How to Play
One card is drawn from the letter and category card decks at the same time. Both cards are shown simultaneously to all of the players. The players try to come up with a word that starts with the chosen letter and fits what is written on the category card. Whoever is able to provide the first correct answer wins the category card. If no one is able to find a word that matches both cards, the cards are placed at the bottom of their respective piles.
The game continues until all of the category cards have been won. The cards are then shuffled and another round begins. The game is over when one player has collected 25 category cards. That player wins the game.
Did reading through the “How to Play” explanation sound like déjà vu? The game concept behind ASAP has seen plenty of iterations over the years. Games like Scategories and several other games that I can’t remember the names of, have tread very similar waters to ASAP. You get a category card and a letter and try to find a word that matches both. If you have played Scategories, you have pretty much played ASAP.
In addition to the lack of originality, the other main issue I had with the game was the lack of quantity as far as cards are concerned. There are only 26 category cards that come with the game and you will go through them very quickly. As a matter of fact unless one player get 25 of the 26 cards in the first round, you will repeat the category cards at least two times every time you play the game. After a couple games you will already start having repeats of category/letter combinations. With the lack of category cards you will probably tire of using the same category cards over and over again. You may have to make your own category cards in order to keep the game fresh.
Another issue I had with the game is that the letter cards should have been changed. I know the game wanted each letter to have it’s own card but that was a mistake in my opinion. Everyone knows that some of the letters will be much harder to come up with a word for. For example, name a color that starts with the letter Z. I’ll give you a minute. Did you come up with something without using Google? After doing an internet search I came up with Zaffre, Zinnwaldite Brown, or Zomp. I am guessing that you didn’t come up with any of those since before researching them I had never heard of any of those colors. This problem comes up multiple times a game since your x, y, and z have very few words that match the category cards. I think it is possible that some of the letter/category pairs are impossible to complete. The game would have been better served combining these lesser used letters into one card to give players a chance to come up with a word to match the category.
At this point you probably think that I didn’t like ASAP since I have spent the last three paragraphs picking at the problems I had with the game. Despite the issues I had with the game, I actually had some fun despite not knowing any colors that start with the letter “Z”. The game is easy to teach and quick to play with most games lasting five to ten minutes. The game comes in a small box and I think it would work well in a travel situation. I would not play more than two or three rounds at a time though since you will otherwise start running into quite a few repeats.
ASAP is not what I would call an original game. There are plenty of other games that have had very similar game concepts (Scategories for example). The game is somewhat fun to play but it can become repetitive pretty quickly unless you start creating your own category cards.
If you don’t like word games or games where you have to be quick on the draw, you will not like ASAP. If you have already played a game like Scategories and didn’t enjoy it, there will be nothing in ASAP that will change your mind. If you already have a game similar to ASAP in your collection, I would pass on ASAP unless you either wanted more category cards or you find the game for cheap. If you like word games though and don’t have a game like ASAP, ASAP could be used as a quick warm up game for a game night.