No Setup Time
Quick to Teach & Learn
Will Get Laughs
Might not be the best game to mix adult and children players together
Knee Jerk caught me by surprise, in a good way. At first glance I thought it would be similar to Apples to Apples (or Cards Against Humanity), but thankfully it breathes a breath of fresh air into the card-based party game genre. I’ve seen far too many copy cats and Knee Jerk, while being a little similar, really stands on its own and does its own thing. Check out the Kickstarter campaign and back the project today.
Knee Jerk delivers a lot of fun in a small, card deck sized box. It doesn’t take long for the mood to be set and for the laughter to begin. There is virtually no set up time, aside from shuffling the deck. And the rules are as easy as “complete this sentence”.
Instead of relying 100% on the cards, in Knee Jerk the cards set stage but it is up to the players to complete the act. You’ll never again have to think, “the card I wasted last turn would have been perfect this time”. For this reason, I think Knee Jerk is superior to a lot of other card-based party games. Knee Jerk provides the tools, but then lets your own creativity and quick wit shine.
Playing Knee Jerk is fast and fun. The active player draws two cards and places them on the table. Those cards will form part of a sentence. Next, that player will draw three cards and choose one of them to add to the sentence, after which they’ll read the partial sentence they just created out loud. Then, the other players simultaneously shout out the end of the sentence. That’s really all there is to it, but the card combinations, even before people start blurting out the final phrase, are often very humorous. Sometimes they are even a bit dodgy, but never overly so.
We enabled a house rule that we think made the game a bit more enjoyable. Some people just aren’t as quick witted as others and in a game where the goal is to be the first player to blurt out an answer, we felt not everyone had a fair chance to win a round. Instead, we had each player answer in turn, and let the host pick the one they thought was best. This does change the dynamics a bit (and arguably makes the game a little less knee-jerky). For instance, two or more players might want to say the same thing and which player should get the point? Maybe they both get a point? For this reason, we mainly played for fun and didn’t really keep track of points.
Another thing to note is that while the game says it is for ages 9 and up, some of the card/situations will be over most 9 and 10-year-old’s heads. Examples of this include phrases like, “on my honeymoon”, “because my psych. evaluation said”, “at the bar”, “at my high school prom”, “at college”, “in Las Vegas”, etc. Since each card has multiple ways it can be played, there is usually one option that will be familiar to a child, and this is okay when they are the host. It gets tricky when they are one of the players supplying an answer and competing with adults. And of course, as one can imagine with some of the above phrases, the answers can get a bit on the dicey side. Because of this, we decided that children should play this game with other children and adults should play the game with other adults. This way, kids can play and answer cards however they want and the adults can get as raunchy as they want and everything is fine. Mind you, players do not have to get raunchy at all; this game can be a completely clean, family friendly game. But our group prefers to ride the line it seems, and of course if children are not a part of your normal gaming group then this isn’t a worry at all.
All in all, Knee Jerk is a fun and exciting party game that will be enjoyable by almost anyone and is pretty much guaranteed to get lots of laughs. Need a new game to pull out for those large group get-togethers? Knee Jerk certainly fits the bill. Back it now on Kickstarter.