Apples to Apples Review
Does your family love to play board games? In my family and my husband's, family get-togethers always involve taking down a board game. When everyone in his family is over, we have more than eight people in our home, not including any of my family, or friends who might be visiting. Since there aren't a lot of board games that keep this many people entertained, we are always on the lookout for new family friendly games. Years ago, we came across what may very well be the best family game around – Apples to Apples.
When we first saw this game, it was being introduced for the first time at Gen-con in Columbus, Ohio years ago. Today, I am surprised how popular this little game has become, and even more that there are still families who don't own this amazing board game. When it was recommended that I do a review of this amazing game – one that I have played with family and used as an educational tool in the classroom, I couldn't pass up the chance to review this cute apple themed games.
Apples to Apples: What is it?
Looking at the box, it is almost impossible to figure out what Apples to Apples is about, other than it has something to do with apples. In actuality, the only thing that this game has to do with apples is it's little apple mascots that are on the box and all the cards. The game itself consists of two decks – a set of red cards and green cards. The green cards are descriptive cards (adjectives) which are used by the referee. Each player always has seven red cards, which all include different things (nouns).
Here is how the game itself is worked. Each turn, a new referee is picked going clockwise. That player picks a green card which is displayed to all the players. Each other player, using the red cards in their hand, then picks the card that they think best goes with the green card and gives it to the referee face down. Since all the cards are random, this can end up with hilarious combinations, such as the picture below.
When the referee puts all the cards forwards, you can play one of two ways, having the referee pick without explanation, or letting the players explain why they think their card fits in the current green card. When the referee chooses a card, the red cards chosen are put in the discard pile and the green card is awarded as a point. Whoever first reaches a certain score (determined by the number of players) wins a game of Apples to Apples.
Apples to Apples: Complexity
While Apples to Apples may sound complicated at first, it is actually a very simple game. Most of the rule sheet is different combinations of games you can play, with the rules above being the general rules for Apples to Apples. The most complicated part of Apples to Apples is the reading. For this reason, the box recommends the game for children over 12. In our family, we let children of any age play, with children under reading age playing with an adult's help.
One of the other things I like about Apples to Apples is the wit. At the bottom of each red card are one or two sentences to describe the card. This description is usually witty on simple concepts and more complex ones are descriptions to help younger players know who or what this card is to better help them play. For this reason, I played this game quite often with my 10th graders and my special education classes. This improved not only their reading, but critical thinking skills since they had to determine why the red card they chose best fit the descriptive green card. Most of the time, the kids didn't even realize they were learning since they were having fun!
Apples to Apples: Fun
One of the things I love about Apples to Apples is that it is very family friendly. Children can play this game without parents having to worry about inappropriate concepts. At the same time, Apples to Apples can be played with adults, making it oddly the perfect kids game or game to keep adults busy for hours at parties. It is one of those game that is so simple you can easily turn it into a fun thinking game that is appropriate for nearly any situation. I have played Apples to Apples in a family setting, at a wedding shower, and at a bachelorette party. It really depends entirely on the players. Since the cards are all appropriate themselves, it is really a great game for children of all ages and mentalities.
In the Apples to Apples Collector's Edition Box
- Wood Storage Crate (looks like Apple Crate)
- Core Apples to Apples Game
- Apples to Apples Expansion Box #1
- Apples to Apples Expansion Box #2
Apples to Apples: What We Think
In our family we absolutely love Apples to Apples. Whenever we have family come to visit, we always pull out Apples to Apples since its one of the few games that when you get over eight people together and everyone wants to play. It is also hard finding a game that adults want to play for hours and still keeps kids entertained. I can without a doubt give this game a 5 star rating since it is a hit with my family and was loved in my 10th grade classroom. Currently, the party crate version of this game has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon (the core without the expansions has a 4.6 star rating). Here is what others are saying about this great family game!
Where to Purchase Apples to Apples
Every year, Apples to Apples sells out in many stores since it is such a popular family game. While you can purchase it at a big box retailer or specialty store, I highly recommend getting it on Amazon since they are one of the few places that still have the crate set. This set came out in 2003 and comes with a nice storage crate and both expansions. Along with it being harder to find, it also much cheaper than buying the game and the expansion pack separately.
For example, the last time I went to the mall, the core set of Apples to Apples was selling for $30, with the current set including only one expansion costing $49.99. The Apples to Apples box set on Amazon.com is currently selling for a little over $38, making it a steal (I paid $60 for it back in 2006 when I bought it after Christmas for my classroom). Along with Amazon selling it for a great price, it is shipped to your house for free within five days (if you are a prime member, two days). It is also under Amazon's 30 day guarantee, allowing you to send it back if no one in your family likes it or it is damaged. Being able to try out a new game without leaving your home seems pretty great to me!
More Review for Apples to Apples
Want to learn more about Apples to Apples? See what other parents and people who have played this game have said in their own reviews on Amazon.com. To learn more, click on the picture of Apples to Apples below.
If you are coming from the Fall Apple Festival Giveaway, feel free to leave your comments below and tell us why you think Apples to Apples is a great fit for your family! If you haven't seen this great giveaway, feel free to enter this giveaway at our sister site – Budget Earth.