Who has family members that downright suck? Sloth King Games give you the chance to play one of them with My Shitty Family!
Most social deduction games have players trying to identify who did the nefarious act but in My Shitty Family everyone is doing something that is (at the very least) not good. Gameplay is equal parts discussion and acting. You take one the role of a family member and draw a hidden trait card. This card can be something annoying or even downright offensive. These can be political affiliation, sexual orientation or just a shitty behavior like racist. After this is decided you get some Shitty Habits to also display during the game and then Shitty Topics are drawn one at a time. Each topic is discussed in a round where you are trying to display your Hidden Trait and Shitty Traits. Your goal is to keep your Hidden Trait secret while still behaving that way.
To get the most out of this game you will need to have some acting skills. In order to really succeed at this game you need to sell everyone on the trait without being obvious about it. Some of these can get offensive. Sloth King Games reminds players in the rulebook to remember this is a game and is meant to be fun. There are two issues I see with the game. The first being that many people are unable to separate themselves from reality and the traits and topics can upset them. The second is that some player have these shitty habits already and will have trouble not showing them during the discussions when they don’t have the related card. To add to the mayhem are Family Challenge cards. These are challenges that are both hilarious and teach the players more about the characters themselves.
The art for each character is both highly detailed and really emphasize some of their traits at a glance. It reminded me of Martin Morazzo‘s work on the Ice Cream Man comics from Image Comics. The mechanics of the game are really quite simple and leave most of the complexity to the players.
Overall I found the game to be something truly unique. The design was both thought out and showcased the creativity of the designers. As I mentioned before, many of our players had trouble removing themselves from their characters and let them influence how they played more and others were too easily offended. The game has potential to be a lot of fun but with these dynamics it was a bit more difficult for our group. A way we found to make it better with our group was to have us review the possible cards ahead of time and remove the ones that were triggers for our players. For example one player is a member of the LGBTQ+ and is easily triggered by homophobes so the homophobe card was removed for their playthrough. Doing this we found the game to be much more fun.