We have looked at a lot of party games on Geeky Hobbies from Apples to Apples to Balderdash. While the genre doesn’t appeal to everyone, I enjoy party games since while they might not have a lot of strategy, they aren’t meant to. Good party games are meant to be fun without requiring a lot of thought. I have played a surprising amount of the board games made Out of the Box Publishing since their party games are generally pretty good. They did jump start the modern party game with Apples to Apples after all. Today I am going to look at Faux-Cabulary which takes the classic formula from Balderdash of making up definitions for words and reverses it. Faux-Cabulary has some issues but is still an enjoyable twist on the traditional word game.
How to Play Faux-Cabulary
The players choose which player will be the first reader. This role will rotate clockwise after each round. All of the players other than the reader takes a cube cover. Place all of the cubes into one half of the box to form a draw pile.
Playing A Round
The round begins with every player (other than the reader) drawing three cubes from the box. The reader draws a card and reads the definition from the chosen side of the card. All of the players except the reader looks at all of the sides of their cubes and tries to form a word that fits the definition for the current round. A player can choose to use one, two or all three of their cubes to form the word. When a player completes their word they put their cover on top of their cubes to indicate that they have finished.
When all of the players have finished their word, the cube covers are mixed up so the reader doesn’t know what word belongs to each player. The reader reads each word and chooses which word they think best fits the definition for the current round. The reader gives the card to the player who came up with the best word.
A new round is started with the role of the reader changing and each player drawing new cubes.
Winning the Game
The game continues until a player has won the necessary number of cards to win the game. The number of cards needed to win the game depends on the number of players.
- 3 players: 7 cards
- 4 players: 6 cards
- 5 players: 5 cards
- 6 players: 4 cards
- 7 players: 3 cards
My Thoughts on Faux-Cabulary
The easiest way to describe Faux-Cabulary is basically as a reverse Balderdash with some Apples to Apples mechanics thrown into the mix. In Balderdash players are given a word that most people have never heard of before and players need to come up with a definition for that word. In Faux-Cabulary you are given a definition (that likely doesn’t actually have a word for it) and you need to come up with a word that would fit that definition.
Faux-Cabulary is basically the definition of a party game. The game is very easy to pick up and play since it should only take minutes for a player to learn the game and start playing. The game has variable length since you can make it as long or as short as you want by adjusting the number of cards needed to win. Faux-Cabulary is also more of an experience than a game since while it is nice to win, Faux-Cabulary is best when you are just trying to have fun and make the other players laugh.
Being a party game, Faux-Cabulary is not going to be for everyone. If you don’t like games like Apples to Apples, Balderdash or the many other similar party games, I can’t imagine you enjoying Faux-Cabulary either. Faux-Cabulary is not meant to be taken seriously as the scoring is mostly there so someone can eventually be declared the winner. Faux-Cabulary is also a game that is better if you play it with creative people. While the game can be played with anyone, the game will be much more enjoyable with people that can come up with good/funny words as the game could become kind of dull if no creativity is put into the words that are created.
Being a fan of these type of party games, I was not surprised that I also enjoyed Faux-Cabulary. While it is not as good as games like Apples to Apples and Balderdash, it is an interesting and enjoyable experience. Faux-Cabulary is a game that really excels when players come up with good answers. While it is not as funny as some of the other party games that use a similar premise, you can actually come up with some pretty funny words for some of the definitions. I would guess that you should be able to get a couple good laughs out of most games. If you like these type of games I think you should have quite a bit of fun with Faux-Cabulary.
The whole mechanic of reverse Balderdash where you make up the word instead of the definition is a clever idea. I actually think it is easier to come up with a word rather than a definition since it is easier to put a couple syllables together than come up with a definition that is obscure and yet believable at the same time. The cubes work fine for Faux-Cabulary even though they are limiting at times. It is really easy to put a couple cubes together to form a word even if the word doesn’t make a lot of sense. I wonder how the game would have worked though if you could just come up with your own words without using the cubes. This might be an interesting house rule to try out.
