How much does a fat penguin weigh? Enough to break the ice!
Fat Penguin is a card-based drinking game designed to break the ice, make new friends, and laugh with the friends you already have. Perfect for parties, Fat Penguin uses five different types of challenge cards to get players talking, getting to know each other, testing their skills, and add some social lubricant. With each card across these categories relying on players’ creativity and personality, Fat Penguin is different every time!
The five categories of Fat Penguin cards are green Truth Cards, blue Memory cards, purple Creative cards, red Physical Challenge cards, and orange Prop cards. These categories were designed to encourage conversation and help players share stories and facts about themselves in a fun and friendly environment.
Green Truth cards
Green Truth cards are designed to encourage players to talk about themselves. In previous play tests, the green ‘2 Truths 1 Lie’ card has proven to be one of the most popular in the deck.
Blue Memory cards
Blue Memory cards test the creativity and memory of players. Some cards use repetition, some encourage players to share information, and some test pop culture knowledge and memory.
Purple Creative Cards
Purple Creative cards encourage players to use their creativity to create a group experience. Of the Creative cards, Story Challenge has been one of the most successful and entertaining in play tests, with players finding unique and unexpected ways to build on stories. Every group of people finds a different way to create something funny and engaging.
Red Physical Challenge cards
Red Physical Challenge cards are a fun physical element of the game that become more difficult as the game goes on. My personal favourite, the Endurance card, was inspired by the way my parents would punish me as a child – only back then, I didn’t have alcohol making it more difficult!
Orange Prop Cards
Orange Prop cards use extra items not included with the game, such as a pack of regular playing cards, or empty drink cans or cups, to make mini-games within Fat Penguin. Players must mix luck and skill to succeed!
Fat Penguin was conceptualised and designed to be a cultural counterpoint to Cards Against Humanity. Where Cards Against Humanity is “a party game for horrible people”, Fat Penguin aims to be a fun, safe, friendly game that encourages players to be nice, inclusive and respectful. These aims and goals are enshrined by the play guide.
My motivation for creating a game like this came from going to parties where I only knew the host, or inviting new people to join my own close social circle. Because Fat Penguin is designed to be played with strangers as well as friends, I felt it was really important to create a game that would allow people to bond without hurting or harming anyone else. As part of the mission to create a friendly and inclusive environment, Fat Penguin does not have a win mechanism. The game ends when the conversation is flowing and people forget to play!
In the spirit of inclusion, Fat Penguin is designed to be played with or without alcohol, and is flexible include people of all ability levels. For example, if any players have physical disabilities, red cards can be easily removed. Likewise, I chose the open source Open Dyslexic font to increase accessibility to the game.
Designed for any setting, orange cards can be removed if the extra items aren’t on hand – the game can be played with just the Fat Penguin deck and a circle of people.
Below are some excerpts from the play guide, designed to keep the game within the spirit of friendliness and inclusion.