At a Glance: Fog of Love is a perfect experience for couples that plays out a bit like a Romantic Comedy.
I’d like to share a unique game that we played for Valentine’s Day a few weeks ago…
Fog of Love is a storytelling, role-playing game for 2 players that takes you through the ups and downs of a fictional relationship. The game centers around scenes played from each other’s hands, and the choices that they provide. Each choice you make through the game will affect and/or reveal your personality, and both players are attempting to fulfill their ultimate goals for the relationship (known as Destinies), but the enjoyment is found on the road it takes to get there.
Each player controls a character, male or female, and much of the fun is found in creating these fictional characters. Their character card keeps track of Satisfaction (shown as heart symbols). First, players are dealt 5 Trait cards and must keep 3 of them. These are kept secret throughout the game, and always contain a goal related to the personality aspects shown across the board. These aspects have a positive and negative side, and through the playing of Scene cards, players will be placing markers to balance these aspects toward their individual or shared goals. Each player has an Occupation that they choose from 3 options, and then players choose 3 Features for the other player that they noticed the first time they met. Players are encouraged to roleplay a bit and expound on those characteristics that drew them to each other. Once the characters are created (and named of course!), the game begins.
Fog of Love is played within the structure of a particular Scenario that the players choose beforehand. The base game comes with a few to choose from already, each coming with their own predominant flavors (Sweet, Serious, or Dramatic) and new cards to add to the Scene decks. On your turn, you play a Scene from your hand and follow the prompt. The Scene provides some flavor text or dialogue, and then the players usually must make a choice. Sometimes it is a decision that both players make, sometimes it is just for the partner to decide. Then players reveal their choices and resolve the Scene. This usually results in markers being placed on personality aspects on the board. The Aspects are Discipline, Curiosity, Extroversion, Sensitivity, Gentleness, and Sincerity. Each Aspect has a positive and negative side to it, so if your character has more markers on the upper side of Gentleness, they will be cooperative and forgiving. If your character has more markers on the lower side, they will be rough, antagonistic, and stubborn. Where players’ markers are on these Aspects is extremely important, as this will determine if Traits and Destinies are successful.
The Destiny is the secret, overarching goal for each player that will determine if they are ultimately satisfied. There are several completely different avenues to take, depending on how the relationship is going. Maybe you will only be happy if you both are equal partners. Or maybe your character is selfish and wants to be dominant. Perhaps your character sees Unconditional Love as something to be attained. Whatever you end up pursuing, this will drive your decision-making until the very end, and it is also in your best interest to be mindful of what your partner’s Destiny might be. Otherwise, you may find yourselves on entirely different pages. As far as the ending, it is possible that you will break up if things go poorly enough, though this is not possible during the first couple scenarios. And ultimately it is up to you, as you could simply choose not to include those possible outcomes. The game is nicely customizable that way, and even when things don’t turn out the way you expect or want, that just makes the narrative that much more interesting. To use a cliched phrase, it is more about the journey than the destination.
Fog of Love is truly a groundbreaking experience that transcends what is typically expected in a “board game”. I like how the game handles the role-playing aspect in a different way. It is not about leveling up, so to speak, but rather about making decisions that stay true to your character and support your partner. The “acting” is not extreme, so I think even if you are a little uncomfortable playing a fictional character, the amount of immersion is up to you. You are not required to commit that much to it. It is funny to install yourself into your character as you answer lighthearted questions like “How should the toilet paper be placed on the roll?” Do you know how tough it is for me not to say “over the top”?! As the more serious, and even bordering on emotional scenes come into play, your characters become somewhat alive, and when you catch yourself becoming emotionally invested in this hypothetical couple, you know you’ve struck something special in a board game.
As the conventional definition and expectation of a “board game” widens, I am more and more amazed at what is out there. Fog of Love embodies the future of what gaming could and should be. I enjoy gaming because it promotes organic interaction among families and friends. So when something like Fog of Love can present emotional, psychological, and relational themes like it does, I must recommend it wholeheartedly for couples who are interested in a unique experience.
The sophistication of the design is matched with the aesthetics. The overall presentation and color scheme are appealing and the components are great quality. My favorite pieces are the weighty poker chips that are used to secretly answer the questions. The wooden personality markers are also nice and functional, and they include the larger denominations of 5’s as well, which can be helpful. There have already been expansions released, so the game becomes even more customizable and replayable if you wish.
Check it out: https://amzn.to/2EOHGpb