A little less than a year ago, I played Cards Against Humanity for the first time. I had stayed away from it for a few reasons (primarily because most of my friends live hours away and I rarely get together with them, but also because humor is one of those things where there is a fine line between funny and offensive, and CAH doesn’t hesitate to cross that line), but a bachelorette party seems like the perfect time to bust out such a game.
Although it revealed my usually hidden “dark side,” I loved CAH, so when I got the opportunity to review Punderdome, a game which compares itself to CAH, I jumped at the opportunity.
When the game arrived, I was pleased with the overall presentation. The exterior packaging was clean and attractive, while the inside was well organized with easy to understand directions. The game’s compact size makes it an easy travel companion but the box is sturdy and secure enough to not worry about losing pieces.
The overall premise of the game is to create the funniest puns (in case it has been awhile, a pun is simply a play on words–using a word in a different context to create a humorous effect). 2 cards are drawn, each with a topic. Players must somehow connect the two topics in their puns. For example, one card might say “furniture” and the other “exercise.” A player might come up with the pun, “I don’t like to exercise, I’m more of a Lazy-Boy myself.” To win, a player must have some familiarity not only with the concepts themselves, but also be clever enough to connect them in atypical manners.
Overall, I liked the premise of the game, but I expected more. I think it requires a little more deep thinking than a game like Cards Against Humanity and lacks a little bit of the inappropriate “zest.” (At least in CAH when you say something inappropriate you can use the excuse “I didn’t have any good cards left….”) While I wouldn’t play CAH with my mother, I can definitely say I would take Punderdome to a family gathering and have a lot of fun doing so. There were times while playing it was difficult to think of anything funny and the time didn’t seem long enough, but with the right mix of topics, a lot of humor came out. Plus, being a family friendly game, puns could be as clean or as twisty as a player’s mind could make it. If you have people reluctant to play or worried they can’t think of good enough puns alone, it would be easy to turn into a team effort.
So if you happen to pick up this game for yourself, be prepared to think a little bit (never a bad thing), and be sure to have your own pads of paper (the ones included are teeny!) and something to keep time (if you even want to do that–I didn’t).
**I received a copy of this game for review in exchange for my honest opinions.