This is a guest review of Farce Card Game by Derek ‘Dez’ Maggs with the Australian Tabletop Gaming Network.
With this game, I was struggling to come up with a whimsical or scene building intro. I re-read the rules, I looked at the cards and nothing came to me. So I did the one thing we all do when we are stuck or need answers: I Googled it! And again Google has come through with the goods. The definition of ‘farce’ explains the game better than I ever could and I finally get to use the word ‘buffoonery’ in one of pieces to boot!
Farce (noun) – a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.
In Farce there are three types of card; Words, Fragments, and Connectors. The dealer rotates clockwise after each round; each player is dealt three Words, six Fragments and three Connectors cards. The aim of the game is for players to each make the funniest sentence with their cards, which they will then read out to the group. After receiving and viewing their cards, players may each fold up to two cards and ask the dealer to deal an equal number of replacement cards (of the same type), before playing their hand. Players then have two minutes to order and combine their cards any way they wish to produce a funniest sentence, using as many or as few of their cards as they wish. You don’t always need to use all three types of card to make a sentence as the aim is to create the funniest sentence, not the longest. Each player reads their sentence out loud to the group and the player receiving the most laughs is awarded a point. When players consider there is a tie, the dealer may award a point to each of the tied players. Players fold their cards at the end of each round before the next dealer deals twelve new cards.
Some of the card contains the forward slash ‘/’ symbol this indicates possible alternatives for the player. For example, the Fragments card containing the following: “look/s like they’re/he’s/she’s skipping when they’re/he’s/she’s walking” enables the player to read it in various different ways, such as “look like they’re skipping when they’re walking”, or “looks like he’s skipping when he’s walking” etc. Many cards also contain the following instruction at the top: “You may use any ONE of the below”. These cards each contain a number of possibilities for the player and the player may use one of those possibilities in their sentence.
I know after reading the rules, a lot of people are asking is this just Cards Against Humanity? The simple answer is no. With Farce you are in complete control of your sentence, you aren’t just filling blank spaces hoping it works or it fits in. Not to mention, I like the fact you are using your brain and showcasing your sense of humour and skill with the English language.
I like that in Farce the points are given out by the group, not just the dealer, which I believe makes it fairer. In the past, I have noticed players in Cards Against Humanity will not play cards because they know it is more suited to another player’s sense of humour. So it feels more like they are playing the dealer not the game. One of my favourite aspects of this game is if you have two amazing sentences you can have two winners. How many times have you been tossing up between two? If that happens in this game; award them both the point.
I played this game several weekend ago, with the same group of friends I played Dear Leader with (shameless self-promotion review here). As avid Cards Against Humanity players, I believed this would be the perfect market for testing of the game, not to mention get their opinion if this was a copy. To be honest, 90% of them really like the game. They liked the word play and the freedom of taking the sentences wherever they wanted to. They enjoyed the fact that they were better able to personalise and showcase their own sense of humour. I totally agreed with them. This game allows you to take creative control and gives you the freedom to form the sentence into what you think is funny and into what you want. The beauty of this game is the lack of limitation and freedom to go as crazy as you want with the sentence.
There are a few issues I had with this game. It can sometime be very confusing with all the he’s/she’s/there are, or has/have on cards, I understand why they have done this, but just gets confusing sometimes when there are several on one card, or your sentence contains multiple of these cards. I also wish there was a way of marking which one of the par-sentences you used. As we found with the twelve of us playing; by the time everyone had read theirs, people had forgotten or it wasn’t clear exactly what they had chosen. Granted the reason the rounds were long and people were forgetting what they had was due to the laughing and struggling to control ourselves to read the next one.
But the one thing I wish they changed or rethought was the box design. If they decide to go with the box on the Print and Play I received and are trying to distance themselves from being compared to Cards Against Humanity, I wish they had gone a different route with the box. Other than the yellow Farce logo (see the picture at the top of the review) the boxes are very similar.
Overall this is a very well put together and thought-out game, it stimulates your mind, and allows you the freedom to create your own funny and whimsical sentence. I know I will personally be backing Farce as I can see this being a staple at any of my board game nights.
Also, if anyone manages to get a sentence using all twelve cards, please tag me on Twitter or Facebook as I want to see. We actually played a ‘most cards used’ round and no one could use all twelve cards without a lot of ‘and’s or just having the sentence get way too farfetched and losing the hilarity. So if anyone does it, I want photo evidence!
The Kickstarter for this game will be on August 23rd and a draft of that Kickstarter can be found here, this link will also take you to the campaign once it has started.
See more reviews and news from the Australian Tabletop Gaming Network HERE.