‘We’re Not Really Strangers’, the perfect game for friends night

Koreen Odiney’s ‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ is a hit for a reason and gives players everything it advertises and more.

Cards you may encounter while playing We’re not Really Strangers.
Photo from: Yahoo Life, Devon Kelley


It’s important to regularly connect and strengthen bonds with friends, which is part of the reason why Koreen Odiney’s ‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ exists. Odiney’s intention of creating ‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ was to empower meaningful connections with others, which is perfectly executed throughout playing. Teenagers don’t socialize anymore and playing this game gave me a perfect opportunity to get a closer connection with friends that I could’ve never experienced through the online world.


As a photojournalist and model, Odiney is always in constant communication with others. Using her camera as a gateway to chat with people, she developed the skill of forging bonds in short amounts of time to help a person get comfortable with getting their photo taken.


In an interview with Vogue, Odiney said “I loved the art form and knowing how to ask the right questions to create connections.” 


The card game was released in 2018, yet I have been hearing about it online via Instagram and Tiktok ever since quarantine started. ‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ offers many different expansion packs, but my focus is the Friendship Edition.


Each card in the deck is meant to connect each player deeper to the other. Picking up a card,  you may expect something like ‘How are you, really?’ or ‘What about me is most strange or unfamiliar?’. Questions like that had me examine and take time to answer them, which ultimately created a more raw and vulnerable space between my friends and I.


“I wanted to find a way to make it easier for people to start having these conversations. instead of feeling bad about asking questions, you’re given a prompt,” she says. “It creates a separation between yourself and what is being said,” Odiney stated in a Vogue interview.


Seeking a relaxing way to end a night out with two friends of mine, we stumbled upon ‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ at Target. Having heard positively about it for a while, we picked it up expecting the best.


Getting into the rules of the game, they were straightforward and easy to understand. I was pleasantly surprised by the organization of the small box. Receiving the game, the cards were divided into three sections which included Level 1 (Perception), Level 2 (Connection) and level 3 (Reflection). In the box there was also a ‘final card’ that will be flipped over when the players are done playing. We also received a ‘dig deeper’ card that is used when someone wants the other to elaborate more on their answer. 


Additionally, we also needed a pen and notepad because some cards required so. Honestly, it was overwhelming at first because of the fact that there was quite a bit of supplies we needed just to get the game started.


Reading the rule pamphlet, they were simple yet well composed. They allowed us to even make tweaks to our own to the game without changing the game’s meaning and intention, which is very interesting and not something I’ve ever seen in card games. Playing this game with two other people, it was expected to just switch up a few rules.


Starting the game off was a little awkward at first because the questions were unexpectedly heavy and real, but I slowly eased into it, as did my friends, once we all started being vulnerable/opening up. Now, I’m not really a person to talk about how I feel without getting embarrassed, but since the game gave such open ended questions, it seemed so much more normal to chat about such things with people close to me.


I was able to really understand my friends and myself included throughout this experience and get some really good advice from them while returning the favor.


The worst part was ending the game for the night because of how good it was going. Yet, that only told my friends and I that ‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ needs to be tradition for the end of every hangout going forward.


It’s no surprise ‘We’re Not Really Strangers’ is a hit among teens and young adults. The concept is well thought out and the title itself is mysterious enough to peak interest. It reminds you of a sleepover, comfortable and familiar. We’re Not Really Strangers is a phenomenal way to end a night feeling fulfilled and connected to your friends.