Make Game Night a Scream


Dangerous animals prowl the perimeters of thousands of houses each day and, according to a wildly alarming article on the This Old House website, “If you thought you were safe indoors from what lives outside, think again.” This article then lists snakes, rabid bats, alligators, brown bears, and other things that can tear through your house, and not just cause mischief, but also crush your bones and maul you to death.

But what if there was a fun family card game that could help you avoid this kind of trouble? That’s where Danger Noodle comes into play. The front cover of the box boasts that it’s “a card game about avoiding snakes and other dangerous animals”—and I’m like, phew! Thank goodness. Finally! And it was on sale for only $4.97, so cha-ching! Take that, you bobcat lurking in our yard.

What’s fun about this game is that the animals are named other things. A “danger noodle” is a kind of reptile, but there are also “extra-long horses” (giraffes), “floating potatoes” (walruses), “formal chickens” (penguins), “murder logs” (crocodiles), and others.

Here’s what’s not fun—at least for me: “icky integers” (math/numbers/adding/subtracting) are the focus of the game. Each card has a number on it, and players are allowed to pick up as many cards as they want until they get a “danger noodle” (then they have to discard everything) or they get a negative number (which they can’t discard). The object is to reach exactly 30 points—no more, no less—and be the first one to do so. Some special cards lurk inside the deck to mix things up such as the “steel-toed boots” card, which urges you to “kick one of your negative value cards to the player of your choice.” Ultimately, I needed to rely on my “chicken counter” (calculator) in order to kick some “flying spaghetti” (win points).

It also helps to completely ignore the entire objective of the game and turn it into a murder mystery of sorts—kind of like Clue, where the “panda whale” (orca) murders the “cat bird” (owl) in the dining room (trough hall) with a candlestick (flame thrower). But is it really the panda whale? Does the danger noodle sneak in somehow with a steel-toed boot (hoof engine) and knock the floating potato unconscious? Does the formal chicken pay the murder log to enter Colonel Mustard’s library and claw terrifying messages into his prized Encyclopaedia Britannica set?

Oh, I hope so! As long as it doesn’t happen for real in my house. And that’s what Danger Noodle (the card game) does so well in my opinion. It turns raging wildlife, chomping at the bit to get into your house and take you out with claws and lead pipes, into other things you don’t have to worry about. That bear in the yard? It’s just a muscular sofa. That boa constrictor that escaped from the pet store that’s lounging by the fire pit? It’s whacky manicotti. And it’s worth 15 points. You only need 15 more to win. Go for it!

Your Turn: Do you enjoy board games? What’s your favorite?

20 thoughts on “Make Game Night a Scream

  1. I like “formal chicken” for penguins and discarding the whole mathematics thing sounds like a great idea, your version sounds wonderfully confusing. “Settlers of Catan” can be a fun board game if you play with people who get into it and “Trivial Pursuit” with relatives giving the most random and insane guesses and then arguing the card is incorrect, that can be pretty funny.

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      1. There’s a soup and sandwich place in the town next to mine that has the cards on the tables, I’m always impressed when I overhear people answering all kinds of really obscure questions.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. If you’re all old enough, I HIGHLY recommend the NSFW expansion pack. Especially if one of you is a little prudish like me! It makes for some really inappropriate private jokes in public places!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Living alone makes board games a challenge, but when I’m with friends, I do enjoy them. I don’t know that I have a favourite. I like learning them at the time and then quickly forgetting how to play them.

    Liked by 1 person

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