Getting a little burned out on Cards of Humanity? You’re in luck — a new adult tabletop game company recently put out their first product.
In preparation for a vacation to a place with very little cell service, San Francisco local Ken Goff and long time resident Bekka Saks searched for party games they could play that were similar to Cards Against Humanity. They were looking for something a little dirty or off-color that was fun easy to play, but they couldn’t find anything. So they started making their own games.
Their first game, which became available for purchase in May, is a dirty version of Scattergories called Odious Lists. Just like the game it is based on, Odious Lists provides players with a list of prompts that they have to respond to using words starting with a certain letter.
Unlike Scattergories, which has prompts that are categories like “vegetables” or “presidents,” the prompts in Odious Lists are much more raunchy. Some good ones include “Things you could compare a perfect ass too,” “Reasons to drink,” and “Bullshit inspirational quotes.”twitter endorsement from Neil Patrick Harris calling the game hilarious.
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) February 28, 2015
After the campaign had been live for three days, co-creator Ken Goff was checking the list of backers and he saw a “Neil Harris.” He screenshotted it and sent it to Bekka, saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if he was of the Patrick variety?” She replied saying that would “be crazy,” but “there’s no way it was him because they would probably see a huge spike in backing.”
Sure enough, a spike did occur, and the two soon saw NPH’s tweet about the game — his first tweet since the night he hosted Oscars. During the next 24 hours the Kickstarter campaign received $10,000 worth of backing.
As a thank you to NPH, Ken and Bekka included a prompt that reads, “If Neil Patrick Harris was a superhero he would be captain _____.” Ken conceded that this is perhaps the worst way anyone has ever been thanked for anything.
Ken and Bekka also made love letter videos for those who gave them $100 or more on their Kickstarter campaign. In the videos, they twist a quote about love into something humorous. My favorite was when they quoted Ayn Rand saying, “To say I love you, you must first be able to say ‘I.'” Then they added, “And to be a pirate, you must first be able to say ‘Arrr.'”
In terms of how to best play the game, Ken says players should get their mind as far in the gutter as they can — he added that having a few drinks while playing doesn’t hurt, either.
After playing the game myself, I found that it is best played with a large group of people you know well and share a sense of humor with. Unlike Cards Against Humanity, in which almost all the cards are well written and humorous, Odious Lists requires you to write your own answers — meaning if you aren’t with people who share your sense of humor, your answers can fall flat. The humor relies more on the creativity and inventiveness of the players, which is both good and bad; it allows for personalized or unexpected humor to come about and isn’t as repetitive as Cards Against Humanity, but it can also result in dud rounds where there aren’t many funny answers.
It is also important to focus less on winning the game, and more on just being funny and having fun. Like Scattergories, players get extra points if they use alliteration in their answers, but it’s no fun if someone just plays for the points. While playing with friends, we booed anyone who wrote lame alliterative answers to get points, and by the end of the game we were all just trying to be funny.
The instructions, which are so humorous that they are a treat to read, acknowledge how the focus isn’t on winning. They say, “Fuck it, we’re millennials… EVERYONE’S A WINNER!” Another great line in the instructions comes when it details how articles (a, the) don’t count. “If the letter is ‘A,’ you could not use “A Butthole” as an answer because, newsflash, butthole starts with ‘B.'”
Ken and Bekka already have another game called Odious Censor in the works, which will be a dirty version of Taboo. They hope to have it for sale in the coming months.
When I asked Ken about his roots in comedy, he said he didn’t really have any. But he added, “I think laughing is the most important thing that we can do. It’s the most fun thing to do, and it’s the best way to spend time with your friends.”
Seems like a pretty good reason to play a tabletop game that will make you laugh.
[Featured Image: Odious Lists]