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MAD LIBS is one of the latest games from the wonderful LOONEYLABS and the original mindset of Andrew Looney, no doubt with excellent input from Kristin, his wife and co-Looney.

Like many LooneyLabs games MAD LIBS is set up for multiple players, in this case 3-8, and the ages of the players is up to the players themselves; if they can understand the rules they can play the game.

There are 200 WORD cards that are shuffled and dealt out in 7s to each player and a shuffled deck of 42 SENTENCE cards which are placed face down in the centre of the table accesible to all players. Each player is given a blank card that shows the Colour Coding for the different Word Types (Verb - v - is Green, Adverb - adv - is Orange, Adjective - adj - is Blue and Noun - n - is Lilac). 

MAD LIBS is similar to games like Apple to Apples (tm) whereby the players all choose a card or cards from their hand to go with/complete the revealed sentence on the SENTENCE card and then they vote for the what they consider to be the best fulfilled sentence.

The game is over when one player scores 3 points (ie gets 3 votes) which can be one Round in an 8 player game. Players can never choose their own sentence.

The main difference between MAD LIBS and the other family games of this ilk is that the players know on whose sentence they are voting, so preventing someone winning is easy although not in the spirit of play. 

Example:
SENTENCE card reads:  "Every (Noun) has a/an (Adjective) (Noun)"  which immediately springs to mind the saying "Every Cloud has a Silver Lining", but what have the player said ?  Which would you choose as the best (or your favourite) ?

P1: Every WORRIER has a STOLEN PIZZA

P2: Every DRUM has a STUPID HAMMER

P3: Every PUPPY has a SQUISHY SOCK

P4: Every WRITER has an ASTONISHING ABNORMALITY

P5: Every GAME has an URGENT STUPIDITY

P6: Every REVOLT has a TOXIC TORPEDO

P7: Every PIZZA has a PIERCED ORANGE

You will note that PIZZA and STUPID/STUPIDITY are used twice in these examples, that's because many of the words are repeated on different cards, as well as, on occasion, also having their Verb, Noun, Adjective and Adverb derivations on the same card; Pizza for example is alone on TWO separate cards.

The WORD cards can have anything from One to Four words on them but each card may only be used once in any given sentence. The SENTENCE cards may require a single word or numerous words to complete them. The Sentence cards are given to the winner of the round to be displayed in front of them face down as victory points. 

So the game play is familiar and therefore so is the entertainment value and enjoyment. Possibly not the most original of Andrew's games but the production and quality is good, the artwork is minimal but acceptably efficient, the rules are typical LOONEYLABS, short and succinct so that players can open the box for the first time and begin playing within moments, and it's a good, fun, party or ice-breaker game. 

MAD LIBS is a game to add to your Christmas (or any) party list, plus it's also a very clever way of getting younger players to understand at least four types of words and the differences between them. This is where the hidden value of MAD LIBS lies.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015