Review: Pretending to Grownup Card Game

A Fun Card Game for 2-4 People

  • # of Players 2-4
  • Time: 20-30
  • Age: 14+ (could be 8+)
  • Game Type: Card, Battle, Satire
  • Gamer Type: Entry through Hardcore
  • Complexity: 5 (Standard Board Game)

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Oh, the monotony of being an adult in the modern world! There are all the things we have to do, all the things we are expected to do and those fleeting moments of things that we want to do. This is the grind, that as Drew Carrey puts it, has a support group called the bar. Where everyone meets at 5PM to discuss how they have to get up and do it again the next morning. Being an adult is not all that we thought it was when we were teens.

In the misery of daily toil comes a new game from Golden Bell Studios and Jason Anarchy Games, Pretending to Grownup. Pretending to Grownup is a fun little game that places you in one of the unenviable positions in the world of being a grownup. The story of the game is quite simple, you are a grownup tasked at being a better grown up than the other players in the game. You have to manage your time, money and energy better than your counterparts so you can declare that you are the best grownup in all of “growupendom”.

Story and Artwork

This is done by conducting the tasks that we all face each day, such as trying yoga, going to a barbeque, or even trying to push a pull door. As you demonstrate your grown-up aptitudes, you will earn grownup points. This will, of course prove that you are the best grown up. This fun little story leaves us all feeling the pain of adulthood and longing for the simple life of childhood. Since it is something that anyone can relate to, Pretending to Grownup earns an 8 out of 10 for story score.


The artwork in this game is fun and cartoon-ey. Since the game is satire, this cartoon art really adds to the nature of the game. There are some cards that draw you into the realm of imagination. These are the Unipegasaurus cards, which help detract from the adulting nature of the game. These cards have imaginative artwork which adds even more to the theme. There is also a giant wooden meeple of a Unipegasaurus, and we all know meeples add to games. Thus, the score of 7 of 10 is awarded to Pretending to Grownup for the artwork.

Game Mechanics and Strategy

The mechanics of the game are simple, but that adds to the theme as well. As an adult what do you do? You go to work, go home, go to sleep, repeat. Most of the game is either drawing cards or challenging (squabbling) with opponents. There will be times when you have the chance to play the odd card that benefits you, or when you have the “time” to grab the Unipegasaurus token. Most of the game is card management and determining if you have the best in any one category. This earns the game an average score of 5 out of 10 for mechanics.

Strategy in this game is interesting, basically you are trying to read your opponents. Should you bluff that you have a strong card or actually play your best card and hope that no game effects torpedo your plans? It is basically life, either you can “fake it till you make it,” or “put your best foot forward.” Either way, whether you win is determined by whether people pay attention to you or if they ignore you, just like in real life. This earns the game a 6 out 10 in the strategy category.

Novelty and Overall Score

Novelty is interesting, as in the genre of grownup games, there are not a lot of options. Being the “lead” game in this category definitely earns the game points. Since the subcategory is fantasy, this drifts into the newfound global fascination with unicorn-like animals, which has a flooded market right now. The mechanics and strategy balance out and some above average theme artwork adds to the score as well. Pretending to Grownup thus draws a Novelty score of 7.5 out of 10.

With a total score of 33.5 out of 50, Pretending to Grownup packs a lot of punch for a small box game. The game is fun and cheeky. Add to that the ability to play with almost any group and you have a good little party game that is safe for work. It is also a good game for kids who are at a mid-level reading, I think that the 14+ rating was due to the meeple since the safety companies think that kids stick more things in their mouths than adults.

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So as a warning, make sure your kids know not to stick random things in their mouths. I recommend that you check out this game for your next game night. Not your typical card game, it should interest most. It is easy to learn, easy to play, and really makes us look at the functions of life we call adulting.

Christopher W Smithmyer
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