Before the review – a short clarification – I do own the game and this review is produced based on my actual gameplay experience. Thanks to Game of HAM LLC for providing me a game copy for this review.
Brutally hilarious, yet very tasty… piggy. Yep. That’s how I would describe Game of HAM board game. Is it a board game? Or a card game? A combination of both – a boar in a car! Wait, that actually makes sense. Game of HAM – a fresh brown boar driving a Mustang. Mmmmmmm, super tasty.
Game of HAM – there is no prognosis how you are going to feel once you live through it. Or will you? I am not quite sure. This could shock, prank, snicker, crease, scare, or even shame you to unimaginable levels (I hope not to death.). The game is so hilarious, your grand grandchildren will remember it for the rest of their lives.
Furthermore, I got to say, there are 800+ cards in the box that cover a lot of things. Plus, the game can be played as a card game, or with a board depending on which game mode you choose. And there is a ton of variety in choosing how you like to play it. I will talk more about this in the Replay Value section.
Game of HAM board game is a super fun & interesting game. Yes, it is strong and should be played only with specific groups of people, such as party groups & friends. But it works great. It’s a wonderful production and a super entertaining game. We strongly recommend it, for numerous reasons.
First of all, it combines party & strategy game elements just wonderfully. In other words, players are not only having fun by reading ridiculous prompt & response cards’ combinations but also thinking about how to win the game, competing and sabotaging the plans of the others.
Speaking about the strategic elements of the game, I got to admit that they are quite well thought. They stimulate player interaction and provide means to obtain benefits or harm others.
For example, there are various action cards that allow you to switch some of your response cards or force the judge to select another pink card as a winner. Or if you finish your turn onto another player’s space, you force the person to return to his last checkpoint.
And this was only a fraction of strategy stuff. Also, the movement on the board itself is quite interesting. You can move in different patterns, circle around and obtain different benefits based on the spaces you land. Some of them are action cards, bonus movement or Piece Bully (forcing other players to return to checkpoints once landing on their spaces). P.S. You cannot double back or move player pieces diagonally.
In addition to that, we wanted to point out that response cards have fun & informative details that wonderfully explain and describe card content, as well as suggest more comedy context. This is super valuable not only for fun but also to foreign players to understand the cards easier.
So these were the main reasons why this game is super fun & interesting. To sum up – there is a lot of stuff going on. Party fun plus brain work. A lot more than you would expect from a party game. But that does not bring chaos to the game. The game feels balanced, fun, easy to play & friendly to new players.
Moving forward, here are some cons that I noticed so far.
First of all, sometimes there is a little downtime. This is probably dependent on the number of players or the native language of players. It usually takes a few minutes for players to select response cards. Sometimes, it may take a little longer. And if there is a lot of players, then there is more job to the judge to pick the winner card.
In addition to that, some new players might feel overwhelmed at the beginning of the game or while studying the rules. There is a stunning amount of variability the game offers. This mostly brings tremendous benefits that we will cover in another section. But when I first started reading the rules and try to play, it looked a little confusing.
I had to do some repeated reading, as it was slightly difficult to choose a game mode, which winning/end-game conditions to select.
Never the less, there is the publisher how to play video available to help you figure it out. For me, the gameplay becomes pretty clear after the first gameplay and now seems to be not difficult at all. As a result, this probably becomes pretty much unimportant once you play it once.
P.s. this is my advice on winning/end-game conditions – the first player that reaches the final space on the board or collects 10 grey cards wins the game.
As was already indicated above, the replay value is tremendous. There are 100 different question cards and 550 response cards. How cool is that? The game is so much ahead of every other similar party game in terms of replayability.
On top of that, some question cards have listed alternate selections to adjust the context of those cards, as per the judge’s choice.
Here, we also have to mention that the board pieces are two-sided, and they can be connected in any way you want to create a different board for your play. You can also use any number of board pieces – from 1 to 4.
I would personally enjoy having a little more question cards, but they are certainly enough. During my first gameplay, we have used around 20 question cards out of a hundred. Therefore combining that with varying question selections + 550 answer cards – you are safe on those replays, probably for years.
