A while ago I caught wind of this brand new card game from Starbound Games called Red Flags, the same minds who brought you Superfight (which we'll discuss at a later date in great detail). After seeing some people play it for a minute, I had to see what it was all about and why it's become a cool party game. Skybound sent me a copy of the game, along with several expansion packs for a review! So I made my way over to Watchtower Cafe (thanks to Adam, Doug, Sarah, and Jessie for playing along) to dig into the game.
Now for the sake of review purposes, we're tackling the main game here today and we'll cover the expansions at a later date, primarily because they deserve their own moment in the sun as they add different elements to the primary game that some people may or may not want. That being said, Red Flags is a is a multiplayer card game where you and your friends are trying to set each other up on dates. You'll go around making suggestions using the white cards while having to explain your way through the red cards your opponents leave with you.
The game starts by picking a whoever has been on the most dates as the first "single person" in the game. Everyone draws four white cards and three red, except the single person. There are two phases of the game, with the first being the initial setup of the date. Going left, everyone takes two white cards to build their perfect date for the single person, as you can see below from the two white cards, I suggested they date this really cute ski instructor who has the hottest friends ever. Sounds like it may be a great date, right?
The second phase of Red Flags is where the red cards come in, as you take a red card from your hand and put it face down on the date suggestion of the player to your left. You then go back around the table, flipping over the red cards player by player and explaining the red flag card and why it isn't that big of a deal. The one you see above says that they always brag about their past sexual conquests, while the one below recites all the lines from the film Titanic in their sleep. Not exactly the greatest of options either way, even with a Lumberjack YouTube celebrity.
After all the dates have been gone over with the red flag, the single person chooses who they wish to date, and signifies the winner by having them keep the red card they were stuck with as a point system. It plays a little bit like Cards Against Humanity meets Snake Oil, but with the knowledge of who is doing what with more creativity behind pitching some bad choices. The creativity in the game is definitely in the red cards! The white cards, at best in the regular game, are pretty generic—but that's the way they're designed to be as you mix and match them to create an option that the single person will love and hopefully see past their horrible flaws for.
The red cards make the game the best part of playing as they range from annoying to disgusting to "no way in hell." But depending on the people you have at the table, some of those traits actually win people over. A couple in our game that "helped" the person win were having someone who called their pets their "children" and having someone talk dirty to all of their food before they eat it. The answers were just too hilarious to pass up combined with what they already were, so sometimes your red cards can backfire and cost you the round.
Red Flags is an amazing game by far. Super simple to grasp and understand with only two pages of instruction of how to play. It opens the door for a lot of adult humor and situations, along with some mad improv skills to pitch some horrible behavior quirks as mild inconveniences. I highly recommend this game for parties, it works with single people and couples without offending anyone personally, and you're sure to get a laugh out of the cards themselves even if you don't win. Give it a shot and see hwo you like it, and we'll be back in a few days with a look at the expansions.