Politics. Always the hot-button topic no matter which side of the aisle you reside. Now you at home can debate the important issues affecting society with the same dignity as our enigmatic leaders. It’s time to tackle topics such as Medicare, Government Surveillance, and Prostitution and get ready to be a vessel for real change in the political debate card game, The Contender.
Laura puts together a video review that goes over the rules for the game, as well as showcasing a quick run of a round of play. The deck includes 40 topic cards and 460 argument cards, with an additional 50 cards coming courtesy of an optional “Politically Incorrect” pack. You’ll need at least three players each of whom draw five cards. The person with the “most Presidential hair” starts off as the Moderator and draws a Topic Card. The Candidate to the left of the Moderator plays, one, two, or three of their argument cards, drawing replacement cards as they go, and play continues around the table until all Candidates have played 3 arguments each. The Moderator then decides who has the best argument, awards the point, and the recipient becomes the new Moderator.
If this seems like a really simple game to get the hang of, that’s because it is. There’s only one small leaflet the size of the box with three simple rules. Once you play through the first round you don’t even need to refer to them again. The only real drawback we encountered with The Contender was similar to playing Cards Against Humanity — once you’ve played a few times and get a feel for the cards that are “ringers” you know what will win you the debate. Appealing to our most base instincts as terrible people to go for shock value by invoking Hitler always seems to take the taco. Just like real politicians!
The Contender is a fun twist on familiar card game fare, bringing acerbic wit and real-world quotes of politicians from the founding fathers to our current crop of crazies to create a card game that should spark as much laughter as it does debate. While it falls victim to some of the same tropes as similar card battlers, it doesn’t make it less fun.