Game Review: The Game of Ham

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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# of Players: 3-15
Time: 30 Min
Age: 16+
Game Type: Party
Gamer Type: Causal
Complexity: 3

A Perfect Post Lockdown Game

With the lockdowns coming to an end, people are going to start having people over again. This means parties where people talk about the months of “nothing” that they have been doing and how soon the babies are due. This means a boom in the party game market as people look to have something happy to talk about as the nations of the world open back up. This is the niche where The Game of Ham comes into play.

Story

The Game of Ham is an interesting take on the Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, and The World’s Oldest Profession genres. While there is not much of a story per say, the players create some fun stories as they build pairings with the cards in the game. This genre of game is notorious for not having a storyline, but the pork-based theme of the game edges this game into a 3.5 for the story score.

Art

The art work of the game is fun and fast. The bold colors and cartoon artwork just scream “Ham,” but honestly I cannot tell you why. What I can tell you is that it works. I also want to note the box art and shape are being added to the art category for scoring. The box art for this game is fun and the box is just a little larger than standard small size. Everything in the box stays in place quite well, which is a plus. Overall, the game “hams” it up with the artwork brining in a solid 5 for a card based game.

Mechanics

The mechanics of this game are tried and true as the dealer plays a card and the other players play cards trying to get the dealer to pick their card. If this was all the game was, it would get an average score of 5 and go on the shelf with the hundreds of other Apples to Apples (AtA) clones. But it does not stop there. This is the first AtA style card game I have seen which incorporates a board mechanic. This movement system adds an additional element to the game. The “Checkpoint” element is a little bulky, but other than that we have a solid advancement in the genre, 7 out of 10.

Strategy

The strategy of the game is limited. There are elements of offense and defense present, but they are not super strong. Of course when you have a drinking/smoking party game, you do not want to have to think at the high war game strategy level. The creators designed The Game of Ham at the appropriate level, which meets the needs of the game and makes the game more fun. That is really what you want in a party game, and their efforts earn them a 5.5 out of 10.

Novelty

The novelty of this game is interesting. Yes, there are dozens of AtA clones, but this one took a risk and added elements. The risk paid off. The Game of Ham earns a good 6 out of 10 for the novelty of the game. Adding the board really put this game ahead of its peers. The edgy humor is fun, without taking it too far into the NSFW territory. That said, some may still find it NSFW.

The Game of Ham is a Solid Adult Party Game

Overall, The Game of Ham is a feast for the players. It is a fun, quick game that most of the culture can play. It does fall in the gap between AtA and Cards Against Humanity in the “shock value” category, making it more acceptable for a mixed crowd. This is a fun game to pick up for informal parties where a 3-5 player game just will not cut it. The Game of Ham earns a total score of 27 out of 50 and its place among the party games of the future.

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Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer

Dr Christopher Smithmyer is the Vice President of International Affairs at Brav Online Conflict Management and an Adjunct Professor of MBA Business at Doane University. He is also part of the founding team at BlackWalletLTD, one of the leaders in stable coin 2.0 ecosystem maintenance. Dr. Smithmyer’s focus is international business and finance, along with reviews of board games, weapons platforms, and survival items.

NRN • New Right Network
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