GAME REVIEW: Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples is right up there with UNO as one of the better card games around, so the only real surprise about its release on Xbox Live Arcade is that it took this long for anyone to digitize the experience. For those unfamiliar with the game, it’s pretty simple. There are two decks of cards: green apple cards that contain adjectives and red apple cards that contain nouns. Each round, one player assumes the role of judge and selects a green card from the deck. The rest of the players must then choose a red card from their respective hands that they feel best matches the word on the green card, and the judge picks the winner. Of course, it’s completely up to the judge to decide what’s the best match (some will choose literal meanings, while others will favor witty combinations), but that’s part of the appeal.

For the most part, the experience is replicated on Xbox Live fairly well, even if it’s more fun to play with real friends than a bunch of strangers. The game’s other two modes, however, aren’t quite as successful. Local multiplayer is more about trying to fake out the other players by using a tool that conceals your card choice (a necessary inclusion considering everyone shares the same screen), while the single-player mode isn’t really Apples to Apples at all. Instead, you’re shown a red card and three green cards and must select the most appropriate choice using letters on a Boggle-like game board. It’s a creative way of adapting the game for one player, but aside from the fact that it doesn’t take very long to complete, it’s also not the reason you should be buying “Apples to Apples” in the first place. If you have enough friends planning to pick up the game as well, or you don’t mind making new ones on Xbox Live, then this is a no-brainer, but anyone else would be wise to reconsider.

  

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