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May Cause Side Effects: Game Rules and How to Play

Released in early 2021 May Cause Side Effects may have gone under your radar. This competitive card game simulates a science experiment and tasks players to think creatively if they want to win.

Before we look at the rules, let’s take a more in-depth look at what the game is all about. 

What is May Cause Side Effects?

You might think May Cause Side Effects will be a Cards Against Humanity-style game or something similar to Mafia or Werewolf. But this game is unique and stands out from the crowd. 

While it could be played with two people, it doesn’t make the best two-player card game, in our opinion. But you will need an even number of people to play May Cause Side Effects, and a minimum of at least four people is recommended. 

Like many card games, May Cause Side Effects is played over several rounds and is recommended for people aged 13 and up. Once the teams have been formed, you can start playing. 

Players will select a trial card and a red and blue pill card during each round. On trial, the card will be a selection of different words marked by colors. Then, one player will choose a word and act it out for their teamates to guess. 

Each player will also have a red and blue pill card with a side effect. It could be something like saying you have to flex your muscles while talking or asking you to do star jumps. 

These side effects are designed to make acting out your trial card word harder and more challenging. Your teammate/s will also only have 40 seconds to guess too. After each team has played five rounds, the scores are tallied up, and the winning team is announced. 

That’s a quick look at how this fun, competitive card game works. But there is still a bit more to learn. Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need to play. 

What You’ll Need To Play?

Rules and Gameplay

To play May Cause Side Effects, you’ll need a game set. Finding a card set in a toy/ game shop might be difficult for some people, but finding one online should be pretty straightforward. Some versions of the May Cause Side Effects game come in a circular pill-like box. 

On Sale May Cause Side Effects

But there is also a standard boxed version of the game available. Both versions are the same; they just have some cosmetic differences regarding the box. When you open the box, there will be quite a few cards included. 

May Cause Side Effects

This might seem a little overwhelming at first but learning how the cards work is simpler than you might think. To help, we have listed the cards and their functions below. 

Trial Cards

You get 100 trial cards with May Cause Side Effects. These cards will have five different words on them highlighted in different colors. You will need to choose one of these words and then act it out to your teammates. 

You can (usually) still talk to your teammates but can’t say the word on your card. For example, let’s say your word is “dog,” You could help your teammates guess by woofing or naming some famous dogs from movies or TV shows. 

Pill Cards

You will get 100 pill cards split into red and blue color groups. Each player will have to take two pill cards along with their trial card. These pill cards add side effects that make acting out your trial card more difficult. 

Rules and Gameplay

The Aim of The Game 

While this is a fun party game by design, things can still get competitive, and most people will still want to win! To win May Cause Side Effects, you need to work as a team and guess as many trial cards as you can. The game is played across five rounds for each team. 

The Set-Up

Before any cards are dealt, the first thing to do is get the teams ready. Each team should have an equal number of players. Once the teams are agreed, one player should shuffle the cards well before dealing. 

Each team is then dealt five red pill cards and five blue pill cards. All cards should be dealt face down in front of each team. You will also need something to act as a timer for each round. A stopwatch would work brilliantly, but you can also use an app on your phone. 

Once all this is done, the player who recently went to the doctor will be the first player to go. This also decides which team will go first, too. So, let’s now look at how you play May Cause Side Effects. 

The Gameplay

Each round in May Cause Side Effects works the same. On each team’s turn, one player will take a trial card and choose one of the words from it to act out. They will also take one of the earlier dealt pill cards. 

Each player must take one pill card of each color. The player will then have 40 seconds to act on their word on their trial card to their teammates. They must carry out the side effects on their pill cards too. 

If the player’s teammates can guess the trial card word in the time limit, the team wins the card and earns one point. The other team will take their turn, and the process repeats itself. 

Both teams will get five turns each, and the player who is acting out the trial card must change each round. At the end of the game, the scores are tallied up. The team with the most points wins, and if both teams have the same score, the game is a draw.

Two-Player Rules

For two-player games, the rules are slightly different. Rather than your teammate guessing, the other player will be trying to guess what you are acting out. If they win, they earn a point and vice-versa. 

The standard gameplay for each round doesn’t change, though. Each player will still need to draw a red and blue pill card on their turn and carry out the side effects.

May Cause Side Effects – A Unique Guessing Game

May Cause Side Effects is a fun easy to recommend card game. The science experiment gimmick adds a unique charm to the game, and it’s sure to be a fun time.

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