Have you ever wanted a game that was a bit more adult than Apples to Apples, but more challenging than Cards Against Humanity? Are you a fan of Cyanide and Happiness? Got some friends? You should try in Joking Hazard, the random comic generator turned card game. Joking Hazard is not liable for damages, floods, or the summoning of C'thulhu. If games last more than four hours, consult your physician.
GAME DESCRIPTION: Joking Hazard is a card game for 3 or more players. Each turn, players attempt to finish a 3 panel comic in the funniest way possible.
SET-UP: Each player is dealt a set of 7 cards. One player is takes the role of Judge for this round. The Judge flips the top card from the deck. There are two colored borders, red and black. If the border is black, then the Judge plays a card from their hand, on either side of the first card. Each player plays 1 card in a pile face-down to finish the comic.
RED BORDER: If the first card has a red border, the judge will not play this turn. This is a Bonus Round, and players may now replace unwanted cards from their hand. The red bordered card is now played at the end, and players must play their cards before the red bordered card. Every other player plays 2 cards instead of just 1, with the bottom card being the first panel. Note that players may not play a red bordered card from their hand during a Bonus Round.
WINNING: Once all cards are gathered, the judge rewards a point to the player who made either the best or funniest comic. The first player to get 3 points wins, but continuous play is encouraged. The fewer players, the more points you may want required to win.
CONCLUSION: If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you'll notice that I am not a big fan of "adult games", seeing them as easy, unfunny, and gross. I've yet to review Cards Against Humanity because I don't see the fun in it. Joking Hazard, however, manages to do something most NSFW games have failed to accomplish: It made me laugh, and laugh hard. True, most of that is from the dark humor of the game, rather than the adult, but that still proves that it made a strong connection with me. The comic aspect of Joking Hazard makes it a bit more of a challenge to make it funny instead of just "insert strange/dirty joke here", which most of these games rely on. The jokes don't just work because a cheap laugh, they work because the players actually had to think about the layout of the jokes. This is not a game for family members, but it has a lot more merit than most Adult party games I've played.
AFTERTHOUGHTS: I didn't have a chance or a place to discuss this, but the game also comes with a set "house rules" to change up how to play. A lot of the house rules don't really change much, or just make the game more bizarre. I never got a chance to play the house rules, but just an inclusion of them makes me realize how aware the creators are to how most people play. Well done, Explosm, I tip my hat to you.