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The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game Review
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The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game Review

Bring Fun About Fears To Family Game Night

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What is The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game?

Today’s The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game review is brought to you by All Things Equal Inc. (maker of the Loaded Questions line of games). It just launched as an Exclusive for all Target stores and at Target.com for $19.99. 

These are all of the cards included in The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game.

The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game is a party game where 3-6 players rank 5 scenario cards from 1 (Bad) all the way to 5 (The Worst) and any matches with other players will score both of you points. Whoever has the most points, by the end of all the rounds played, wins.

What’s the history of the game?

The Worst Case Scenario Card Game is based on The New York Times bestseller, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht. In the directions it states that the game was invented in 2020 and they acknowledge the irony in that millions of people could easily argue that 2020 itself could be considered a worst-case scenario.

Who will enjoy The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game?

The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game may have the words Card Game in the title but it definitely falls into the party game genre. However, the maximum number of players is 6 which could be considered on the smaller side for typical party games.

Those who would enjoy this game also like games such as Apples to Apples, Dixit, Cards Against Humanity, or What Do You Meme?.

Who will not enjoy this game?

Anyone who isn’t a fan of party games or only likes more complex game mechanics.

How’s it played?

The game starts by choosing who has the worst survival skills to go first. On your turn, you are designated the “victim” since the scoring of that round is based on your judgment. 

You first flick the spinner that determines how that round is scored. This relies on luck as some scoring options are higher than others. Once that’s determined you flip over five cards and everyone reads the five different scenarios on the table. 

Once you’ve read all five cards, you have to think about which one to you is the least bad scenario, and so on, all the way until you know which one is the worst.

The player whose turn it is (the “victim”) lays their ranking face-down.

You then have your five colored chips that are ranked 1-5 (and are labeled from “Bad”, “Very Bad”, “Awful”, “Horrible”, and “The Worst”). Place them face down, so no one can see, at the bottom of each card. You place the chips where you say that they fall in the order you think those cards are from only “Bad” all the way up to “The Worst”.

The other players lay their tokens face-down making their best guess on where the victim will rank each.

The other players will also place their colored chips, that are the same ranking as yours, in the order they believe you will rank the scenarios from bad to worst. 

You flip all the tokens and any matches score points.

Whoever matches your answers gets points and as the victim, you also get those points on every matched answer.

The round ends and the next player to the left is now the victim and the play is repeated. 

This goes on until all the rounds are completed and the one with the largest score wins.

The average duration is not stated on the box so know that if you play the game the way it was intended, there are twelve rounds (or ten rounds for 5 players) and at five minutes per round (dealing scenario cards, reading them, thinking them through and laying down your ranking, then revealing everyone’s guesses, and discussing why those ranks) that comes out to around an hour-long in length.

Does the game have replayability?

These are all of the cards included in The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game.

You may go through the cards fairly quickly after a few playthroughs. Doing some quick math, there are 225 cards, and at 5 cards per round, for 12 rounds that means you could go through all the cards by the middle of the third game.

However, the fact that the five cards drawn on each turn get paired with different cards every time means that ranking is different every time you play. 

For example, you may think “Break Up a Dog Fight” is considered “Very Bad” compared to being “Trapped In a Ring With a Raging Bull” but if paired with “Performing a Front Flip Off a High Balance Beam” you may think the dog fight card is more along the lines of “Horrible”.

Components

You can read the cards from either side.

What contributes to the simplicity of the game is that there aren’t too many pieces needed so with less pieces means less complexities.

The quality of the cards is very similar to a deck of regular playing cards and the cardboard tokens are a good thickness that as long as they don’t get wet or bent they should hold up well over time. 

What I really appreciate about the cards is that they have the scenarios read upright from both directions.

The spinner is the only thing that could have used some improvements in that it feels dated (think Chutes and Ladders style spinner). If there would have been some more creative scoring options that would have opened up the game a bit more. 

The Spinner that dictates how points are scored that round.

One idea we had while playing was if the spinner had removable pie-shaped pieces, all with different scoring options, and you randomly chose the six for that game, it would make each game more unique. Or if some scoring options felt more fun to particular groups they could just pick those instead of more basic scoring options.

The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game Review Final Thoughts 

Playing and scoring is really simple and intuitive. This is a game that anyone can just take out and start playing, and even if everyone else has never played it, they’ll learn quickly and have a good time doing it.

Some things were really fun that I didn’t anticipate. One was when I revealed my guess on where the other players would rank a particular scenario and I thought I put a 2 (Very Bad) on it but then realized I put a 4 (Horrible) on it instead, I was actually surprised I chose that.

Another thing that I realized I should be aware of was that everyone comes in looking at the scenarios differently so it doesn’t make it automatic that one scenario is technically The Worst. For example, I thought being stuck in a hot air balloon by myself could be the worst scenario because I personally know zero about piloting a balloon. Whereas, my friend viewed it as, if he’s by himself in a hot air balloon then he must know what he’s doing and therefore it’s not so bad. That means each player has a different perspective so it really helps knowing how they see themselves in each scenario.

Some possible triggering events.

All in all it’s safe for family and fun with friends. However, there is one possible issue that I have not discussed yet. Although possibly a very rare occurrence, this game could be a catalyst for triggering someone’s PTSD. 

With the many different Worst-Case Scenarios in this game, some of them may have actually happened to a player, or their family, which could cause some unforeseen onset anxiety or depression.

For example, if someone is having difficulty getting pregnant, and are having real-world difficulties coping with it, and then the scenario card comes up with “Unexpectedly Learn You Are to Be a New Parent” and that person has to rank it from “Bad” to “Worst” it may trigger emotions they weren’t planning on dealing with while playing a party game. 

One piece of advice is to go through the cards before you play and remove any that may be too close to home with those you plan on playing with just to be on the safe side.

Although this game may not be a regular at your weekly tabletop nights it deserves its place alongside some of the best party games. The Worst-Case Scenario Card Game is highly recommended especially if you’re looking for a fun night with friends and fears. 


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