Scouting Report: Puns of Anarchy takes everything you love about Cards Against Humanity and puts it into the players' hands. The cards are whiteboards that players use to create their own answers.
I remember the very first time I played Cards Against Humanity. I was at a college party hosted by a friend of a friend, and even though I didn’t know a single person around that coffee table, I sat down and joined in; within minutes, we were all roaring with laughter like lifelong buddies. Round two was just as good, so I was thrilled to see the game at basically every party I went to that year. By round 67, it’d kind of lost its magic, and for almost a decade now, I’ve been actively searching for a great, new adult party game that’s not Cards Against Humanity. Well, I’ve finally found it.
It’s called Puns of Anarchy, and it’s downright brilliant. (In fact, when it launched on Kickstarter in 2020, it raised almost $150,000.) A friend brought it to a small, socially distanced barbecue at my house this summer, but because I was cooking, I couldn’t join in. That didn’t stop me from burning the food, though; I was so immersed in watching the gameplay, I forgot all about dinner. I bought my own copy that night.
Basically, it works the same way Cards Against Humanity does, but with an open-ended twist: You have a purple category card that you put in the middle, green answer cards that players play at their own discretion, and a rotating judge who chooses their favorite. The brilliant part? All of the answer cards are actually mini dry-erase boards, so you can change the card however you want in order to make it clever, relevant, hilarious, or dirty.
The objective is to make the best pun you can out of an answer card in your hand. A few examples: Say the category is FOOD; players might change “Fleetwood Mac” to “Fleetwood Big Mac,” or change “Post Malone” to “Toast Malone.” THE ELDERLY: “Gums and Roses,” or “Oldplay.”
One of my favorite things about this game is that it’s not inherently NSFW; both the category and answer cards are pretty tame to begin with, so I’ve played it with both family members and people I barely knew. But if your friends have particularly dirty minds (or there’s alcohol involved), it’ll take mere minutes for this game to get filthy — which, in my opinion, makes it infinitely more fun.
I’m not the only person who’s obsessed, though. “We were crying from laughing so hard,” one reviewer wrote. “It’s easy and quick, but most of all hilarious! Everyone we’ve played with has said they need to buy it,” another person commented. Each order comes with 250 answer cards, 60 category cards, and six dry erase markers — but since the puns will change with every round and with every group of people, gameplay is always different.
In short, if you’re sick of Cards Against Humanity but don’t know where to turn, this game is punishingly hilarious, pun intended and I regret nothing.
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