Before I begin, I was provided a copy of the game in exchange for an honest review. This is NOT a paid review.
If you would prefer to watch a video review of this game, check it out below!
Back when I was still in college I was performing with a small local Shakespeare company for the summer. During one of the cast parties someone broke out a game. Apples to Apples. I had never played anything like it, and had a blast…of course it very quickly somehow still managed to become dirty. That was probably my first experience with a “modern” board game, and though I was not hooked then I certainly still remember it.
I do not know if Apples was the first game to use the mechanics it uses, but it has to be one of the first. Cards Against Humanity brought the mechanic into the public eye, and then Joking Hazard improved upon it yet again by making it a visual game. I have to say I thought that the genre was pretty much tapped out, but along comes Danger and it has found yet another variant on the mechanic that is just a blast to play.
What Danger does, that is different is that it relies on the players to be able to tell a story, rather than relying on the rounds judge to create the story in their mind, and it also allows for table cross talk as your opponents can try to poke holes in the story you are weaving. In a nutshell, what is happening in the game is the judge for the round is the “victim”. They draw a yellow card which tells them what kind of danger that they are in.
So in the example above they are trapped in Amazons warehouse. It is up to the other players to come up with their rescue plan. They all have multiple “Skill” and “Tool” cards, and they will pick one of each. Then on their turn they get to say how they would use that skill and tool to rescue the judge. The only limits are the imagination of the players. You will notice in the picture above there is the additional card that says a meteor is on the way. That is a “plot” twist card, which any other player can play in order to foul up your plan. After everyone has had a chance to offer up their plan the victim selects the plan they like the best. First to win three rounds is the winner.
So what do I think?
This really does feel like a fresh take on the genre. I really enjoyed the ridiculous stories that people were coming up with to justify why their plan is the best one. The creativity that is unlocked with the simple tools and skills really is delightfully hilarious. I think the cards themselves are really clever. They are simple enough, but none of them are boring.
I also love the way the rule sheet is written. It immediately captures the vibe of the game, I won’t spoil it for you but, even the rules made me chuckle. They also have the master stroke of the plot twist cards. The game is fun without them, just the simple play your cards and tell your story, then defend your story. Good fun. Yet, once you get comfortable enough with that you introduce the these plot twist cards, which are just hilarious, and cause people to do all kinds of mental gymnastics to keep themselves in the game.
The cards themselves. They are just cards, like any other game of this ilk. Text on a colored card. Not breaking the mold here. Though I cannot imagine how expensive this game would be if they all had unique art. In any event it is not needed.
More so than other games of this style this game is dependent on the group you are playing with. There is a significant amount of on the spot story telling each player has to do. Great you have the “Ability to animate in animate objects” and a “parrot that can translate anything.” Cool. What are you doing to do with to get me out of that Amazon Warehouse? The pressure is on you to make it coherent and funny. For the group I play with this is no problem, but that may not be your group. The only other issue I can see is that there is no anonymity. This means that there is absolutely the ability to play “Kingmaker” and stonewall someone because you are mad at them or you don’t want them to win…you know be a petulant child.
Bringing it all together
This is an awesome variant on the classic formula created by Apples to Apples and perfected by Cards Against Humanity and Joking Hazard. The cards do just enough to give you a seed of a story to tell as you try to convince the other players that you have the best plan. The game allows for cross talk at the table so you have a chance to poke holes in your friends stories, or take inspiration from them and improve your own. This does however, lead to the risk of kingmaking as there is no anonymity. The success of this game relies more on players creativity and willingness to improve on the spot. Most of the cards are not necessarily funny on the surface.
You have written more words here than are on all the cards in the box!
*Hilarious twist on the classic formula
*Game brilliantly allows for creative story telling
*Some groups may struggle with the need to be creative
*Fantastically written rulebook
*Potential for Kingmaking, if you play with lame people who do that…
*If you enjoy this kind of game, it is a must own