Saturday, 19 May 2018

The Lepak Game

Plays: 5Px1.

The Game

The Lepak Game is a Malaysianised Cards Against Humanity. I haven't played Cards Against Humanity, but it seems to be at least a little NSFW-ish inappropriate. The Lepak Game is probably less so. The game mechanism is based on Apples to Apples, just like Cards Against Humanity is.

Every round one person plays judge and issues a question. The rest compete to submit the best answer and thus score 1 point. The judge draws two cards from the question deck and picks one to play. Each contestant has a hand of eight answer cards, and must choose one to submit. Once everyone has chosen an answer card, the submissions are revealed simultaneously. The judge picks one which he thinks is best. This can be based on how well the answer matches the question. Or it can be because it's the funniest. Or it can be because the contestant has given a most convincing justification for why his card is the best. The winner becomes the judge for the next round. The game ends when one player achieves a certain score.

The answer cards are usually general statements or descriptions. The answer cards are all sorts of things related to Malaysia - foods, persons, events, brands, traditions. You need to be quite familiar with the Malaysian culture and recent events to fully appreciate the humour. The game wouldn't quite fly otherwise.

The game components: just cards. Lots of cards. Yellow backed cards are the questions, and blue backed cards the answers.

These are two questions (light grey) and their winning answers (white) in the game I played. Referring to the set on the left, it is indeed true that some Malaysians address strangers, customers, friends, colleagues or simply acquaintances whose names you've forgotten as "boss". As for the set on the right, Bersih (which is Malay for "clean") is an organisation which fights for free and fair elections, and has organised quite a few large rallies. In the round when the Bersih rally was proposed as an answer, everyone knew it was going to win. None of the other answers even came close. This wasn't a funny answer, but it was satisfying to have such an appropriate answer turn up.

The Play

The Lepak Game is more a party activity than a game in the traditional sense. It does have rules and scoring and a clear winning condition, but the winning or losing isn't all that important. The criteria for the judge to pick a winning answer are rather loose. The fun is in the answers picked by the contestants and how they try to talk their way into convincing the judge. The whole thing should not be taken too seriously. The game mechanism is there to trigger conversation and jokes. Scoring points and winning just give you an excuse to have such silly conversations.

The Thoughts

The Lepak Game is a party game. It's meant to be rowdy and it creates discussion topics. It's easy for non gamers to get into. How much fun it is depends on the group you are playing with. You want people who have a sense of humour, who are creative. It may help you discover some dark sense of humour you never knew existed in some of your friends.

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