Per My Last Email
In the 10 years since we first saw the infamous Cards Against Humanity, there's been an endless stream of humorous and not-so-humorous player-judged hand management games, often with potentially offensive NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content. Per My Last Email from Brain Sandwich follows in that tradition.
The premise is that players are responding to an email from their boss (the sender). Everyone has a hand of 10 reply cards, each with an excuse or response. Players take turns being the sender. They draw a card and read out the usually straightforward boss' request. Players then each choose a reply from their hand. The sender reads aloud all the replies and chooses the worst (or best/funniest/most outrageous, depending on how you choose to play) and they get the card. In the original printed rules, getting the card was a bad thing (winner being the player with the least cards), so the game incorporated HR cards that let players effectively opt out of a round. However, it's more natural to play so that you reward the worst or most outlandish reply/excuse so that the winner is instead the player awarded the most cards. It's easy enough to make this switch, tho' it makes the HR card irrelevant. No matter, it's a simple job to fillet these out of the deck, and that won't leave you short: Per My Last Email comes with a impressively large deck of reply cards.
The deck in this game is a huge resource. There are literally hundreds of cards. It includes some content that might be considered NSFW but there's nothing here that's too shocking. Problem is, however you play Per My Last Email, there really isn't enough of a game here. The success of this style of party game is in the creativity they spark among the players. Games such as Funemployed (IronWall / Mattel) and Snake Oil (Out of the Box) are fun and have players coming back for more because they supply the building blocks for entertaining storytelling. Per My Last Email doesn't ask anything from the players beyond merely selecting one of the ten printed responses they've been given. That's sad because it makes for a flat and unrewarding playing experience.
The publishers have gone to great length to provide such an exhaustive game resource. What's needed is for someone to take this valuable resource and use it to design a more playable and enjoyable game that demands more creative input from the players.