I am not overexaggerating telling you “years” of replays. The game introduces 3 core game modes, that essentially provide you with 3 separate games. Cards only mode (1) – a quick party game experience, the board only mode (2) – a pure strategy and luck-based game, and the board + cards mode (3), a hybrid in-depth party & strategy game.
On top of that, there is a team mode allowing players to compete in teams and a storytelling mode (called “Origin story”) where players connect question cards & answer cards to tell funny stories.
Combine that with 50+ alternative rules (from basic game rule adjustments, more complex rules to fun party activities including food, drinking, smoking, acting, kissing, working-out and more) and you start to understand that there is no end to those replays.
Ultimately, the Publisher seems to be working on introducing user-customized printable components, such as custom board pieces and/or cards. Yes, you heard it right. Any player will have a possibility to create customized game components, download them for free and share his own creation with the community. Boom. That’s how the game of HAM does it.
For now, user customization is still in development. You can check more information about that here. But you are not going to find many of the publishers that do this. As a result, I highly suspect that the replay value will probably increase in the near future, and I will have to update the rating!
Art & parts
To start with, the quality of the components is really good. Player pieces, placeholders and the board itself are thick and strong. The cards are surprisingly better than most of the card games. They are a little more slippery but seem to resist water, bending and sticky fingers a lot better.
Give the fact that there are alternative rules that involve drinking, smoking & eating food, so the quality of cards now really makes sense!
A small matter of convenience, since board pieces are separate, they are often moved unintentionally, as there are lots of cards being placed all around the tabletop. This sometimes may result in board pieces moved unintentionally. So be careful!
I would personally want that the board parts could be connected, such as puzzle pieces. But again, this would probably limit the connection possibilities to have differentiated board options.
Moving forward, the art for this game is slightly different, as it is words & phrases based game. For me, the words & phrases are an absolute gem of art. The creativity and variety of topics, ideas covered are truly astonishing.
In relation to game looks, this is what you would expect from a party game based on words. There is little room for illustrations, as this is not the essential aspect of the game. However, I indeed enjoyed ham player pieces & placeholders, they are awesome!
Game of HAM colorblindness review
As usual, underneath we provide 2 images that capture the components that might be sensitive for colorblind players. The first photo represents maximum colorblindness values, while the following image – 50 percent color deficiency, for 3 types of conditions.
The Image above represents max (100%) color deficiency. (C – casual view; P – Protanope view; D – Deuteranope view; T – Tritanope view).
The Image above represents medium (50%) color deficiency. (C – casual view; P – Protanope view; D – Deuteranope view; T – Tritanope view).
Based on the images, we could say that there are some colorblindness related issues, particularly for Protanope & Deuteranope types of color deficiency (this is fine fore Tritanope case).
At 100% image, we can see that some of the action cards, board spots, placeholders, and player figures are somewhere between brown and yellow color tones (for P & D types only).
On the other hand, at 50% color deficiency, all colors are easy to tell apart, even for 16 ham player pieces.
To sum up, for most of the colorblindness cases, this is good to go. Only Protanope or Deuteranope color deficiency with close to max values (which are very rare cases to my knowledge) may intervene with board, action cards & player pieces distinction. If you do not belong to any of these categories, you are good to go.
And if you do have a close to the max value of D/P color deficiency, no worries. Just ask someone to assist you, or just play the game without the board & action cards. There are separate rules that allow it!
Game of HAM colorblindness rating: A (Very good)
There is not really much to say about it. At first, the game could look a little pricey in comparison to other party games. But you pay a bit more for a reason – a massive game with tremendous replay value and an outstanding game itself. Oh, by the way, you can download it for free. How is that of a price-value ratio to you? Just download it here.
Game of Ham board game review
Are you ready to experience a hilariously funny party night? Do you enjoy a little spicy & dark humor? Then, this is a must to play!!!
Art & Parts
Your rating4 Votes
Party & strategy elements combination
Supports 15+ number of players
Seems a little complex at first
Might be Inappropriate for some groups due to strong humor
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