As a Chicagoan, you’re required to be an expert on summertime mischief, defending your favorite hot dog stand, woo wap da bam.
Add to that list: card games.
Because ever since some upstarts from Highland Park High School crowdfunded Cards Against Humanity back in 2011, Chicago has become something of a breeding ground for card-game makers.
And why not? Cards are the ideal social lubricant.
So for everything from backyard BBQs to backcountry campsites, we’ve rounded up seven Chicago-made favorites to add to your collection.
Fair warning: between the speakeasies, boxing and Hitler — these are not your grandfather's Gin Rummy.
This happy-go-lucky WWII game racked up $1.5 million in funding on Kickstarter, partially due to its connection to Cards Against Humanity, and partially to its fresh take on classic bluff games like Werewolf and Mafia. Five to 10 players are given secret identities as liberals or fascists, one being Hitler, and work to try to thwart the other side. Seem prescient? You can now buy a Trump expansion kit, with profits going to the ACLU. BUY IT HERE
Called “a party game for black culture,” but ideal in a multicultural group. The deck is a standard 52 cards, each featuring a prominent figure — from Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou to Eminem and Rachel Dolezal. The goal: convince the group your person is the “blackest.” An effortless way to talk about race with your friends that, y’know, will be very awkward and probably fun. BUY IT HERE
A go-to for those times when no amount of booze can liven up a party. Every turn of this Wild West shootout involves slapping cards on a table as fast as possible, so your guests have no choice but to pump that adrenaline. And since it’s from Max Temkin, of Cards Against Humanity and Secret Hitler, and other seasoned game makers, it looks slick to boot. BUY IT HERE
Think of it as Secret Hitler, but every player is on the side of good, working to build a made-up movement in the face of the “system.” Funded on Kickstarter by the TESA Collective (Toolbox for Education and Social Action), this 2-5 player game takes around an hour to play. Perfect for those who live-and-breathe politics lately, or for your pre- and post- rally functions. BUY IT HERE
For the larger group, Speakeasy can accommodate 10-40 players. It’s another deception game, with people split between the Mob and the Feds. But since it’s not turn based, and requires players to interact and drop secret passwords in conversation, you can employ one friend as a bartender to serve up cocktails, dim the lights and really set the mood. BUY IT HERE
Like Secret Hitler and Slap .45, Fisticuffs was developed at the Cards Against Humanity headquarters co-working space. But the creators are a local sketch comedy group called the Nerdologues, all brand-spanking-new to the game world. Their creation is a free-for-all boxing match between 4-6 players, which they’ve aptly described as UNO meets The Hunger Games. BUY IT HERE
In June, Pricetitution more than doubled their Kickstarter goal (see a trend here?). Since it’s in production you can’t pick it up quite yet, but keep it on your radar. In the vein of Loaded Questions, it has you guess “how much money it would take your friends to do absurd things.” For example, tell preschoolers that Santa isn’t real or … suck the toes of the shortest player’s feet. That’ll spice things up.