I heard there’s a game that will let you play as two people building relationships, the next day I was in the board game store. Fog of Love came to me when I was already “heavy” in the hobby and it felt like a breath of fresh air among all the fantasy world, zombie, strategy, and adventure games that I was in love at that time. And… it conquered my heart.
In Fog of Love, you and your play buddy will take the role of a couple that is building a romantic relationship. It’s in your hands how the story will go from here.
This game turned such an exciting and complex part of our lives into a game and has done an amazing job.
What is it about?
In this game, you and your game buddy create two characters that fall in love with each other. Now, what happens after that is the game. Will you take them through a honeymoon relationship and build together love that’s talked about in the books? Will you loudly and gracelessly lead them to an unjust breakup? Do you feel that only one person is building love and the other one is just being selfish? Yes, that’s exactly the questions you’ll be solving in this game for your two characters.
The game starts as you define yourselves and each other: who you are, where do you work, what’s your inner strengths and weaknesses, and what traits of appearance attract your partner in you. That’s when insecure comedian Jane with golden teeth got the attention of a tattooed waiter Jake. The stories can be endless.
Now you are starting one of the three narratives from the core box (or any of an additional three from expansions). The narrative is like a short challenge of what your couple is building together. The tutorial narrative starts as your characters have just met and are going on the first date. It’s up to you to decide how their relationship takes on from here.
The gameplay is essentially solving this type of situations your characters end up in.
And just as it is a game, there’s a winner(s) and a loser(s). Your goal is to realize the potential of your character and their ambition in the relationship. A lot of that would depend on how successfully you push your own agenda or satisfy your secret traits of character.
Example set of secret character traits.
When the game ends and you reach the final chapter of the story, you calculate points, reveal your secret traits, and what you think your relationship destiny is going to be. Will you live happily ever after, build a strong caring relationship, or essentially will this be the end of your couple? Anything is possible!
What I enjoyed?
- Cliche, but the game is unique. I said it and I’ll say it again, this is a one-of-a-kind game, both thematically and mechanically. It delivers exactly what it promises: a romantic comedy as a board game.
- Storytelling and the story. I just loved creating my own imaginary character and finding a place for them in the relationship. The more the game progresses, the more the story unravels and you start to see both your character and their partner in a real sight.
- Love is for everyone. This game is inclusive and celebrates the LGBTQ community. You can take the role of any gender in the couple and the game fully supports that.
- The best tutorial I’ve ever seen. To start playing Fog of Love, you need no video how-to’s or reading long rule books. You just start playing. The tutorial is incorporated right into the narrative of the game which makes a super smooth experience for new players.
What you should be aware of
- Both of you have to be really invested in the game.It’s been quite hard to put this point together, but just like in a real relationship both players have to be heavily immersed in the game. I’ve played this game with multiple people and the experience depended a lot on a person with whom I was playing. For example, my partner with whom we're usually playing games is not into storytelling and has taken the strategic approach “I want to win”. You can probably see it from here that these imaginary couples were doomed from the start. However, when I played with a few of my girlfriends who loved storytelling and were creative, these were the most memorable experiences and probably the best games of my whole board gaming “career”.
- Can get repetitive. As this game is quite text-heavy and the situations that you couple comes across are very unique and special, the more you play the game, the more likely you are to have an “I’ve already been here” moment. As you get acquainted with the game content, it becomes less of a journey and more of a strategic choice especially if you are playing with the same person. Although I don’t play that game as often as I wished to, I would definitely have bought it again if I had known this before buying it. Why? Even if in the worst case, the game is played only 4 times (so once per narrative), you’ll still get 13 € per game which is much less than a cost of 2 movie tickets. Except that here you’re in control of the movie.
Is this game for you?
You probably understood by this point that this game is not a typical board game. It’s probably the most extraordinary game in my collection.
It captures a very unusual topic in gaming, romantic relationships. Relationships are quite a difficult thing to capture, let alone to build a board game around it, but the people behind the game have absolutely created a miracle.
Fog of Love definitely talks to a different audience than stereotypical gamers. While it still stands on the side of lighter games, it definitely invites many non-traditional gamers to try it out.
It’s simple to say that if you love romantic comedies, you should try this game, but it’s not just that. If you love crafting people’s stories or just enjoy storytelling, you could have some of the best game time in your life (like I did). Maybe you want to have a great time with your partner or a friend, maybe you want to bring this on a date or to a cozy party, the choice is entirely yours.
After all, if this sounds like your cup of tea and you got the right company, I can promise you will have an amazing time with Fog of Love.
I’ve been playing as long as I remember myself. When I was a kid I dreamt of building my own games, and now I’m trying to make it a reality. Board games carry me away into a different world where I can be a knight, a researcher, a kingdom builder or a zombie fighter. Love semi-coop and engine building games. Favorite game of all times: Dead of Winter.