Share this project


Share this project

Create endings to funny situations in this fast-paced party game. The first player to shout their knee-jerk reaction wins the point!
Create endings to funny situations in this fast-paced party game. The first player to shout their knee-jerk reaction wins the point!
690 backers pledged $14,277 to help bring this project to life.
Last updated


Knee Jerk: The Party Game of Instant Reactions! project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with

Knee Jerk: The Party Game of Instant Reactions!



Did you miss the campaign?

Don't worry! You can pre-order Knee Jerk at We will ship pre-orders after we ship all rewards to our awesome Kickstarter backers. 

 "Fast-paced, exhilarating, and so much fun!"

"I think you have a hit on your hands here." -Board Game Corner

"Stupidly simple but hilarious." -Bower's Game Corner

Knee Jerk is a 10-minute party game for 4 to 8 players.

In Knee Jerk, you'll hear the start of a situation that you have to shout an ending to as fast as possible. For example: "I Feel Panicked At The Beach Because I Saw ______!" You can shout anything, like, "A shark!", "A smoke monster!" or even "My grandmother in a bikini!".

The fastest player to shout a valid answer wins the point, but you have to outwit your friends - if two or more players answer, the host player picks his or her favorite. The games moves rapidly, switching from scene to scene in seconds - from Your First Date to A Haunted Mansion to Outer Space!

The first player to gain 3 points is the winner. Learning and playing the game are quick - just like your knee-jerk reaction!

Want to try playing with the cards? Try out the Knee Jerk Randomizer!

  • Fast, Simple Gameplay: Because the fastest player to answer wins the point, the game zooms by. Each situation lasts ~10 seconds, and if you didn't win the last one, there's another one coming in just a moment's time. The game is also quick to set up and learn, with just a half-sheet of instructions.
  • No Downtime: In Knee Jerk, everyone plays at the same time. Only the host handles the cards, so there's no clean up between rounds.
  • Over 150,000+ Combinations: With Knee Jerk's innovative "arrow-locking" card design, any three cards can be combined. This means you could play the game over 10,000 times and never see the same situation twice!
  • Open-Ended Answers: Any ending is possible in Knee Jerk - it's all up to your imagination. You could mention your badass grandma, that dinosaur you rode, or the fake superpower no one knows you have. The endings are limitless because you're not trapped within the confines of "answer" cards. Feel free to be as creative, dirty or family-friendly as you like.
  • Portable: Knee Jerk is one deck of 55 cards, so you can easily slip it in your pocket or purse. And you don't have to sit around a table to play! You can play on the couch, in the car, at the airport - anywhere you can find space for 3 cards.

Click here for a PDF of the rules (4 MB) and here for a Print 'n Play of the game (47 MB).

Increase your pledge amount to get the add-ons below! After the Kickstarter campaign ends, we will send a survey out so you can specify which add-ons you pledged for.

See the update here for why theme and blank packs are available only to backers in the US and Canada. In lieu of this, we will send out a free digital print 'n play version of all cards to all backers.

Note: The "new ways to play" above don't add additional components to the game - they use the same 55-card deck. These new gameplay modes will require our time to develop the gameplay and rules so they're just right.

GreyElephant Gaming:

Game Boy Geek of The Dice Tower:

Undead Viking:

 Cloak and Meeple:


Open The Box Games:


Bower's Game Corner:

 Dad's Gaming Addiction:

"Knee Jerk [gets people enjoying each other’s company], and it does it amazingly well … For that reason, the party game lover in me heartily recommends it." -Undead Viking

"Fast-paced, exhilarating, and so much fun!"

"I think you have a hit on your hands here." -Board Game Corner

"We ended up in tears laughing so hard" -Cloak and Meeple

"[Knee Jerk] breathes a breath of fresh air into the card-based party game genre." -Board Game Authority

"I would highly recommend it to the social gamers out there!" -The League of Nonsensical Gamers

"The sheer silliness of the situations will leave you laughing." -GMS Magazine

"Delightfully addictive." -Jeff Provine, BlogCritics

"Knee Jerk is hilarious and hilariously simple to play. I’ve played it with kids of all ages and it’s up there with party games classics like Apples to Apples." -Allen Murray, Co-founder of AtomJack Games, Producer of Plants vs. Zombies 2 and Halo 3

"A friend of mine pulled out his cellphone during the game and backed the Kickstarter right then and there." -Gaming Trend

"The game is innovative, very easy to learn and play, and a fantastic party game.  . . .  The ability to play it quickly and play a game in literally 5-10 minutes is amazing." -The Gamers Dome

"The pace is fast and furious." -Club Fantasci

"I can see it becoming a pretty big hit." -Purple Pawn

"Knee Jerk is one of those party games that I love - it brings out a special kind of silliness in people that is just so much fun to be involved in." -Board Game Reviews by Josh

"Spread some love people, you will easily get $10 worth of use out of this game." -Troll in the Corner

"I loved watching my kids laugh their heads off" -GoingHalvesOnGames

"If party games are your thing, definitely check it out." -Breacher18

"Knee Jerk is a blast." -Open the Box Games

"Stupidly simple but hilarious" -Bower's Game Corner

"Love it!" -BoardGameCloset

"The chaining mechanism is a brilliant way to make use of these cards." -Casual Game Revolution

"Knee Jerk is fast-paced fun" -Inner-Geek

"The students love this activity. Even the less able students have been working on their vocabulary and trying to get creative to become the host." -Chris Edwards, ESL Teacher in Shenzhen, China

"It's just as much fun to play this game with kids as it is with adults." -Homemaker Hobbies

"We've taken the game for a spin and it's a lot of fun!"

