Board Game Review – Apples to Apples



Today I will be reviewing the game Apples to Apples by Mattel.  My family and I first discovered this at a family party over the holiday season a couple years ago.  My daughter absolutely loved the game even though she was a little young for it.  We decided to pick it up for her for Christmas last year and its been one of our favorite games since.

Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples Party box

 Apples to Apples by Mattel

  • Ages:  12+
  • Players:  4 – 10
  • Playtime:  30 minutes, short to medium

Game Mechanics

  • Card Play
  • Abstract

 How to Play

Apples to Apples Players Cards
Red Apple Cards

Each player gets dealt a hand of Red Apple Cards that they may look at, but keep secret from other players.  These cards will have various things listed on them such as:  Death Valley, Killer Whales, Halloween, Fireworks, Playing Chess, My Bathroom, A Morgue, Angry Hornets, Etc.

Each turn a player will choose a card to play that best describes the Green Apple Card that is in play.  Once a Red Apple Card is played the player then draws another to replace it.

Green Apple Cards
Green Apple Cards

Green Apple Cards are the driving force behind the game.  Play begins with one player determined to be the Judge.  This player draws a Green Apple Card and puts it in play.  Now it is up to the other players at the table to select one of their Red Apple Cards and place it face down in play.

Once all the players have played their cards, the Judge collects them and gives them a quick shuffle.  Then the judge looks at all of the Red Apple Cards that were played and chooses which card they think best matches the Green Apple Card in play.

This is where the real fun of this game comes into play!  You might think you have the best card ever to go with the Green Apple Card, but the Judge may think differently.  For example:  Busy is the Green Apple Card and the choices for the Judge are Bubbles, Spontaneous Combustion, Secret Societies, & High School Bathroom.  What would you choose if you were the Judge?

Apples to Apples Judge
How would you judge this?

Sometimes the Red Apple Cards will make a lot of sense, and sometimes they just don’t.  However the cards come out, this is where the fun of the game resides.  I personally love when irony works its way in here, as that is a lot of laughs.

Apples to Apples Irony
One of the more ironic card plays my family had.

Whoever put in the Red Apple Card that the Judge picks out wins the Green Apple Card and becomes the next Judge.  Play continues in this fashion until you have a winner.  The number of Green Apple Cards needed to win is determined by the number of players in the game.


The biggest Positive of this game is that just about anyone can play and win the game.  You don’t have to figure out any strategies and the rules are extremely simple.  The game can be played with those under the age recommendation, though it can be harder for those players to understand all the things on the cards.

The game also works great for parties as well!  Like I said I was introduced to it at a family party and we had a blast playing it that night.  With needing at least 4 people to play, the party setting makes this game easier to get started.


The biggest challenge of the game is that you really do need 4 people to play the game.  There have been many times in my house where my daughter wanted to play, but there were not enough of us to do so.

The other challenge is that there are a lot of names of older actors and such that younger minds may not even know who they are.  There are also cards that could be considered more negative as well, however there are plenty of cards so if a few are offensive they can be removed.


Thumbs UpI think this is a great game to have in your collection as it can span many different areas of play.  Its a good game for the family to play, and it also works great at family parties.  Its simplicity and versatility just make it a fun game to play

I also like playing this game with my younger kids and I think it is a good tool to expose them to new vocabulary words as well as exposing them to new things.  I remember one time explaining to my youngest who John Wayne was and I appreciated that as he may not have ever encountered him without this game.

If you have any questions about the game or just want to share your experiences with it, please leave a comment below.  I always do my best to answer questions as soon as I am able.  Also, make note that I have provided a check box if you wish to be notified of any replies to your comment.  Lastly you can add Apples to Applesto your collection and help support this site.

James W D

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10 Replies to “Board Game Review – Apples to Apples”

  1. What a great site. I LOVE how you give the Challenges and Positives as this makes it easier to make a choice on “to buy or not to buy”… I’ve heard lots of good things about this game but I haven’t heard the negative. Very insightful. Thanks so much!

    • Christie, Thank you for the feedback. I have learned in life that while every dark cloud has a silver lining, so does every silver cloud have a dark lining. The same holds true for games, as there are always good and bad for each. I do my best to be objective and give both sides of the story. Thank you for stopping by!

    • Ryan, Glad to hear that I was able to jostle your memory. I hope you and your family have a lot of fun! If you get any great plays, please stop back and share with us.

    • It has been a hit with my family. Plus with it being so versatile it is a great game for your collection. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thanks Robert! I appreciate you stopping by again. I agree that the High School bathroom would be an obvious choice and a good card to play, but that’s the great part about this game… the Judge may not agree with you!

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