Way, way back in our review for Ladies & Gentlemen we talked about outdated gender roles and how a game is a fun way to discuss such topics. You may also recall that we adored that French bred game, and thought it was clever and fun and silly. This game isn’t that. This game hates you. This game actively dislikes you, the people you care about, board games, art, creativity, and worst of all fun. Strap yourself in, as we’re having our first double-blogger review for this turd. This is Battle of the Sexes, and it’s a doozy.
Our story begins when Buckle and I found ourselves at Target looking for an external DVD drive for her partner’s tablet. Me, being a 12-year-old in a 24-year-old’s body, wandered off to the board game section to see if they had any thing worthwhile (despite already knowing the answer would be a resounding “no”). Eventually my co-blogger joined me and the two of us proceeded to question how many versions of Monopoly are in existence, when we found it.
The cover, depicting the silhouette of a man inexplicably holding a power drill while a woman holds a hair dryer, is simultaneously generic, boring, and amazing in how nonsensical it is. Is she going to cause third degree burns while he drills a hole in her head? Why are they holding them like guns? Do people honestly think you can NEVER understand some one of the opposite sex? And wait– Are we talking Gender or Sex? Those are different things, pink text on the box! Hm, I wonder if that’ll come up in Part Two?
After a thorough inspection (which included the “jiggle the box close to the ear to see how dense it is” test) and looking at the price tag… We figured it’d make for a good review at the very least.
Upon opening the box, we found that it to be practically empty. To be precise, one-third of the box is for the game proper: A board, two decks of cards, five plastic trophies, and three choice cards, which may or may not get a proper tongue-lashing Thursday, I can’t promise any thing, but yes: This box is wasteful. This box could be literally a quarter of the size and contain the exact same components.
I went ahead and compared it to Hex Hex XL: One contains about three really good games, with complete instructions, three decks, about two-dozen cardboard pieces, and five hunks of wood. The other one? Same size, not even a third of the components. Just… Why?
As I am sworn to stick to complaining about the mechanics (mostly) we’ll just get right to the “how to” part of the review: In the game, each team is rounded up and placed into teams depending on their sex, and a plastic trophy marker is placed in the center for each team. The opposing team draws a card from their deck and asks a question from their color-coordinated box. If the team answers it correctly, they move their trophy further away from the center. Get four questions right, claim your trophy, and when you get three trophies, your team wins. Riveting.
Like most trivia games, it has categories. Unlike good trivia games which have “Sports” and “Entertainment”, this game has such categories as “Our Moves”, “Our Pics”, “Our Facts”, “Our Stuff”, and “Our Lives”. These boil down to charades (which require the men to do stuff like pitch baseballs and the women to… file nails), identify pictures (men have to figure out what laundry symbols mean and women need to know military facts because no woman is in the military and as a being with a penis I am incapable of doing laundry), figure out facts (the womens usually involving fashion and the mens involving action movies), and finally answering personal questions with real thought that makes you think about your partner and… Oh, I’m just kidding. Girls need to find out what kind of farter their man is, and men need to find out what the women folk spend their money on!
We could’ve still found forgiveness for this game, if not for just how toxic it is. It’s not just the fact the questions are stupid: They’re demeaning. The women don’t get history or science in their deck (we searched – the closest we came to was about Susan B. Anthony) and the men’s questions are designed to make the women uncomfortable by carefully wording every thing to be about genitalia. The Girl deck reads like a carefully worded article for 13 year old girls while The Boy deck reads like the incoherent texts between 16 year old boys obsessed with their willies.
Worst yet? You wouldn’t even feel accomplished for winning. You’re not saying “Haha my team is better than yours”, you’re really “Haha your ENTIRE GENDER IS INFERIOR TO MINE.” That’s gross. You’re gross if you think that, and you’re also a crappy partner to your SO. I keep on trying to avoid gendered pronouns when I talk about couples, because that’s another thing: I’m about 90% sure a homosexual couple couldn’t even play this game. Buckle and her partner managed, but they had to be on the same team and go up against me and a friend of ours. Even with every one obeying the invisible between-the-leg rules… We found no enjoyment. No humorous moments or genuine competition or any thing that makes a game worth having.
This game is just… Crap. It’s crap. It’s a terrible, awful, boring game for terrible, awful, boring people. It’s so bad, that a second part of this review is clearly in order. We’ll see you for Thursday, for a more in-depth exploration on why this game is the worst.
Buy Battle of the Sexes (…Why?!)
Price: Too Much
Skip-A-Turn Variation: Kindling.