The Voting Game

The Voting Game from Player Ten is billed as an adult party game “that uncovers the hilarious truth behind your friendships,” and attempts to do so by having players vote on questions. This game uses a slightly different voting mechanic to what people may be used to with games such as Cards Against Humanity. In The Voting Game each player is given a selection of colour-coded number cards, which correspond to a player around the table. The question is read out, and you decide which player around the table the question most closely aligns with. For example, if James is marked as player three, and the question asks “Who has thrown a birthday party for their pet?” and James did that last week, well then, you slam that number three voting card down on the table (face down, so we can get a big reveal at the end, of course). After everyone has voted, and the voting cards are revealed, there’s time for a story. The most voted for person takes the question card as a signifier of score, and then play continues until someone collects a pre-determined number of cards.

When this one came through our office I put my hand up for it because it looked interesting. I’d heard of it in passing, the marketing around it talked a big game, and it had generally favourable reviews online (albeit from places I don’t exactly put much stock in); but when I physically got the box into my hands and read through it, the excitement waned a bit. It actually looked kind of boring, and I had a bit of trouble getting my group to agree to play it, despite the great reviews.

The Good

Some of the cards have blank spaces where you can insert your own modification on the question – sometimes it’s a word, like an object or topic, and sometimes the card asks you to target a particular player. The ones of these we saw were great, and I think this is a great mechanic to help keep the game fresh each time you play it. There’s always going to be issues with this sort of card, but the more creative the person asking the question, the more fun you’ll have with it.

Storytime after each question is a double-edged sword. It’s easily the best aspect of the game, but it can hard-right-hand-turn into being the worst part of the game very quickly. Which leads me to…

The Bad

Storytime after each question is a good idea in theory, but it also slows the game down a bunch. If the story’s any good, you’re also very likely to forget about the game to talk and drink instead, which is great for your night but not a net positive for the game itself. And trust me on this – you are going to want to have a good group of friends with some great stories, or there’s a 100% chance this part will S U C K.

To be fair, though, the game also gives itself the tagline “Warning: Not recommended for accountants and other people without a personality” but I’ll let you in on a secret – that’s pretty much exactly the target market. It simultaneously wants interesting people to play it and appeals to the opposite, purely because of the questions in the box. In fact, whenever I think about this game, I think about Bob. Bob is a character I invented, but he’s also someone we all know very well. Bob’s middle-aged, a little slow, finds exactly three things funny, and thinks he’s the smartest and funniest person in the room (and is determined to prove it at every opportunity). Bob is exactly the person this game was made for. Bob’s going to make those cards with the blank spaces on them the same question every time. Because of course he is.

The Meh

Realistically, some of the questions are a little… tryhard. And dull. Cards such as “Who isn’t wearing underwear right now? Prove it.” induced nothing but groans and eye rolls from my group of players. After a few rounds we adopted a veto rule for cards like that and used it a few times. For a first playthrough, that doesn’t bode well. We ended up playing a second time to try to get a bigger sample size and found ourselves vetoing less in the second game – so there’s a possibility that we just got a bad draw first time around. It happens.

Overall, I didn’t hate The Voting Game, but it also wasn’t great fun. We had more fun laughing at it than with it. This is the kind of game where if someone already had it and wanted to play it, I’d give it another go. But I’m not about to go rushing out to buy my own copy. I’d argue that you need the ‘create your own questions’ expansion for this game, but that’s an additional cost and the base game probably isn’t worth it.

Especially not when it retails at about $30-40 in Australia.

If it was maybe $10, I’d pick it up for Bob for Christmas. He’d love it.

Head over to The Voting Game website for more information – https://playerten.com/products/the-voting-game

Liked it? Take a second to support ATGN on Patreon!