Disclosure: I’ve never won Apples to Apples. And I don’t really love Cards Against Humanity, either. It’s a game that once included the charming card “Passable Transvestites,” and gives sometimes-terrible people the delusion that they’re funny. I remember once losing a game to an annoying guy whose personality could be best described as “Office Max File Cabinet.” “Neneer-neneer-neneer,” he gloated to me afterwards, a grown man of 35. All this is to say: I was terrified of playing The Metagame, a game whose structure is fundamentally similar to ‘Cards,’ and then overjoyed to find its brain and its bones, fundamentally better.
The Metagame, which was released on Amazon and for free download about a month ago, was designed by Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, and Eric Zimmerman, founders of a Brooklyn-based game collective called Local No. 12. The prominent game designers describe their creation, which came to life after two Kickstarter campaigns, as a “social card game about art, design, entertainment and culture.” Because talking about rules for games has always been boring, I’ll keep my explanation short. Metagame gives you two sets of cards: opinion cards and culture cards. Opinion cards range take the form of big questions—“Which gets more action?”—to bizarre fill-in-the-blanks: “If this were an animal, it would be a ____.” Similar to Apples, the game is opinion-based. Though there are a dozen different ways to play The Metagame (more on that later), each version is similar: pick the culture card that best matches the opinion card, and let your dumb friends be the judge. (more…)
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