I love playing games. We have lots of board games and having a game night is one of our favorite things to do. We also like jokes, so I thought that Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers (Clarkson Potter) seemed like the perfect marriage for us.
Punderdome 3000 was created by daughter-father duo Jo and Fred Firestone and has become a smash live hit in New York City. I imagine it’s probably a hoot to see live. While we’re both very funny people and often build off of each other’s jokes, RJ and I do have some different tastes when it comes to humor. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with RJ, but I was surprised at how well I did at the game. In fact, I won!
The game is pretty simple to play. In Punderdome you draw two different cards and connect the prompts in a single pun. Some of the categories that we had last night including the pairings of “Celine Dion/Sleeping,” “The Beatles/Playing Video Games” and “Cosmetics/Rapping.” It’s hard and a lot of fun to come up with the puns. We only had two players so we modified the rules, but I had a lot of fun playing the game our way.
I actually don’t know if I would like playing the rules as they suggest. We have our own standards for humor, as far as decency goes (we don’t like sexual humor, drug humor, etc.), I wouldn’t want to play this with just anybody. And frankly, there are several people that we know that I would be nervous about playing with. If we played with a friend that appreciated more geek culture like RJ does, would they appreciate my theatre-related puns or my cooking jokes? I don’t get the prize either. The players are supposed to write something that they would be willing to give up for the envelope. How about just saying the winner gets candy? If someone actually wrote “a used napkin,” as suggested by the game, that would probably be the last time we invited them for game night. Fake funny prizes that were jokes would be much better, and more fitting to the game, then “winning” trash. It’s also a small thing, but I wish it came with a sand timer. It got very tedious having to keep manually resetting our timer.
Punderdome is a pretty fun game, if you play it with the right person. I like playing board games with RJ and I had fun.
Hey RJ, we’ve added another game to our yearly New Year’s Eve game tournament!
Kari Liked: Some of the puns were pretty funny.
Kari Didn’t Like: I wish it came with a sand timer and I don’t get the mystery envelope.
I was very interested in playing Punderdome as I love wordplay and any chance to impress people by being funny. I know, I have a problem, I’m working on it, let’s move on. As Kari can attest, I walked around chanting “Two puns enter, one pun leaves!” leading up to playing this game, building on the reference from the title. Punderdome didn’t live up to my expectations however.
Kari and I tested this using only the two of us as players, but we did get a good feel for the gameplay, and how it would work with more people. I thought that the idea the first judge was “the host” and thus had to provide a prize insulting. I think that the judging (the person reading the prompt singularly decides who has the best pun each round) to feel to person and could feel hurtful in the wrong situation, even though the prompter rotates through the group.
Overall, what I thought was going to be fun to play instead was something stressful and unenjoyable. I know this game grew out of a live comedy show in NYC, so maybe it’s just not transferring well for me. I’m sure there are all kinds of interesting prompts that could link to current events that would make this game funnier, and for me at least, easier to play, that could be done in a live comedy show environment. Or maybe, I just don’t share their sense of humor. Either way, I didn’t like this game.
RJ Liked: The idea is good, but I don’t like the execution.
RJ Didn’t Like: Everything about setting up and actually playing this game.
(This post contains affiliate links. Blogging for Books provided us with a copy of this game in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are our own.)