Apples to Apples is a game of comparisons and lots of laughs! In my retirement community, there has been a consistent group that has played Scattergories for the past few years, and they were starting to get a bit bored. As I mentioned in an earlier article about Scattergories, they went from playing once a week to every other week. This past year, they decided to take a break over the summer. When the volunteer leader came to me we spoke and decided to try to introduce another game.
I brought in Apples to Apples and we played for the first time this week. It was such a fun night. For those who've played before, you will see that I took the basics and added another step to the game in order to bring the group of 20 together. This is what I did:
- Set-up card tables with 4 chairs per table
- The RED cards were divided by the number of tables that we had full and each portion was placed onto the center of each card table
- Invited the group to come in and be seated at the tables. Most of them had heard that they were going to be in groups of 4, so they came prepared. Others accepted new faces at their table
- I asked the table to mix the cards up - face down, to create their draw pile
- I explained the goal of the game and showed them the difference of the cards
- I encouraged them to "talk-up" their card so that the "judge" would select it
- I directed each person to take 7 cards and put them into their hand like they would any other card game (fanned out so they could see the writing)
- I read the GREEN card to them and asked them to select the card in their had that best fit the Green card's definition and place it FACE DOWN on the table.
- I then asked them as a table to select the best card of the 4 that they would want to send to me - the “Judge" in this round.
- The reason I did it this way was because I wanted each person to play independently at their table by selecting their card without being influenced by the other cards being played - and that is the way the real game goes.
- After the group selects the best card, the Judge goes to the tables, and gets the card that they want to play and then takes the 3 discarded cards from the round. I used the lid of the box to put those into and held onto the "winning card" from each team.
- I read the green card again to remind them of the word we were after and then the red answers from the group
- I encouraged them to convince me and then made my choice.
- The winning team received the green card.
- Each person was told to take another card because you should always have 7 in your hand when the green card is introduced.
- I then went to the table next to the one I was sitting at, and asked for the person who wanted to be judge next.
- I sat in the seat of the person who got up and took their cards to be mine for the rest of the game.
- The rotation continued until all tables/teams served as the judge.
- We believe that without all of the explanation time, that when the group plays again they will be able to go around 3 times in the 1.5 hours that they stay for.
I did tell the group that if the table/team does not have someone who wants to be the judge that they can simply "pass" that job and we will move onto the next table/team. Also, if the job of judge is shared within a team, that is even better.
You will find that there are people who step up and take the lead and others who will not. I did find one lady who wanted to always make the selection at the table and I did have to model the behavior again for her that it is a team decision. I would assume that the people who were sitting with her will not sit with her again if she continues that behavior, or that they don't want to make the decision and are fine with leaving it up to her. I'm not going to worry about it as I do feel it will work itself out.
This was a very fun night for those who attended. I hope that they will tell their friends and that we will have a bigger group next time. (Ps. This game could be played at individual tables as it is designed by the game company, but I choose to do it this way to unite the whole group together.)