When it comes to mood setting intros, party games aren’t the easiest games to write about. So I did what any person does who is stuck, I ‘Googled it’ (not to mention, I have used this trick once before and got to use the word buffoonery in an article).
Argle Bargle (Noun) :
- copious but meaningless talk or writing; nonsense.
- a wrangling argument or verbal dispute Also called argy-bargle.
Thanks again Google and the dictionary for helping spell out what the game is all about.
Argle Bargle, like most party games, is super simple to set up. You simply shuffle the cards and deal 10 cards to each player, then give 5 life counters to each player.
Players may take one of 2 actions on their turn:
Play an Insult; or Exchange any number of cards in their hands for new cards
To play an insult you must play 4 or more cards that must form a complete sentence. You may use the words on either side of the card but not both. Each word has a points value associated with it and these are added together to work out how much damage the insult has caused. A quick guide is below:
- 5 or more points: the insulted player loses 1 life
- 10 or more points: the insulted player loses 2 life
- 15 or more points: the insulted player loses 3 life, and you received a life
There are also 3 special cards that can be used during a game.
- Reversal: after you or another player is insulted, you may play this card to reverse the insult
- Redirect: Allows you to redirect the insult and damage to another player (except for the player who played the insult)
- Boom: your insult can not be reversed or redirected
The game ends once all players have used their life tokens. There is also a house rule in the rule book that I would highly recommend. When the final two players are in head to head mode and once a player loses their last life counter, they may play one more insult, a dying breath if you will, to see if they can take out the winner too.
Argle Bargle is a super fun and hilariously witty game. The insults you come up with are truly absurd and downright nonsense. Some of the insults just seem like when you get so mad you can’t think of words and just randomly sprout out words that don’t really fit but are just plain funny. For example:
These cards were played by my housemate and she was laughing so much, she couldn’t read the sentence, which in turn made the rest of us also lose it. She was going to put impregnated Grandmother but thought it was funnier and sillier to make the banana pregnant.
The beauty of Argle Bargle is the opinions; every card works together. In some party games you can feel railroaded into playing certain cards, or a number of cards only work with one or two others. So you are left feeling pressured or wasting a turn throwing down a garbage set of cards. Argle Bargle is not like that at all. The word choices and the structure of the cards are so cleverly thought out that it gives you maximum usability. Also the choice to put 2 phrases or words on each cards helps add to the versatility of your hand.
One other thing I should point out is, a lot of party games go for that shock value by putting in phases or words that truly aren’t suitable to play with teenagers. This game has none of that; it simply relies on the silliness and ridiculousness of the cards. This, I believe, is a super smart choice and a great change for the party game scene; I know I have a few, very devout catholic friends that will never play Cards Against Humanity for obvious reasons. So it feels good to have a party game that we can all play and yet is just as much fun as Cards Against Humanity with the knowledge you aren’t going to offend half the people playing.
When reviewing a party game I try to go into it with an open mind, which is hard with Cards against Humanity ruling the roost when it comes to party games. There seems to be a lot of games out trying to be a contender; Argle Bargle is a real contender to knock Cards Against Humanity off and one I believe you should seriously get.
Also after speaking to Zeke, one of the designers of Argle Bargle, I can reveal that there are already expansions in the works including one that I can’t wait for…. well that is a lie, there are several he told me about that I’m excited about. There is an Australian Slang Deck in the works; which has me so so excited. The silliness of this game would really be perfectly matched to some of our ridiculous slang. Also I may or may not know what some other possible expansions are…… but I can’t tell you. ok shhhh…. I can’t tell you but maybe I can just leave this here.
You can check out the Argle Bargle website here, it will go live on Kickstarter on the 18th of January.