Review: 1000 Blank White Cards


<strong>Board Game/Price: around $5

I first discovered the wonderfully creative card game 1000 Blank White Cards at a college party. Designed by Riff Conner and Nathan McQuillan of Madison, Wis., it’s highly humorous and somewhat bizarre. The game is designated for three to six players, but is best played with six people who have an open mind and enjoy the social dynamic of card games. Even playing with your family would work, as long the game is tailored to the experience of the people participating.

Gameplay can last for any period of time, but tends to take about an hour. It's very inexpensive to purchase supplies for the game and assemble it, which is perfect for the everyday college student. You’ll need about 40 to 60 blank white index cards (it depends on how many people are playing and if you are beginners), some black or blue pens (not felt tip; you don’t want them soaking through) and extremely basic drawing abilities – stick figures are perfectly fine.

First, creating the deck is key. Each player gets a certain number of blank index cards and gives each card a title, a drawing that somehow describes the card and a description of what the card does — this can be a point value, some sort of instruction or a penalty.

Here are some examples of cards from the last game that I participated in (some are drinking related, 21 and over only): Shield of Imminent Blocking: “This is a temporary shield! While weak, this shield protects you from one attack before dissipating into … OBLIVION!” Oh Hell No!: “With as much sass as possible, say ‘OH HELL NO’. The card is then thrown with the thrower's eyes closed. Whoever the card is closest to is [its new owner].” Reaction Card, Ruination: “Your palette sucks; I saw you drinking Keystone. Prove me wrong, I dare you. Drink two drinks of the best alcohol here (I’m talking serving size, beyotch).”

When everyone’s finished, the players gather the cards and shuffle them together, adding them to the previously created deck (made up of the best cards from the last game). Deal five cards to each player. Then place the deck in the middle of the playing table. The game begins with the person to the left of the dealer, and then the order continues clockwise.

On your turn, you draw the top card from the deck, read it in its entirety aloud and either do the action it tells you to or face the consequences. If the card has a point value or some other sort of lasting effect, it stays in front of the player until it is somehow invalidated, discarded or removed by another card. Otherwise, it is simply placed in the discard pile. If you cannot play a card then draw a second card from the deck and the game continues on to the next player. Once the deck is gone, the game is over.  The winner is determined by how many cards each player has at the end of the game or how many points you racked up. You could even not have winners. It’s up to you.

Due to the improvisational nature of the game, it plays best with a group of friends, family or even as an icebreaker. However, the experience hinges on your fellow players. If you play with people who are not as enthusiastic or creative they may not contribute as well to the gameplay experience. I would recommend playing with some close friends rather than with complete strangers. Also when hosting, think about if players’ personalities will mesh well to determine if the game is worth playing.

Not only is this game expressive and highly engaging, but it's extremely original too – no one will ever have the same deck as you!  

For Fans of:

Fluxx, Dvorak, Story Cubes