Polemic is a simple enough game that's easy to play but nonetheless engrossing. The game comprises a deck of cards each containing a selection of 'topics'. Each turn one of the (3–6) players draws a topic card and chooses a topic. Players then play a card face down to indicate whether they Like or Dislike that topic. They also play face down a card numbered 0–6 (or the number of players if fewer) with their prediction of how many will Like that topic. Players score a point every time they make a correct guess/prediction.
That's all there is to the game but it works well and it has players coming back for more. It's designed as a party game for friends to see if they know each other's Likes as well as they think they do, but it works almost as well played among people who don't know each other well but are maybe basing their guesses on other players' preferences based on superficial knowledge or stereotypes. The topic cards offer a great range, and every card has a prompt that allows a player to, in effect, choose their own specific topic under a broad heading ('historical character', for example, allows the player to name any individual from history).
If a topic is chosen that everyone might be expected to Like or Dislike (going to the dentist, for example), part of the fun can be in working out whether anyone might be gaming their response. Tho' I don't really like to go to the dentist, I might vote Like in the hope that I can predict mine will be the only Like... No-one says you have to tell the truth.
As you might expect, there's an optional NSFW (Not Safe For Work) pack of topics that might cause a few blushes. It won't be suitable for playing with youngsters or your maiden aunt but it'll generate much ribald fun when played by close friends.
We've had great fun with our plays of Polemic. Our one small gripe is that there's no decent method provided for keeping score. It's a shortcoming that's easily remedied with a pencil and paper but we'd have liked to have seen the inclusion of a few scoring tokens.
Polemic is designed by Daniel Pennypacker and published by Garden Path Games.