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An apple a day

Apples to Apples Expansion Set 2

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If you're not into games, you'll still get hooked on Apples to Apples as this killer game is not suitable for those with addictive personalities. I should know, as I've taken the game on as a personal quest to expose the hilarity potential to friends and family alike. Over this year's Christmas festivities, as a gift to my sis, over 10 family members and I duked it out, winning rounds by relying on how well we really know each other. That's the beauty of this game: Either you know each other well and saunter towards the winner's circle (i.e., my grandpa picked the card "Sunrise" to describe the adjective card "Natural," while my grandma picked "Sunset"-cute, I know), or if you're playing with virtual strangers, it's a way to get to know each other better devoid of alcoholic substances.

Another bonus is Apples to Apples takes five minutes to explain. Essentially there are two decks of cards, what I'll term the adjective deck and the noun deck-to make my fourth-grade English teacher proud (technically the green and red apple decks, respectively). Adjectives range from anything as kooky as "Kooky," to anything as simple as "Woe-Be-Gone." Nouns can be famous people or places like "Clint Eastwood" or "Woodstock," to phrases or things like "Velcro" and "My Bank Account." Every player (the more the merrier) receives seven noun cards and takes turns being in charge of the single adjective card. Each player besides the judge contributes one noun card from their selection that they think best fits the single adjective card, and that they believe the judge will choose because either it (a) Is a funny personal joke; (b) Is insanely ironic and ill-fitting; or (c) fits like a glove. I usually prefer (b) for some reason, so if you're playing with me, you can generally win the round (and take the adjective card) by knowing that little tid-bit of info. Eventually, everyone's style becomes evident-my dad, for instance, militantly prefers the straightforward, no-frills approach so the most logical fit usually scores. But if it's my turn as the judge, and the adjective card is, let's say "Unfortunate," my mom will win because she knows I'll find her contribution of "My Bank Account" funny. Ha, ha. Mother dear then steals the round, takes the "Unfortunate" card and adds it to her pile. The first player to get seven adjective cards wins (or whatever card amount individual players decide upon).

Thankfully, to keep the game fresh for addicts like myself, a new version of Apples to Apples is released each year, adding hundreds of additional cards to the core game. Expansion Set 2 is the latest selection of new and outrageous comparisons. The original version can be found at most game stores for an average of $25-well worth the price. Order the expansion sets at www.looneylabs.com.

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