Apples to Apples Game

Terry Hurley
a red and green apple

If you are looking for a party game that is fun and easy to play, the award winning Apples to Apples game may be just the game for you.

An Award Winning Game

Apples to Apples is a simple game that is certain to provide fun and laughter at any game playing gathering. It makes the perfect addition to family game nights, parties and get-togethers.

Originally published in 1999 by Out of the Box Publishing, Mattel acquired the manufacturing, marketing and distribution rights to Apples to Apples in 2007. Since its introduction, the game has won many awards including:

  • Mensa Select Award for Games - 1999
  • National Parenting Center's seal of approval in May - 1999
  • Party Game of the Year chosen by Games Magazine - 1999
  • Party Game of the Year chosen by Games Magazine - 2000
  • Best American Game Tiger Award - 2000
  • Canadian Toy Testing Council - Three Star Award

Game Components

Designed for four to ten players, the game of Apples to Apples consists of two decks of cards. The green deck of cards consists of descriptions, or adjectives. The red deck of cards consists of things, or nouns.

The number of cards in the game depends on the specific edition of the game. For example, the original game of Apples to Apples, now referred to as the Core Set published in 1999, contains 432 cards. There are 108 green apple cards and 324 red apple cards. The Apples to Apples Party Box edition, published in 2003 contains 1008 cards which includes 252 green apple cards and 756 red apple cards.

Game Editions

Besides the original game of Apples to Apples, Out of the Box Publishing and Mattel have published many different editions of the game. These editions include the following:

  • Apples to Apples - 1999
  • Expansion Set #1 - 1999
  • Expansion Set #2 - 2000
  • Expansion Set #3 - 2001
  • Expansion Set #4 - 2002
  • Party Box Edition - 2003
  • Crate Edition
  • Party Box Expansion One - 2004
  • Party Box Expansion Two - 2006
  • Kids - 2001
  • Junior - 2002
  • Bible Edition - 2006
  • Yiddish Edition - 2007
  • Jewish Edition - 2007
  • British Isles Edition - 2007
  • Apples to Apples Travel On the Go Game - a portable version
  • Disney Edition

Game Play

To begin playing this game of unusual, and often hilarious comparisons, one player is chosen as the judge. The judge deals each player seven cards from the red deck and gives himself one card from the green deck. The judge then turns over his card. The object of the game is to choose the card in your hand that, in your opinion, is the best match to the judge's card. The final decision is up to the judge, and naturally some players may try to persuade the judge that their choice is the best one. When the round is finished, the next person becomes the judge.

For complete instructions on how to play the game visit the LoveToKnow article Apples to Apples Board Game Instructions.

Apples to Apples Game in the Classroom

The Apples to Apples game is also an excellent learning tool used in many classrooms. Although the recommended playing age is twelve and up, most children as young as ten can easily grasp the concept of the game and enjoy playing it.

As a learning tool, the game helps to:

  • Develop general knowledge
  • Develop vocabulary skills
  • Develops reading skills
  • Develop language arts skills
  • Develop verbal skills as children explain their decision making and reasoning
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Promote positive relationships between students

In addition to regular classroom use, the game is also used by:

  • ESL teachers
  • Special education teachers
  • Speech and language therapists
  • School psychologists
  • Social workers

Game Variations

There are many variations of Apples to Apples played using the game cards. In addition, many teachers and home schooling parents use the MyCard program to custom make their own game cards. The cards can be based on the material being studied such as an era in history.

The Apples to Apples fan website, Munching Apples, provides variations and rules to more than two dozen games including the following:

  • Baked Apples
  • Crab Apples
  • Apple Turnovers
  • Big Apples
  • Apple Potpourri
  • Apples and Oranges
  • Quick Pick for Four
  • Quick Picked Apples
  • Daily Harvest
  • Rotten Apples

Where to Find Apples to Apples Online

The following is a small sampling of the many online retailers that offer Apples to Apples:

Playing the Apples to Apples game provides a fun filled time for everyone.

Apples to Apples Game