A Dirty Market
Since Cards Against Humanity came out, there has been a boom of adult humor games that feature similar mechanics and design. I’d go so far as to say the market for such games has become a little saturated. While I like CAH, it lost its appeal after what felt like the hundredth time playing. With the recent exception of Joking Hazard, it’s been hard to find a game that features adult humor that isn’t just some CAH knockoff or done in bad taste.
Before the new year, I was asked to preview an adult humor game that took an indirect approach to being dirty but wasn’t a direct copy of CAH. I was excited to give this game a try, and I was very pleased when I did.
Time To Get Cunning With Language
Cunning Linguistics (see what they did there) is a party game, for 3-8 players, where you can make dirty answers to questions out of seemingly innocent words. Each round the selected reader will choose a topic card and read it to the group. Everyone, including the reader will submit an answer for the topic card. Answers are created using the nine word cards in front of each player and what’s listed on their Free Words bank card. Once everyone has written down their answers, and turned them in, the reader will share each answer with the group. Everyone, except the reader, will then vote on which answer they like best. For each vote an answer receives, that player will gain a point. The first player to reach the point goal for the game will be declared the winner.
How To Become a Cunning Linguist
Cunning Linguistics is an easy game to learn and set up.
First, shuffle the word cards then let each player draw nine from the deck. These cards will be arranged in a three by three grid in front of each player, word-side up. Next shuffle the topic cards and place the deck face down in reach of everyone. Each player will also receive a Free Words bank card, piece of paper, and a pencil. On a separate sheet of paper, record everyone’s name for score keeping. The last thing to do is choose who will act as the first reader.
Once set up is complete, have the reader choose a topic card and read it aloud to the group. Players will use their word cards to create a response to the question or topic. Each of the nine word cards has five words on it. Only one word from each of these cards can be used for a topic at a time, but you can construct your answers from as many or as little words as you want to use from your pool. Once a word from a card is used, that card cannot be used again, and will be discarded and replaced at the end of the round. Words from the Free Words bank can be used as many times as needed. I’ve found that flipping over the word cards as you use them helps to eliminate duplicate uses.
There are also a few rules you need to know about creating your answers:
- Any type of punctuation is acceptable.
- Answers are not limited; you can use one or multiple sentences.
- Words can be modified to enhance/fit your answer with a few exceptions:
- You can combine words from your cards with words from the Free Word bank to create words like “Can’t”
- The root word can be modified–for example, jump can become jumps, jumped, or jumping
- You cannot add anything in front of the root word–for example, honest cannot become dishonest
- Words can be used in any context–for example, “can” might refer to a container instead of the ability to do something
Following these simple rules is easy, it’s the getting creative part that will prove to be the challenge.
Example answer: The erect noodle pointed to the other salami during packaging.
Once everyone has created their answers, including the reader, everyone will hand in their responses. The reader will then shuffle up the answers and number them in order. Each answer will then be read aloud to the group–any answer can be repeated if necessary. Everyone but the reader will be voting on their favorite answer; you cannot vote for your own. Players will secretly jot down the number of the answer they liked best and then reveal their choice to the group. For every vote an answer gets, that player will receive a point. The point goal will be determined by the amount of players. The first person to reach the goal will be declared the most cunning linguist in the group!
After playing this game a few times, I can say it has been one that I have really enjoyed. I find the game easy to learn and teach, making it a great pick up party game. I love having to get creative to make my responses. A lot of times it is really tough too, because there are multiple words on a single card that I would like to use, making choosing just one super difficult. Cunning Linguistics does a good job of keeping you on your toes, so even though it is a game designed to be dirty and fun, it is a good exercise for the mind, which I always appreciate in any game.
That being said, I think people who love coming up with crazy and creative things will really like this game and get the most out of it. Even those who aren’t as keen on having to come up with answers on the spot can still find fun in the game, because sometimes, the simplest answer can be the best. I’ve seen some really crazy answers and I’ve seen some one-word answers, each with their fair share of votes. You just have to remember to play to your crowd.
There isn’t much about the game I dislike. I do feel, however, that the voting process is a little clunky as is, and we normally just do it our own way. I do like that you compete for points though, and that the reader at least gets to participate every round. I think that is a huge plus for this game, as a lot of games with readers or judges often leaves one person left out of the fun of answering.
Overall, I think Cunning Linguistics is going to be a great addition to your party game library and will bring a lot of laughs to any game night. If you are interested in giving the game a try before it comes to market, head over to the CRaZy Like a Box website to get the print and play version of the game, and sign up for info about its release.
Was this helpful to you? What other information would you like to have seen? Would you like me to do a review/preview? Please leave a comment below, or head over to my contact page to send me an email, tweet, or Facebook message. Thanks for reading!