Joking Hazard Review and Ultimate Card Game Guide

Joking Hazard is a hilarious adult party game made by the creators of the well-known Cyanide & Happiness web comics and YouTube skits. For those who enjoy dark humor and creating ridiculous comics, this game is going to be a lot of fun.

Joking Hazard
  • Joking Hazard is an extremely not-for-kids party game from the...
  • Three or more players compete to build funny and terrible comics...
  • 360 panel cards (including 10 add-your-own-words cards) combine...

Brief Overview of Joking Hazard

Joking Hazard Box and cards

This social card game can be played by 3 to 10 people but the best games are had with 4 to 7 players. Each round has an active judge that sets up two panels of the comic for other players to finish with the funniest punchline. Once all players have submitted a card from their hand, the judge will read them in random order and decide the winner. 

Joking Hazard has a lot of similarities with Cards Against Humanity, however, it takes the formula and improves it by adding the visual element as well as more control as to how scenarios are created.

Versions & Expansions

As it only requires cards with new comic panels, Joking Hazard is easily expanded without affecting the overall complexity of the game. We’ll take a look at the expansions currently available. 

Deck Enhancement #1 

The first expansion adds 100 new cards to the deck for an increased chance of creating a ludicrous comic. 

Joking Hazard: Deck Enhancement #1
  • 100 BRAND NEW CARDS to add to Joking Hazard, the offensive card...
  • These comic panels are dirtier and weirder than ever. Mix them in...
  • This is an expansion pack! It requires Joking Hazard to play.

Deck Enhancement #2

With Deck Enhancement #2, you’re looking at another deck of 100 cards that can be used with or without Deck Enhancement #1. 

Joking Hazard: Deck Enhancement #2
  • 100 brand new cards to add to JOKING HAZARD, the offensive card...
  • This is an expansion pack! it requires Joking Hazard to play.
  • A lot of the cards have butts on them. Perhaps too many

Toking Hazard

Themed around Cannabis, Toking Hazard includes 50 cards that will take your comics in a whole new direction. Inside every box, there is a secret, but we can’t tell you what it is. 

Toking Hazard
  • 50 Marijuana themed cards to heighten your Joking Hazard...
  • This is an expansion pack. It requires Joking Hazard to play
  • In addition to the cards, there is a secret in each box!

Enlarged Box

The Enlarged Box is quite literally a box large enough to store the base game and all of the expansion you have collected. Additionally, it includes 10 new cards and 10 ‘add your own words’ cards. 

Joking Hazard: Enlarged Box
  • This is a big empty box with millions of uses, from the company...
  • Let your imagination go wild; this box can be used for anything.
  • A sturdy, spacious cardboard box that could easily hold loose...

Unboxing Joking Hazard

Joking Hazard Box and Cards

Inside the box you will find:

  • Rules Pamphlet
  • 250 Cards

The card artwork stays true to the original content – a black border on a white background featuring stick-figure characters and brightly colored scenes. I highly advise reading a few Cyanide & Happiness webcomics to form a better picture of what the cards will look like. 

For a game about constantly drawing, shuffling, and throwing cards in a less-than-careful manner, I expected cards that are more firm in hand. The ones provided feel flimsy and make me worry about their durability, but as long as they’re handled with care, this problem should not come up. 

How to Play Joking Hazard

Joking Hazard Card Combo Examples

Party games depend on simple rules and mechanics to make a fun experience for everyone involved. Joking Hazard can be taught in a manner of minutes, and even observing one round will be enough for a new player to jump in. 

Game Setup

Before you start the game, shuffle the deck and deal out seven cards to every player. There can be as many as ten players, but the best games are had with up to 7 people.

Once everyone has received their cards, select one of the players to be the first judge. You can decide by vote, randomly, or if all else fails, pick the owner of the game.

