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.

GeekOutGeek Out!
Playroom, 2013

Want to find out how geeky you are? Think you are the geekiest of them all. Find out with Geek Out! This is a trivia party game for individuals or teams. Simply put, you roll the die to determine the category to be played. Categories are: Games, Comics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Miscellaneous. There is a blank side on the die, if that is rolled, then the player/team chooses the category they wish to play. There no “correct” answers on the card. Each player/team must bid on how many correct answers they think they can come up with. The highest bidder must then give that many answers to get the card, which is worth one point. If they do not answer the question to the satisfaction of the group, then they receive a -2 penalty chip. The first player or team to 5 points wins.

That is the way the game is officially played. To be honest, every time we play it we start playing the game, but end up reading the question and then everyone answers and discusses until we decide to move on to the next question. We rarely, if ever play for points and don’t usually declare a winner. Does that make our game play a cooperative variant?

The questions are great. This is a great game when you are sitting around and want to start conversations or get a group of people talking about things. It would be great for a convention panel. I’m thinking of reading the question, having attendees bid, and if they complete their quest giving out candy. Fun.

Example question: (This is on the back of the box, so I shouldn’t get in trouble for this…) Four Video Game Companies. How many can you list?

This is a lot of fun, and a great “get-to-know-you” or “party” game. Recommended.