Block Happy, by Sam and John and published by Idea Parlour ltd, is a family friendly, card game that truly is an emotional experience, one that involves a considerable amount of take that. But not just normal take that here, no way! Cards give directions that encourage you to physically enjoy your opponent's annoyance. You may need to offer a high five or shout Kaboom! as you steal their happiness, making the game hilarious and deeply annoying in equal measure!
The game itself is simple. You have to be the first player to collect seven happiness cards. On your turn you play cards from your hand, resolve the actions and draw back up to a hand of seven. This makes it easy to pick up and the rules are understood in seconds. With such easy rules and simple gameplay, this can be enjoyed by the whole family. However, with the amount of take that with the right game group, this would be an absolute emotion fuelled blast.
Playing Block Happy
Inside the Block Happy box you'll find 70 emotion block cards. They are beautifully designed, each with a different style. All types of emotion have the same base colour however, making it easy to group similar emotions together in your hand.
Each card is a cartoon block depicting the given emotion. Examples include annoyed, frustration, glum, bored, smug and overjoyed. Each different emotion has a different action, most of which involve upsetting other players! Most of the cards have a specific action for you to carry out; these vary not by emotion but by individual card.
We absolutely loved the annoyance, frustration and outrage cards that allow you to steal happiness from your opponents. Now, this is where the game gets really special and is one of the key selling points of Block Happy. It's also what separates it, in my eyes, from many take that or similar party card games. Block Happy is advertised as: “The emotional game where you play it and feel it!” So, the emotion card you play will be experienced by someone, somewhere around the table. It really is! I did not believe this would be possible but from the very first card it was clear this was not just clever marketing, but an expert lesson in understanding the simple power of emotions.
Need proof? I had been collecting a set of happiness cards and was feeling happy with myself for doing so well, so early on in the game. To be honest, I was feeling a little smug as I had been experiencing a little luck from the draw pile too. Frustratingly for me, this feeling did not last long. My son played an annoyance card and subsequently stole two of my happiness. But not only did he steal the cards, he also gave me a cheesy, thumbs up and a really unhelpful smile to boot!
See, he was happy and I was now really annoyed. My face was a sight to behold! Of course, there is some take that in this game so when I stole all the happiness from my friend, he was visibly outraged. Perhaps it didn't help that I got up and performed a victory dance… like a robot… right in his face!
As with all good take that games there is always a block card. Block Happy is no exception, however there is a certain joy in taking back the happiness that has just been stolen as you play the defensive smug card, with a wry smile of course.
If you engage fully in acting out the instructions on the cards you will be drawn in further. I guarantee you'll have an absolute blast. Block Happy is an absolute must if you love beautifully designed cards. They draw you in by requiring two or three looks to truly appreciate the little hidden jokes on them.
You'll also love this game if you're a fan of family friendly games packed full of fun. Oh, and the opportunity to stab each other in the back of course! Actually, scratch that, this gives you the chance to full-on stab them in the front!
For a game so bruising, I was most surprised at the response of my nine-year-old son. He is still learning to lose well and I was concerned as to how he would respond to the pain inflicted by each of us when we take cards. However, having lost, in fact having been annihilated in this game, he was laughing and excitedly retelling the highs and lows that he had experienced on this crazy emotional roller coaster of a game.
What are you waiting for? Let's get to the table, deal out those blocks and prepare to feel the joy and pain and everything in between that Block Happy has to offer. You will feel better for it!
Block Happy is now live on Kickstarter. At the time of writing (October 25), the project has beaten its target of £8200. Currently, over 450 backers have raised just over £13,000. There are 20 days remaining so make sure you head over and back this project.