CrappyBirthdayCrappy Birthday
NorthStarGames, 2011
Do you like giving gifts? Like giving funny gifts? Like Apples to Apples? Then Crappy Birthday may be for you. The game consists of about 150 or so cards. Each card has a strange, weird or downright horrible gift on it.

Like Apples to Apples, each player in turn is the “judge”, or in the case of Crappy Birthday, “The Birthday Person”. Every player tries to find a gift that from their hand that they think will be the WORST gift for the Birthday Person. The cards are placed face down in front of the Birthday Person. When all cards have been played, the Birthday person unwraps their gifts (looks at the cards), and determines which, in their opinion is the worst gift. The person who gave the gift is the winner of that round. The number of wins it takes to win the game is determined by the number of players.

Crappy Birthday is a simple game, but fun in the imaginative and strange gift ideas included. I especially love that the cards have real pictures on them. That means that these things actually exist somewhere. In some cases this is cool (The Darth Vader Air Balloon, or the Monster Smart Car) others it’s frightening. Warning to families, the game does have some “adult” cards, but you can remove the ones offensive to your family and continue with normal play.

If you are looking for a light party game in the tradition of Apples to Apples, you will probably like Crappy Birthday. If you play with the same folks all the time, it could get stale as the card pool is limited. Lightweight, easy, slightly weird game, pick up Crappy Birthday. Heck, give it to a friend as a Birthday gift.

TrailerParkWarsTrailer Park Wars
Gut Bustin’ Games, 2007

Trailer Park Wars is a lighthearted, irreverent game about trailer park ownership. You are the owner of a trailer park. You start the game with a circle of trailers. You spend the game attracting people to live in the trailers, and adding sweet amenities to your park while causing destruction and misfortune on the parks belonging to your opponents. As you add to your park, you will augment your park with lovely pink flamingos. Once all 100 included flamingos have been played, the player with the most flamingos wins.

This is an easy to learn, hilarious game. The thing I find most amusing is the trailers in the game are pictures of actual trailers that exist somewhere. You just can’t make up this stuff. Reality is so much funnier. The people in the games are pastiches of common stereotypes and may offend some players. Be warned, a good sense of humor and a will to make fun of everyone and everything is essential to enjoyment.

Toy value: Who doesn’t want a bag of plastic pink flamingos? This game has more strategy than it’s compatriot “Redneck Life”. Overall, it’s a lot of fun, and a good game for a nice light relaxing evening full of laughs. Give it a try.

RedneckLifeRedneck Life
Gut Bustin’ Games, 2003

Remember “The Game of Life”. We all played it as kids. Get an education, get a job, marry, have kids, make money and try to end the game with the most money. Redneck Life is a hilarious twist on that old favorite. You get an education (2nd to 12th grade), get a job (anything from taxidermist to clerk at the Ciggy Shack), get married, have lots of kids (mostly named Darrell, Darryl, Darrel, etc.) borrow money from “Uncle Clem”, and try to end the game with the most teeth.

Game play is easy-peasy. Roll 2 dice, move your token and do what the space says. If it says “Go Redneckin”, then you draw a “Go Redneckin” card and see what happens. If the space says stop, then you stop and find the chart that tells you step by step what to do.

The game comes with great sets of vehicles from “Uncle Clem’s Rodeo”. You have to purchase enough vehicle space to tote your young’ens around. It also has homes which you have to purchase when you marry. The great thing about both of these is that they are *acutal* real life, no we ain’t lyin’, places and vehicles.

As to actual game play. It’s like life. You roll the dice & do what it says to do. No strategy. HOWEVER, it is a hilarious game. Break out your best redneck accent and role-play your way through this one folks. We have found that as you do this, you’ll find things crop up for people again and again giving them a “theme”. You might be the bass fishing guide, and pick up the trout painted station wagon, and suddenly you’ll find your “Go Rednecking” cards will go with your theme. I know this is random, but it does seem to happen a lot as we play. The last game we played, my 13 year old daughter ended up stealing her first vehicle, drew a card which said she had stolen a bunch of beer from the back of a truck, then she snatched someone else’s vehicle when she lost hers, and drew another card which said she picked up a hitchhiker and robbed him! At the very end of the game, she drew a card where she would have gained $200. Someone took that card from her, so she drew another, and ended up stealing wheelchairs and selling them, making $300. Another player landed on all the moonshine spaces, and every card they drew had something to do with alcohol. Obviously, the town drunk!

So, you may have gathered… This game isn’t PC… REALLY isn’t PC. This game might offend you. It might offend your friends. It probably isn’t good for kids. It might offend your family. But if you aren’t easily offended, pick this one up. It isn’t one you’ll replay with the same people over and over, and the game even comes with an optional rule to roll 3 dice to speed up play. It can run a bit long after awhile. But still, if you get into the role-playing and like to let loose, and aren’t easily offended, give this a go.