Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: ‘Fog of Love’

Reading Time: 6 minutes

FogofLove-MainFog of Love is a two-player romantic comedy-inspired, cooperative, light roleplaying game that is perfect for couples.

New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer. Please note that I received a prototype copy of the game so final quality will be different from what you see here.

Fog of Love is intended to be a game for both casual or even non-gamers and serious gamers, and it definitely delivers on this front. Although there is a lot of potential strategy and deep roleplaying, the game can be played a lot quicker and lighter while still touching all of the mechanics and flavor of the game.

FogofLove-Components
Prototype components. Photo by Will James.

Game Contents

  • 1 Rulebook (Beta version available here).
  • 1 Game board.
  • 2 Dual-sided character cards (male/female).
  • 3 Predefined scenarios in separate envelopes (each scenario comes with Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three card, and Finale cards.
  • 2 Card stands (1 blue and 1 pink).
  • 100 Story Cards.
  • 38 Trait cards.
  • 60 Feature cards.
  • 30 Occupation cards.
  • 14 Story Ending cards (a blue and a pink set of 7 cards).
  • 8 Decision tokens (a blue and a pink set of tokens labelled A, B, C and D).
  • 80 Choice point tokens (35 blue and 35 pink discs worth 1 choice points and 5 blue and 5 pink cylinders worth 5 choice points).

Game Setup

The game setup is pretty straightforward but does require both players to make a handful of decisions that will impact the story of the game.

First, players will choose which scenario to play. We chose Scenario One which is a great intro to the game mechanics and eliminates the possibility of a break-up to make the game a little easier for first-timers. The scenario cards are placed onto the designated spots on the game board.

Each player gets a set of tokens, character card, and card stand as well as their corresponding Story Ending Card deck with the cards specified by the scenario. Although the components are blue and pink, either character can be male or female. I’d have preferred less “gendered” colors for the pieces, but it wasn’t a huge deal and we decided to play the game as a lesbian couple.

Each player is then dealt five Trait cards. These cards are kept secret from the other player. Each player chooses three Traits to keep and places them on their card stand. Each Trait card has a specific trait goal for you to achieve so choosing ones that are not at cross purposes to each other will make the game a little easier. As an example, the “fun-loving” Trait has a goal of getting a shared balance of five right leaning Extrovert points (more on trait goals and points later). The remaining Trait cards are placed on the spot on the game board as some Story cards will allow you to draw additional Traits.

Then, each player is dealt three occupation cards. They choose one for their character and place it face up on the board in their character area. Your occupation not only helps along your roleplaying, but the symbol and arrow in the bottom right grant you one of your four starting Choice points. For example, the “athlete” Occupation gives you one right leaning Discipline points.

The last part of character setup are the Feature cards. Each player is dealt five Feature cards. Taking alternating turns, each player assigns the other player three Features. Essentially these are the most distinctive Features the other player notices about the character. Like the Occupation card, each of these cards gives a starting Choice point to each player.

The last part of setup is to separate the Story cards into the three designated decks–Sweet, Serious, and Drama. These three decks will be drawn from at different times in the scenario and have increasing levels of difficulty, risk, and reward. Each player is dealt five Story cards–three Sweet, one Serious, and one Drama.

Although there are a lot of steps to set up the game, they are all fairly quick and will probably take less time to do than to read.

FogofLove-Midgame
I played Stacy–a subservient, workaholic baker with a great smile. Photo by Will James.

Game Play

Once the game is set up, it’s time to introduce the characters. Players give their characters names, talk a little about each other, and then begin! Players cannot share their Story cards, Story Ending cards, Traits, or Goals, but talking about the relationship and whether or not past decisions made the player happy or not are safe.

The sequence of play is very straightforward–play a Story card, resolve the card, and draw back up.

Each Story card played will have a choice that needs to be made. Sometimes only one player will make the choice, but many cards require both players to choose simultaneously and this is where the choice tokens come in. The player reads the Story card and choices aloud, and the player(s) choose how they want to drive the story.

Every choice will result in the gaining of Choice points as indicated by the card as well as gaining or losing heart points. (Heart points indicate how far in love each character is–in general the closer the two players are the better.) In most cases, when both players match, this is a good thing and there are additional effects that happen as well that can result in more points and/or changing the direction of the story. The choice and results on each Story card can be roleplayed as much or as little as players are comfortable with which makes Fog of Love so flexible.

While it’s easy to just always chose what meets your character’s needs, remember, this is a cooperative game about being in a relationship. Each player should pay attention to the other player’s choices and perceived needs. And sometimes you make a choice for your partner’s benefit, not your own.

The Choice point tokens are placed onto the board next to the designated row and side of the Personality track. These points will be tallied at the end of the game against your Trait goals and possible Story Ending goals.

There are some special types of Story cards as well. Reaction cards are played immediately and can be used to effect choices or outcomes of choices. Location cards do not have a choice on them but impact the next card played (by increasing or decreasing risk and reward). Secret play cards are cards that are played and not revealed to the other player. These can come back to haunt the player later or can pay off at the end of the game by earning extra rewards.

Play continues this way throughout each Chapter for the number of cards noted on each Chapter card. When the card goal is met, the next Chapter card is flipped and read aloud to further drive the story forward. Once the Finale card is flipped, the story and game are over and the game is scored.

Each player reveals their remaining Story Ending cards. These determine the final relationship status and the conditions to win. Then, any Secret Story cards are revealed and the corresponding points are rewarded.

Then Trait goals are scored. For each achieved Trait goal (meaning the Personality Factor balance matches or exceeds the card) the player receives five heart points. For each missed trait, the player loses three heart points. If a Trait card has an individual balance goal, only the tokens that match the players color are counted. If it is a shared balance goal, all tokens are added together.

Once all points are tallied up, players look at their Story Ending Cards to determine if they have won or lost. Players can win or lose individually, but only if both players win does the relationship survive.

The Verdict

While the blue and pink colored game pieces put my wife off of the game immediately, we both got into the story and roleplaying after we got the hang of the rules after the first couple of rounds. By the end of the game, we were both having a lot of fun. Fog of Love is a great game for couples or close friends, especially if you’re both fans of romantic comedies (which we both are). We both agreed that we’d be playing the second scenario in the near future. I can’t wait to see the final game with more scenarios and a little more polish.

For more details about the game and campaign, check out the Kickstarter video or visit the campaign page! There are only a few days left, but they are already WAY over their goal so now is a perfect time to get on board.

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