Act, Play, Laugh: A Humans Being Review

Humans Being

A party game that’s all about improvisation, Humans Being is designed for both beginners and veterans in the art of impov.

So draw a card, act out a scene, or sit back and guess what a player’s secret challenge is as they make up their lines on the spot!

Gameplay

Humans Being is all about improv. Players split into two teams and the game is played over three rounds. A play area is designated as the stage and the cards are then laid out. There is one deck of scene cards and eight decks of challenge cards.

During the first round, two players go up to the stage. One player draws a scene card. Every scene card has a prompt that is missing one key word in it and, like a mad lib, the card says what type of word should be used to fill that blank such as an animal, a location, or a time in history. The player with the scene card has the opposing team give a word to fill in the blank, and then reads aloud the newly completed prompt which he and the other player will be acting out. The second player then draws a challenge card from one of the eight challenge decks. This gives that player a secret goal to complete during the scene such as saying everything in a whisper or pretending the scene is out of a soap opera.

After 90 seconds the scene ends and everyone on your team has twenty seconds to guess what the secret challenge was. If they get it, your team wins the challenge card. If they fail, the other team has a chance to guess the challenge to score it.

Teams alternate acting out scenes and after every player on the team has acted out a scene for round one, you move onto round two. During round two, both acting players draw a secret challenge card, and players only have fifteen seconds to guess them.

During the third round, three players go up to act, with the third player coming into the scene partway through. All three players have secret challenge cards, and players only have ten seconds to guess them.

You continue playing round three until one team has won a challenge card from each of the eight challenge decks.

Humans Being Components

Review

Humans Being is an active game. There’s a lot of moving around, a lot of laughing, and a lot of just plain silliness: all the things that make up a great party game.

There are a wide range of challenges and scenes and part of the fun is seeing what the game comes up with next. The fact that every challenge also needs a suggestion, which can sometimes dramatically change the scene you’re acting out, also lends the game a lot of variation.

There are a lot of party games out there but Humans Being feels fresh and engaging. It takes improvisation and runs with it; building on its core concept and creating a quintessential improv game. What it does, it does very well.

But while the game can be a lot of fun, it’s very much one that isn’t going to be for everyone. There is a warmup round suggested to help players get comfortable with improvisation but there are still going to be people who are just too shy or self-conscious to really enjoy the acting. Nor is the game particularly attractive. It has minimal artwork and the graphic design on the cards isn’t particularly appealing. But it’s not a game that has to look particularly nice, and what artwork there is fits well with the game.

If you like silly wacky fun, Human Beings is the party game for you. You’ll laugh a lot and might even learn a bit about improv.

Pros: A lot of variation in the prompts, an active game, lots of funny moments

Cons: Not for shy players, not particularly visually appealing

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.