We've played a couple versions of games that take on the theme of Love-Marry-Kill int he past, a lot of them being much more vulgar versions because when you talk about love it often treads into sex. So, of course, there's sexual content in a lot of those games. Clear back at PAX West, our friends over at Skybound Games (Superfight, Red Flags) gave us their own version called Blank Marry Kill that we've been trying to play with a bunch of people for a while now, and only finally got a good group together to test it out.
The game works the way you might suspect, only with a couple extra mechanics and additions thrown in to make things interesting. First off, the Blank part is not censorship, it is literally a fill-in-the-blank scenario. Three purple cards are put on the table with the game's phrases on them, only the Blank card comes with its own deck of options where you put in a random third option. As you can see from the photo below, this round we got "Your Conscience Who Won't Shut Up", meaning one of the three names you choose will have to be that option.
A blue deck of cards will give you any number of celebrities and ordinary people at random that you'll have to decide who you wed, who you kill off, and who will become your blank scenario. There are completely blank cards for you to put in house-versions of, so you can totally write in scenarios like "Stays In The Guest Bedroom For A Year" and "Craig's Mom" as options. But there are definitely enough options between the two to have several hours of gameplay.
For our particular game, we got four players and ran the board clockwise. The first player chooses the three names and the Blank card. Everyone else draws three yellow cards which add attributes to the three names chosen. One at a time, a player can place any attribute under any name they wish, but the attributes can't go over three per name. Depending on how many you're playing with, you go around the board until everything is filled out to the max or all the yellow cards run out. By the time you're done, you will have taken a simple person or personality and given them so many quirks and problems that you won't truly know what the best options are.
The first player then chooses which person they'd like to Blank, Marry, and Kill face down, followed by the others who decide what they think the first player may have chosen. Then everyone reveals and points are given out accordingly with red scoring cards. While on the surface the game looks like it has a lot of parts, the truth is the most amount of work you need to do is the initial setup and understanding what version of the game you plan on playing based on players and the kind of cards you want to deal out. After that, it runs smoothly and can be a lot of fun watching the person who has to decide get bummed out when their favorite gets a horrible quirk.
I ended up loving Blank Marry Kill for the simple fact that the game is easy to learn, easy to play, easy to score, and easy to have fun with. The only complications come at the start and from there it's smooth sailing. This makes for a fantastic party game and there's very little you can do to screw it up. We highly recommend at least giving it a shot and having what will probably be a much friendlier version of an old tradition.