Usually, when live-audience style games are ported over into a board game format, you get awkward game boards, strange spinning accessories, and a feeling that a game has been dumbed down (I’m looking at you, Jeopardy! Junior.) Unsurprisingly, high-production game shows just don’t translate well to tabletop versions of themselves.
But what about low-production game shows? Do they too become bore-games in their tabletop iterations?
Take, for example, live game show PUNDERDOME 3000 – a game where the goal is to pun-ish your opponents using nothing but your wit. The monthly live event is a mainstay of Brooklyn’s arts and performance venue, Littlefield. Contestants, like many other game shows, are audience members who are selected and face off in a winner-takes-all pun battle. It looks a little something like this:
While not polished, it does look like a whole lot of fun. Creators of the event, Fred and Jo Firebird, a father and daughter duo, initially started Punderdome as a corporate teambuilding seminar, and has now evolved it into a tabletop game in its own right.
The mechanics are simple – if you’ve played Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, you’re already one a-pun the crowd. Each player takes turns being the prompter, who draws 2 cards: a noun and an action phrase. The other players then have 90 seconds to scribble down their best groan-worthy pun which fits the description and the prompter determines who wins, awarding whoever penned the best/worst pun a card. First player with 10 cards wins.
For example, if presented with “Geek & Sundry” and “playing games,” one would write down, You Wil your friends to play with you, or, You’ll leave your opponents cRyon for Days when you win.
Jo Firestone described the game as one for all. “I think it’s pretty playable regardless of your pun skills (…) But it’s really good for dads, probably fun for kids, and people our age coming to terms with their nerdy selves.”
Unlike the live version, there is no human clap-o-meter, but the player who suggests playing (presumably the host) does have to supply the 2 mystery prizes for the winner and runner-up in mystery envelopes with things from their own home.
It’s not yet available at your FLGS but you can pre-order it online if you’re an antsy cat and need it right meow. Just be careful: it’s all pun and games until someone loses an eye.
How’s your pun-fu? Show us in comments!
Featured Image Credit: Clarkson Potter (Fair Use)