"The clever design, quick game play, and creative scenes that evolve across the innovative card structure are the recipe for a highly enjoyable, and often hilarious evening with friends. Knee Jerk has a forward momentum that I don’t often experience in party games, and this keeps the action and fun zipping along for as long as your sides can handle all the laughing."  -The Board Game Show

Gaming Trend Review

The League of Nonsensical Gamers Preview

Board Game Authority Review

On Board Games Podcast Interview with Andrew (go to 10:15)

Homemaker Hobbies

Troll in the Corner Review

The 20 Minutes of Filler Podcast

Board Game Reviews by Josh

iSlaytheDragon Preview

Purple Pawn Preview

Strawburry17 Review

Shut Up & Sit Down Games News

ESL Teacher Chris Edwards' Review

Club Fantasci Preview

Today In Board Games Interview with Andrew

BlogCritics Review

GMS Magazine Review

The Inquisitive Meeple Interview with Andrew

Casual Game Revolution Review

Eloisa Valdes Review

Dad's Gaming Addiction Preview

The Board Game Show Review

The Board Game Show Podcast (go to 17:30)

EuroGamerGirl Preview

My Life As a Board Gamer Preview

Inner-Geek Review

GoingHalvesOnGames Preview

The Party Gamecast Review

Rolling Dice and Taking Names Preview

Indie Cardboard Interview with Andrew Federspiel

Bower's Gen Con 2014 Bonanza: Knee Jerk Interview

5by5's DLC Podcast with Christian Spicer and Jeff Cannata

The Meeple Mechanic's Kickstarter Badger

Blue Peg, Pink Peg Podcast (go to 15:24)

Theology of Games Kickstarter Weekly

I am Andrew Federspiel, the founder of Knapsack Games and the game designer and lead developer of Knee Jerk. My first licensed board game, Merc Mayhem, is due out by publisher APE Games in 2015. My background is in video games, working at PopCap Games on Bejeweled Blitz, Zuma Blitz, and Solitaire Blitz. I was also the lead designer at SilverTree Media on the Disney TRON Legacy online games Disc Battle and Light Cycle. I gained my chops at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center from leading game design professor Jesse Schell. You can read more here in my interview with Indie Cardboard.

Mark Major is the graphic designer and other developer of Knee Jerk. He was a finalist in the 2014 Tabletop Deathmatch series, and in March he won the The Game Crafter's Mystery Design Challenge. Mark has licensed two of his games to board game publishers, including Jupiter Rescue by Twilight Creations and Chimera Station by Tasty Minstrel Games. He has also designed video games, with experience on Cave Story and 1001 Spikes. Mark is also a contributor to the League of Gamemakers.

We conceived of Knee Jerk at a Game Design Summit in 2013. Since then we've developed the game into something we're proud of and can't wait to share. The best way to both gauge interest and spread the game is through Kickstarter.

We can create the game only with your contributions, so pledge to the project and share this page with your friends. Thanks!

Read more about the Knee Jerk design history on the Knapsack Games blog here.

Refer to the map below for your shipping cost.

Western EU: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden

Central EU: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia


Want to spread the word about Knee Jerk?
Use the Knee Jerk Backer Badge below in your Facebook or Twitter profile.

Game Rules: (4 MB)

Print 'n Play: (47 MB)

Press Kit: (7 MB)

Disclaimer: Game and graphic design for Knee Jerk are not final and are subject to change.

Credits: Photography and video footage by Eric Guidice. "Dreaming" music used with permission by Smallpools. Thanks to Matthew Austin, Keith Gibson, Rachel Miller, Nate Chambers, Andrea Kaplan-Chambers and Greg Federspiel for appearing in the video. Thank you to our many playtesters from the LA Card and Board Game Designers Group, as well as various friends, family members, and former-strangers :) Also, the Stonemaier Games blog was incredibly helpful - thanks Jamey.

Risks and challenges

Our risks lie in manufacturing and shipping. To mitigate these, we are working with a reputable manufacturer (PrintNinja) and using a minimal amount of game components. Using simple components also reinforces the reliability of our domestic self-fulfillment. Our international fulfillment will be handled by a reputable fulfillment company.

Unforeseen circumstances are uncommon but always a possibility, such as manufacturer scheduling changes, shipping delays due to weather, and so on. Should any issues arise, we will address them swiftly and carefully. We will maintain open communication with our backers to assure that everyone is on the same page.

We are being mentored by established game publishers including Matthew Austin (Chaosmos), Peter Vaughan (What the Food?!), and David Chott (Lagoon). In addition, we have experience on many major, schedule-driven projects. We know the importance of shipping high quality projects on time, as well as communicating honestly and openly with our community (i.e. you!).

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ


  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THE GAME: Get a boxed copy of Knee Jerk + ALL stretch goals! Also enjoy the digital Print 'n Play version. Free shipping to US/UK/China. Add $5 for Canada, $10 for Western EU, $12 for Central EU, $15 for other locations.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    401 backers

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE DELUXE BUNDLE (US/Canada Only):
    Get a boxed copy of Knee Jerk + ALL stretch goals + the Blank Pack + ALL 3 Kickstarter-exclusive theme packs! (Sci-Fi Pack, Movies Pack, and Time Travel Pack.) Also enjoy the digital Print 'n Play versions. Free shipping to US. Add $5 for Canada.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    269 backers

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (29 days)