We were sent Absurdum to review, a new party game that is live on Kickstarter. In this game, you’re debating a topic card fervently with modifiers added and a timer to keep everything succinct.
Setup is simple, you shuffle the topic cards into their own deck and the modifiers in the same way. The two decks are easily distinguished by their unique artwork, symbols and colors. Modifier cards are orange with black letters while the topic cards are black with orange letters. Simplicity at its finest when it comes to design. Each player takes two modifier cards and gameplay begins. On your turn you will draw a topic card. This will be the topic of your debate and will be a deep held belief you now hold. It could be “Santa is terrifying” or “Children’s television is brainwashing.” You now pick your opponent and begin your debate. When your debate begins you must convince the other players that you are correct.
Now you may already be thinking, this game is very simple and sounds easy. The kicker, and where the game picks up, is that in order to prove yourself the best public speaker and debater in the room is that your spectators can choose to give you their modifier cards. The modifier cards will change how you argue and suddenly you find yourself having to give your opponent dating advice while arguing that Winter is the best season. Suddenly your plan of attack is derailed and you have to figure out a way to spin a compelling argument while maintaining your modifier.
When the timer is up, the player who has the most convincing argument is the winner and earns a point. Play continues until a specific point amount is reached. There is no requirement to play by points, with a timer, or to a specific point count. You can play for however long and debate for however long you’d like. The game can get very absurd very quickly. Which explains the name…
The packaging may be subject to change as it is still in the Kickstarter phase. If you love debates, acting, and convincing friends and family that you’re right (even if you know you’re wrong), then this game will fill that void.
Language Barrier Playability: Impossible. If there is a language barrier then this game will not work as it is entirely language dependent.
Replayability: This is a tough category to gauge for this game. There is no particular round limit or time limit. So this game can be as short or as long as you’d like. As such, the replayability factor may change depending on how long you end up making your games.
Artwork: Graphic design is strong. The symbols and icons are all very well themed. The cards are similar to street signs and pedestrian crossings. Very simple and neat.
Strategy: Very light. The only strategy in this game is choosing who to argue against and who to give modifier cards to. There’s not much strategy beyond that in terms of rules and gameplay. Now, it’d be an entirely different story if we discussed fallacies and good arguments, but this is a party game not CSPAN.
Quality: Good. The card quality is excellent and are linen textured. No one likes slippery cards and this game does a good job of keeping a light texture on cards to keep them in your hands. The box and packaging may change but the packaging is made of corrugated cardboard. It is a bit unorthodox for a card game but it sort of works with the theme of the game.
Instruction Manual: More of a sheet at this point in time. Short, quick, to the point. No needless words and no pointless pictures. Here is setup, how you play, what things are and bam. Done.
Organization: Decent. The box is a little too big for the amount of cards and they’ll sort of flip/fly all over the place in the box. The packaging could be smaller or there could be additional cards that may be added at some time in the future??? (i.e. Expansions?) Either way, too much room in the box for now and it’s a little bothersome to have to reorganize the cards if you are a stickler for organization.