Hello again, Dearest Romance Readers. I have eagerly accepted an invitation to introduce to you a new board game for date-night, and what a date-night game “Fog of Love” is! Actually, it’s more of a date-weekend board game, but I’ll clarify that a little later. For now, let’s simply say this game is made for those of us who love role-playing, and as a Romance author I live to create new characters.
What you’ll notice upon opening “Fog of Love” is its gentle, elegant beauty. The gradient pastels are the perfect pallet for a role-playing game where the focus should be on the characters and not on the board. This stunning board only exists to support your characters, their destiny(ies), and their relationships, and although gorgeous, it serves its subtle role perfectly well.
First, I insist you play through the tutorial. There is a bit of a learning curve with this game; it’s layered in its process. However, by the third game, you should have found your groove. The relationships as well as your personal goals and destinies progress with difficulty. For instance, by the third game, one or more of your destinies can end the relationship.
The tutorial is built in, and your relationship in the first round of this game will be far easier. The first round has more get-to-know-you scenes of a first date and less drama scenes of a long-term relationship. The intent here is for you to focus on learning the rules. This first relationship will end happily. [To put the learning curve into perspective, the rule book tells you exactly how to reintegrate the tutorial cards. I probably wouldn’t try to teach this game to a new player without working the tutorial back into the deck, for their benefit.]
Hence, why I consider this an ideal date-weekend game. Go away to a lovely National or State Park for the weekend. [See my “Parks” article on Frolic for more inspiration.] Play this game on Friday night at your destination. Hike your beautiful Park on Saturday morning. Come back to camp, and play the next level (packet). Wake up Sunday morning. Have coffee and a campfire breakfast, and play the next level (packet). By this time, the rules are firmly ingrained in that lovely noggin of yours, and you can look forward to even more fun next weekend—at your leisure with costuming and props.
The end goal of the game is to fulfill some version of your “Destinies” which are dealt to you in the beginning. To be clear, the Destiny you decide to focus on will determine if you are playing cooperatively or competitively. You and your partner may or may not be focusing on the same Destiny; you do not share them. Let that sink in a moment.
Having a Destiny to fulfill doesn’t sound too difficult until you receive your Occupation and your Personal Trait Goals—these goals can work in direct opposition to the Destiny at which you’ve aimed your character. The higher you fulfill your Personal Traits, the higher your Satisfaction with yourself at the end of the game, and this also may or may not help your relationship.
Therefore, getting to know one another very well, will help you understand the other character, which brings me to my personal tips for playing the game. Take the time in the beginning of the game to not only introduce your characters to one another, as instructed, but really play it up. Go into detail about your likes and dislikes based off (but not sharing) your Personal Traits. Use the Features cards (what the other player notices about you) to increase and deepen your story.
Why? Because while there are many question cards which are more akin to “would you rather” there are not as many fun “tell” cards: cards where you make-up and expand your story, the real role-playing cards.
On that note, my next tip is to remember you are role-playing and to not take this too seriously. Especially when the other player does something like argue with your parents, or you have to hide a secret from your partner. Remember to keep it light-hearted, people.
My final tip for the game, and clearly not in real life, is to choose the Destiny you most want to work toward pretty early in the game, and build your character and your role playing based on that Destiny. But understand, you may be forced to change your Destiny, so all you’ve worked toward may now be for naught.
The first date my partner and I were sent on—as part of the tutorial—was a Sunday Morning Date. I was “Felicity”, a local soap opera star (Occupation: TV personality). My date was “Donny”, and he said he was in shipping (Occupation: Criminal). Felicity noticed he had a scar on his face, wore a fedora and a zoot suit, and sported a very broad back. Donny spoke in a thick Chicago accent of his own accord. The date was fabulous!
How much do I love this game? I expect St. Nicholas to put ALL of the expansion packs in my stocking this year. Every. Single. One. And I suspect the day after Christmas will be one giant Paranormal Romance date, among others.
What did I love about this game? It plays out like a book: there’s a synopsis, followed by chapters which are comprised of scenes, and it ends in a finale. I also loved that although there are a set of blue tokens and a set of pink tokens, players can choose which side of the gender card they wish to display. Love is love.
My finale: Although I wouldn’t necessarily label this game a “Romantic Comedy” (that’s heavily reliant upon the players), I will play this game repeatedly, with all of the expansion packs.
Until next time. Game on.
Grab your own copy of Fog of Love here!