How to play:

The judge begins the game by drawing the top card from the draw pile and placing it face-up on the table. The type of card they’ve drawn dictates how the round is going to be played out:

  • If a card with a black border is drawn, it’s a regular round. Judge adds one card from their hand on either side of the drawn card to create the first two panels of the comic. Players are tasked with adding the punchline using one of their cards. 
  • If a card with a red border is drawn, it’s a bonus round! Players will now have to combine two cards to create a scenario where the drawn card is the punchline. In bonus rounds, everyone can discard unwanted cards and draw the same number from the draw pile.

Once everyone has submitted their cards, the judge should shuffle the regular round answers or randomize positions of the bonus round sets so that there’s no favoritism in the ruling. Bonus cards should not be mixed together or shuffled!

Now the judge flips over each card and reads the comic aloud. They have to pick their favorite, and the winning player takes the cards they’ve placed and puts them face up in front of them for scoring purposes. The player to the judge’s left becomes the judge for the next round, and everyone draws until they have seven cards again.

Winning in a regular round gets you one point, but the bonus round is worth double! The game progresses until one player has collected three points, but there’s nothing stopping you from setting a higher condition, or playing until you’ve run out of time. 

Your First Game of Joking Hazard

It might take you a few rounds to get accustomed to the way humor works in Joking Hazard, but that’s completely fine! If your answer was not declared the winner, you will remain anonymous, so there’s no shame in not being able to create a funny comic every time.

The only thing you’re not supposed to do during a round is to make hints towards what your card is before the judge has made their verdict. After that, feel free to point it out and discuss your favorite answers with the group. 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

If you’re a fan, I’m sure that you’ll appreciate how well Joking Hazard manages to capture the essence of the Cyanide & Happiness webcomics. Not only are the rounds funny on their own but also give you the feeling of pressing the button for a random comic on their website. 

You can confidently bring the game with you to any private gathering of friends, and have them master the game in a matter of minutes. Even those that simply refuse to play board games will have a hard time resisting Joking Hazard, and we’ve had some people brought into the hobby through this game.

Cons:

  • Humor is not for everyone
  • Card quality can be better

The humor of Cyanide & Happiness is very dark, sexual, and offensive. It is what makes the game so much fun, but it also puts up a barrier of entry. It’s marketed towards a mature audience and is definitely not suitable as a family game. In fact, it should be kept well beyond the reach of any children.

Having the cards on the table and reading them aloud in a public place is not recommended, so it’s best to stick to board game cafes and private places. Even though the game isn’t designed to insult any of the players, it doesn’t put anything off-limits. Because of that, every player should be at least somewhat aware of what they’re getting into and have thick skin to handle some really nasty jokes.

The quality of cards is something we’ve discussed in more detail in the unboxing section, so I’ll only reiterate the point. The cards aren’t delicate, but they’re not durable either, so try to handle them with care if you plan on playing Joking Hazard for a long time.

TL;DR

Built upon the well-established humor of the Cyanide & Happiness webcomics, Joking Hazard is an extremely fun game to play with a select group of friends. You’re going to enjoy every session whether you’re a fan of the comics, Cards Against Humanity, or dark humor in general. 

Conclusion: Verdict?

What more can I say about such a simple game, other than that I’ve really liked playing it. As long as you have 2 to 9 more people who can enjoy the humor, then you should definitely add it to your party game collection.

Once you feel like you’ve exhausted all scenarios, feel free to mix in the expansions for an even bigger pool of combinations. Thematic expansions can steer the humor in a particular direction and it’s really refreshing to have a session focused on one of them. 

Joking Hazard
  • Joking Hazard is an extremely not-for-kids party game from the...
  • Three or more players compete to build funny and terrible comics...
  • 360 panel cards (including 10 add-your-own-words cards) combine...

I hope this review has helped you make your decision in regards to buying Joking Hazard. If you have any questions or would like to share your funniest comics with us, leave a comment below!

Stats at a glance

Players: 3-10

Ages: 18 +

Easy

30-90 Mins

Publisher: Breaking Games

Published: 2016