My father bought Apples to Apples Jr. this past Christmas for my daughter. To date, we have brought it to the game table (er, game floor in these cases) twice so far.
Apples to Apples Jr. takes the concept introduced in Apples to Apples (brief comparison of the two later) and makes it more accessible for younger kids. In other words, the concepts/phrases used are more likely to be known by a younger group.
The game itself is rather straightforward: There are two decks of cards (red backs and green backs). The active player draws a card from the green stack and reveals it to the other players. The other players select a card from their hand (red backs) that they think the active player (judge) will most associated with the green-back card they revealed.
That’s it. Now, for me, the “most associated” element is the fun part of this game. Is this turn’s judge more likely to select a card that is straightforward connected, appreciate a good joke/pun, or base their decision on some other criteria.
- 432 red apple cards
- 144 green apple cards
Deal each player 5 red apple cards. Place the remaining red apple cards in the middle where everyone can easily reach. You may want to create multiple stacks if you have more than a few players.
Place the green apple cards in the middle where everyone can easily reach. Again, you may want to create multiple stacks to make sure everyone can easily reach them.
Playing the Game
- The initial judge draws a green apple card and reads it to everyone. They then place it face up on the table so anyone can review
- All other players (non-judge players) then look at their red apple cards, and then decide which is most like the green apple card read by the judge and now on the table. Sometimes you won’t have one that goes well with the card. Or sometimes you may choose a card for other reasons (e.g., I sometimes like to pick a card that I know will make my wife laugh when she is the judge)
- Each of those players then places their red apple card face-down in the middle of the table.
- The judge then takes those cards and mixes them up.
- The judge then reads each card aloud
- The judge then selects the red apple card that is most like the green card. Or, perhaps the one they liked the most, regardless of how “most like” it is to the green apple card. Judging is not a precise science.
- The judge selects the winning red apple card, and then gives the green apple card to the player who owned the red apple card.
- The judge sets aside all red apple cards that were played in that round.
- The person to the left of the current judge becomes the new judge.
- The new judge deals a red apple card to each player so that everyone has five red apple cards again.
- Repeat until someone has won four green apple cards.
Winning the Game
The game ends when any player has won four green apple cards.
How is this game different than Apples to Apples? What ages should play this version instead of Apples to Apples?
The only difference between the two games is the content on the cards. And it really depends on how well your child knows the material found on the Apples to Apples cards. The best way to decide is to review the list Apples to Apples has for the cards in all of their games, and go from there. Once there, search basic set to quickly scroll through all of red apple cards in the base game. You can do the same for the green apple cards, too.
For me, we previously picked up Apples to Apples at a garage sale. A few months ago I pulled it out for us to play, and discovered that she (7-, almost 8-, years old) was not ready to play that version. This prompted my father to purchase the junior version for her to play.
I don’t really have anything here like I do for other games. The best thing I can say is to know your audience. I’ve managed to sneak in a few inside jokes that my wife laughs at. That sometimes scores me a green apple card.
Where to Buy Apples to Apples Jr.
At this point, I buy most of my board games through Amazon which I believe is where my daughter’s version came from (note: this is an affilaite link; the site earns a small commission if you purchase through this link).
At the moment, it looks as though Wal-Mart no longer carries the game in stores (at least not at my local branch). However, my local Target does have it available for pickup.