complete non-sequitor, in hopes that they pick your card.  (You also need to remember which card you actually placed on the table).  If your card is picked, then you are given that green card as a point.  Since we had so many players, the first person to obtain 4 green cards was declared the winner.  Bierly, whom apparently had won last year's A to A game, won 2 out of 3 rounds this year, too.  We're convinced that she brought her own red cards with her because she had some really good answers.  The theme of the night started with her judging that "Mel Gibson" was a very good answer for a topic, yet she didn't choose it.  I did not get ANY green cards.  LOSER.

After one of the families left, we played "A Game About Things."  In this game, the Reader gives a topic such as "Things You Shouldn't Touch."  All players, including the reader, write down their answer, and then the reader reads them all aloud.  The object is for everyone but the reader to guess who wrote which answer.  You are not allowed to guess what the reader wrote, and the reader is not allowed to guess.  The game ends once everyone has had a chance to be a reader, so it gives everyone a round where they do not get any points.  If you have been figured out, you are out of the round, and therefore cannot collect any more points.   The game is a combination of logic, memory, and intuition.  (Although you are not allowed to actually SEE what the people wrote, the reader can read all of the remaining answers as many times as needed.  This keeps you from knowing who wrote what just from handwriting alone).  Shannon kept score because she didn't feel like actually playing.  I learned from her how to do a different way of counting points instead of using hash marks.  Like it.  Gonna use it.

This game is where the adult game night thing could have gone in a different direction had there not been any children in the room.  This is also where it can be difficult if you don't really know the people with whom you're playing, but can turn out to be quite enlightening.  I censored myself a couple of times because of who was in the room. :)  We laughed quite a bit because the themes of the evening kept emerging:  Mel Gibson, Liver and Onions, Brad Pitt and Tuba Christmas.  The last question even had multiple Brad Pitt answers, and one of them was "Brad Pitt AND Mel Gibson."  (The topic was "Things you wish could grow on trees."  You'd think that there would be 6 answers of "Money," but that was too obvious, and only one person answered that).  Anyway, poor Caesar didn't get any points for many rounds because we so easily figured out his answers.  By the time he did get points, though, he was on quite a roll.  His lack of points reminded me of when Ferdie was watching us play Trivial Pursuit at my house and wouldn't leave until I got a pie piece.  He was here for MUCH longer than he had planned.  My fellow players started to get scared of me after awhile because I must have looked at them in an accusatory manner when it was my turn to guess.  Yeah, but it worked, because looky here:  WINNER!!!!!  I was told that I had an unfair advantage due to my college major, but I pointed out that I had a "Psych" degree, not a "PsychIC" degree. :)

We had a lot of fun, and the food was yummy, too.  I look forward to the next game night.  We have already told Bierly that Apples to Apples might conveniently be lost by that time, but she'll probably bring her own red cards anyway.


  1. Catchprase is THE game! April, our friends and I loved it so much, we spent a whole weekend playing it while in Vegas! IN VEGAS! LOL

  2. "Of course, you know you're in trouble when somebody thinks that Gene Rodenberry directed "Star Wars."

    Or doesn't know how to SPELL Gene Roddenberry. ;)

  3. Spelling is not required in the game of Catchphrase. In fact, it is against the rules.

    At least I didn't spell it L-u-c-a-s.