Secrets to the Apples to Apples Expert Edition

I've played my fair share of board games, and I'm pretty up to speed with a majority of newer games. I have to say that the basic version of Apples to Apples is one of the best. You can play it with a group of adults or kids, and it's fun to play at any level.

If you're not familiar with the Apples to Apples, each player starts with seven cards, which contain a litany of nouns. They might be famous people (Abraham Lincoln), places (Paris) or completely random non-proper nouns (angry hornets). One player draws an adjective card (intelligent and noisy are two examples), and all of the other players give one of their nouns to the adjective-playing individual. That person then shuffles the played cards and decides which noun goes best with the adjective. While the person can pick something that makes sense (Abraham Lincoln could be intelligent), he can select whatever answer he prefers the best (angry hornets can be intelligent, too).

But this is the basic version of the game, which, while pretty good, is nothing compared to the expert edition. Don't attempt to find the expert edition in stores, because they don't have it. I'm going to give you the instructions to play it right now.

Instead of using the green cards, make up your own questions. Everyone remembers Mad Libs, right? All you need to do is come up with a question and leave a blank for a noun, or even two. How about something simple to start with:

1. This is what you really wanted for Christmas.

2. Name of the movie you would direct.

As you can see, it's not difficult to do. Better yet, take a recent event that everyone who is currently playing would understand, and create questions from that. When someone wins a question, that person should draw a green card for the victory.

Another variation of the game is drawing green cards to begin and matching them with red cards. That version is in the regular edition and, of course, can be played in the expert edition now.