Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Baby don't Hurt me:- Fog of Love

Game: Fog of Love

Publisher: Hush Hush Projects

Designer: Jacob Jaskov

Year: 2017

Fog of Love is a 2-player story driven game in which you follow the struggles of a couple falling into (or out of) love. Fog of Love straddles the blurry line between board game and roleplaying game, while your main actions will be playing cards, the cards will prompt you to make decisions for your character which further the developing story. Fog of Love is cooperative... at times, the reality is it's hard to classify. At the end of the game each player will be committed to an end objective, these may be complementary, allowing you both to win together. Though it's quite possible that even then only one, or neither of you managed to reach your goal. As you get further into the game new objectives are added which can make the game competitive, though you don't know if your partner is going for these objectives or not!

Before you start playing a game of Fog of Love you have to create your characters, put down your pencils and dice, this is quick and easy. You each choose a gender, then 3 trait objectives, which help dictate what you want from the relationship. These can be individual, or group goals, but you can't tell your partner what they are. Next you decide upon your job, then you choose 3 features about your partner that you noticed upon first meeting them. Features can be standard things, like "tall" or "muscular", but there are definitely a few curve-balls in there. In one game I was a bit surprised when I got handed the wheelchair card, but it made for good storytelling as the game progressed! Finally you invent a name for your character and roleplay a brief introduction to each other.

Fog of Love set up with created characters ready to fall in love with eachother!

Once your characters are created you are ready to start the game. There are several different stories to choose from, each consisting of a number of chapters. A chapter card gives you a quick event to play, but also dictates how many events will occur in this chapter and what event deck you should be drawing from out of sweet, serious and drama. After you have resolved the chapter event you take turns playing cards from your hand, most of which are events in their own right, though some are secrets, reactions and other more advanced cards. Most events will have one or both players decide on one of up to 4 actions. This is done by placing one of your four poker chips down and then flipping them to reveal the choice you took. The event card will then dictate the effect of the chosen actions.

During a lot of the game you are trying to manipulate the traits located along the bottom on the main board. Traits each come in opposing pairs, for example introverted and extroverted, and event cards will often make your place a token on one or more traits. At the end of the game what you care about is the balance, if you had 4 tokens on extroverted, but 2 on introverted then your final score would be 2 extroverted. Compare your total with your trait goal and see if you achieved it, if you did then you'll gain some love, but failure is penalized too!. When events don't manipulate traits they typically manipulate love directly, love is tracked individually for each player, it's possible to be head over heels in love with someone who barely tolerates your existence. In fact depending on the objective you aimed for this might be a win condition for both players!

Caroline is Manipulative, Intense, and Promiscuous, could she possible find true love? Or is she doomed to repeat her mistakes and be a heartbreaker once more?

Fog of Love is a fascinating game. It's extremely well produced and a very novel idea, but it does leave you questioning what you just played. There are definitely going to be people who hate this game for the roleplaying aspect of it. If you go into Fog of Love simply trying to win at all costs then your characters will act schizophrenic, which can actually make the game harder to play as your partner doesn't have any idea how you will reach to an event. I can also see some people simply not wanting to play a game about roleplaying a relationship with someone across the table, that can be awkward, especially if there is unrequited love involved between people in real life! However for friends who are comfortable enough with each other, or for gaming couples Fog of Love is a very enjoyable experience and a truly unique game.

Fog of Love actually introduced a very interesting concept to board gaming, we are used to very clear co-op games or competitive games. We are even used to games which have, or merely have the potential to have traitors. Fog of Love is well named, because it's far less clear than other games, you might be trying to work cooperatively, but then accidentally have ruined your partners plan. Even when you try your best to be helpful sometimes things don't work out quite as well as you imagined and that... is actually a very good feeling to get from a game about love!


7/10


Fog of Love was a review copy provided by Asmodee UK. It is available for an RRP of £47.99 at your friendly local game store or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk/.

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