As I already mentioned you can’t take Faux-Cabulary very seriously or it will effect your enjoyment of the game. The game relies a lot on luck as the player who is generally best at the game can regularly lose. By randomly drawing cubes you could end up drawing cubes that work really well together or you could draw cubes that don’t work well together at all. The cards can be a little hit or miss at times as well. Some cards give you a great definition that gives you a lot to work with while other cards don’t give you many options for creating words. Your success in the game really comes down to how the cubes you draw match the definition for the round.
Randomly drawing cubes actually leads to my biggest complaint with Faux-Cabulary. A lot of these type of party games have an issue where there are the occasional rounds when none of the players can come up with a good answer and the reader is stuck choosing which answer is the best of the worst. These rounds are never fun but they are kind of unavoidable due to randomly drawing cards/cubes. While it doesn’t ruin Faux-Cabulary, this issue seems more prevalent than in most similar party games. It is somewhat expected though since there will be times when all of the players just draw cubes that don’t really work together. The best thing to do with these rounds is to get them over with as quickly as possible.
Like with all of these type of party games, we tried out our random player variant. For Faux-Cabulary we randomly drew three cubes, randomly arranged the cubes, and submitted that answer for the random player. While the random player had some complete gibberish answers (which always happens), I was surprised that the random player did surprisingly well in the game actually winning a couple rounds. I don’t know if this proves that there are too many rounds full of terrible answers but it is always funny to see the random answer win a round especially when it is actually a good answer.
One thing that I was a little surprised by with Faux-Cabulary is that the game is a little more “dirty” than I was expecting. While there is nothing particularly offensive in the definitions included in the game, you can tell that quite a few of the cards were written in a way so players could make the game more “adult” if desired. If you are a Cards Against Humanity fan you won’t be able to make the game as dirty as you are accustomed to but the game could be made dirtier than you would expect from this type of game. If you want to play the game with children though I didn’t really see any real issues that you would have to look out for. The game has a recommended age of 13+ but I think that is more so the children are old enough to form decent words for the game.
Overall the components for Faux-Cabulary are solid but aren’t spectacular. The dice and dice covers are solid but feel kind of cheap at the same time if you know what I mean. It doesn’t impact the gameplay at all but if you are looking for outstanding quality you aren’t going to get it with Faux-Cabulary. The number of cards included with the game are adequate. While I would obviously like more cards, the game comes with 180 cards which means you can play 360 rounds before having to repeat any. Faux-Cabulary is the type of game where it shouldn’t be too big of problem repeating cards either since players will always have different cubes so players will have to come up with new answers for the cards.
The only real complaint I have with Faux-Cabulary’s components is with the number of cubes included in the game. The game includes 21 word cubes which is not terrible but you will use the same cubes many times in a game. After a while it gets kind of repetitive having to use the same cubes over and over again. After a while the words you form become variations on words you created for other cards. The good news is that Faux-Cabulary has two expansions that add additional cubes and definition cards. The first expansion includes 15 new cubes and 60 cards while the second expansion adds 12 cubes and 60 cards. While I don’t have either expansion, Faux-Cabulary feels like a game that could really benefit from the expansion packs since the additional cubes should significantly reduce the repetitive feeling in the game.
Should You Buy Faux-Cabulary?
I enjoyed my time with Faux-Cabulary. While it is not the best party game I have ever played; it is quick, accessible and has a unique twist from the other party games that I have played. The game can be quite funny if you have a group of creative players and is just an enjoyable experience if you play the game for fun without caring about who ultimately wins the game. Like most of these type of party games there is the occasional dud round where none of the answers really work and the cubes can get a little repetitive at times. Faux-Cabulary is still a very satisfying experience though.
If you don’t really care for these type of party games, Faux-Cabulary probably isn’t the game for you. If you like these type of games though and the premise of coming up with your own words sounds interesting, I think you will really enjoy Faux-Cabulary.