Forget the roses, because Fog of Love is guaranteed to deliver a beautiful relationship.
One day you’re sharing an ice cream at the beach, the next your partner has bought you an unexpected and most certainly unwanted designer sex toy. OK, so perhaps not all the scenarios in relationship simulator Fog of Love are realistic. But you know what? This is Art Board, baby, and we’re here to talk about aesthetics, not realism.
Arriving fashionably late for Valentine’s Day, it’s time to look across the candlelit gaming table and rest our eyes on the gorgeous, semi-cooperative creation that is Fog of Love. With a design this good, it was always meant to be.
First impressions are important, both in dating and board games. We don’t like to think of ourselves as shallow but oh boy, Fog of Love makes a jaw-dropping entrance. From the swish box to the pristine board you’ll slide out of it, and even the perfectly weighted decision chips -- seriously, those chips -- there are few board games out there that can rival this caliber of production. Fog of Love is a game that looks good and knows it.
Relationship board games are nothing new of course, but most are played for cheap laughs. Lazy gags about watching the game with the guys or women wanting to go shopping are typically wrapped in gaudy, unpleasant packaging. Here, however, things are very different.
By mixing high-quality components with a sleek and most importantly sensitive art direction, Fog of Love immediately lets you know that it takes its theming seriously. That’s not to say it isn’t a funny game; played with a good friend or partner, it routinely generates laughs. Instead, it shows that Fog of Love doesn’t treat relationships -- or the idea of a relationship board game -- as a joke. Impressive production values are typically an added bonus to most games, but with a theme that’s been treated as a throwaway in the past, they’re essential to Fog of Love’s charm.
So you sit down, and once you’re past the socially expected compliments and small talk, it’s time to get to know the finer details of the game you’re sharing a table with. As you create characters and begin to role play, it becomes apparent that Fog of Love, like any meaningful relationship, is far from a solo project.
It’s a story that the board conveys with delicate subtlety as well. Yes, one side is tinged blue, the other, pink, but neither is exclusive. The two colors intermingle throughout the design, a gentle bokeh effect allowing them to probe one another’s boundaries. You’re two separate people, but the choices you make in this relationship will most certainly affect the other, and it’s up to you to pay attention to the desires of your own heart -- and those of your partner. It’s a smart, thematic, and thoughtful touch.
In truth, “thoughtful” is an appropriate way to sum up almost every element in Fog of Love’s design. Multi-sided player cards let you form whatever gender combo you’d like. Personality aspects are shown in clear pastel colors but also come with symbols for added differentiation. Themes like sex, family, and discrimination are covered carefully but with impact in scene cards. Humor is commonplace in choices but rarely in a manner that feels like the game is punching down or insulting your character’s decision.
Fog of Love is a game that deserves to be admired, so it helps that it’s such a brilliant group experience as well. As two-player games go, we’d argue few will generate quite so many laughs for onlookers as a session in front of your friends will.
So clear your diaries, polish the champagne glasses, and prepare those scented candles because Fog of Love is a game that you should spend an evening enjoying together with a lover, a friend, or maybe even both.
Phwoar, things are getting a bit hot in here, aren’t they? It must be time to cool off by listening to the Going Analog Podcast. Or if you’d like to take this relationship further, feel free to drop us a message on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. We promise not to bite.
Art Board is a series in which we highlight board games that are more than just great to play; they’re also a delight to look at -- the kind of games that draw players to the table regardless of your snack supply. Whether it’s through distinct art styles, detailed components, or clever design, these are the games that deserve to be admired.
When he’s not losing himself as a mercenary in Gloomhaven, Henry Stenhouse can be found gobbling up all the latest and greatest party games, then wondering why he can never find the time to actually play them with friends. Share your love of deckbuilders with him on Twitter @Fernoface or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.