Scandalous Shakespeare: Bards Dispense Profanity Review

from Amazon
RRP  £35.00
Bards Dispense Profanity box

by Rebecca Dubock |
Updated on

“I am not bound to please thee with my answer,” said Shylock in The Merchant of Venice – but this was not the experience of Puzzles HQ when playing Bards Dispense Profanity. This easy-going party game kept us all laughing and got a unanimous thumbs-up from our nine players.


This Shakespearian spin-off of Cards Against Humanity follows the same rules as the original: a ‘question’ card is read out, and each player must choose a card from their hand which they feel gives the funniest answer. The player who read out the question decides which card is the winner, and that person gets a point. Inevitably with this sort of game, points aren’t really the point – as the rules say, ‘keep playing until you get bored’.

Playing Bards Dispense Profanity

In this version, all the answer cards are phrases from Shakespeare plays (with references given on the card, if you want to check!), but the questions are nothing to do with the Bard. There’s no need to swot up before playing, and no prior knowledge of Shakespeare is needed – only a slightly smutty sense of humour and a penchant for the absurd.

Our players agreed that it was a quick game to learn (less than a minute) and there’s no lengthy set-up to worry about – simply deal each player seven cards to start with and you’re ready to go. Everybody takes a turn asking the questions, so nobody has to sit out, and everyone draws another card after each round so that you always have plenty of options to answer with.

Who would you play this game with?

Several members of our group said they preferred this to the more widely known Cards Against Humanity, as the answer cards aren’t quite so close to the bone. But there are still quite a few risqué answers available, so we’d recommend playing this with people over the age of 17, who are comfortable with a degree of lewd humour. It’s a good game for a large group, as it can handle 4-20 players.

Playing Bards Dispense Profanity and section of Hamlet play

Are there any similar games?

Aside from the already-mentioned Cards Against Humanity, this definitely has a similar feeling to Ransom Notes, which also has you providing witty and creative answers to question prompts (as we found when we played).

Worth the price?

I’d say so – there’s plenty of ‘replayability’ here, and it would make a great gift for a friend with a literary bent (ask me how I have a copy!) So, to play or not to play? I think I know the answer to that question.

Bards Dispense Profanity box and cards
Price: $22.82
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us