04/12/2022

Fog of Love, role-playing your way throughout a relationship [Review]

So many games, yet so few time to play them all. Anyway, this game stole the spotlight after its release in 2017. Nevertheless, my real contact with Fog of Love happened two years after during my first the Berlin Brettspiel Con. For me, the game title makes an impression that a couple is a perquisite to play the game. Although it is technically untrue, indeed it demands two people to begin WITH.

Fog of Love is a cooperative game reinforced with a social deduction mechanic. Both players role-play and pilot their hypothetical relationship. To be blunt, it is, in a way, a love simulator from a publishing house called ‘Hush Hush Projects’. Before reading further, you can watch the tutorial on YouTube. The number of video resources which discuss this game show how hype the game was back then.

Disclaimer: I am an avid euro gamer and a hardcore Legend of the Five Rings LCG player. I am not a fan of solo game/variant. This statement will give you an overview of what kind of bias I might have while writing.

APPEARANCE AND COMPONENTS

I would describe Fog of Love’s appearance as clean and sharp. It is aesthetically pleasing, and we love it. The design on all sides is notably simple. Nevertheless, they do their job well to describe what goes where and to keep the game flowing. Fog of Love contains a unique and specific theme, and the components that shroud this aspect fit well.

The minimalistic approach still sums up and delivers the information needed throughout the game. It is pretty intuitive, and it makes the setup easier even for the first timers.

Despite the simplicity, Fog of Love is miles away from the definition of bleak. The components are, as mentioned, awesome and fabulous. They are vibrant, yet still functional. It is not an exaggeration to say that it’s a work of art, in some way.

JACOB JASKOV’S PLAYING WITH YOUR HEART

Through in-game characters, the couple will create their love stories. The Fog of Love is mysterious, and that means, the chapters we encounter are full of surprise throughout the game. Moreover, they do not always lead to the happy ending. All chapters consist of several scenes, and they define the scenarios faced by the couple. If I may simplify, the game feels like a D&D campaign that takes place in a love comedy and drama.

I like how Jacob Jaskov promotes each character’s individuality via Destiny cards. They act like a secret objective that we reveal only at the end of the game. Each player will have a hand of Destiny cards to begin with. During the game, the number of cards will gradually decrease — until at a certain point, both players only have one card. To ‘win the game,’ both partners need to fulfil this goal. Winning does not always mean a happy ending, though. Some cards, for instance, like the Heartbreaker, even requires one player to make his or her partner miserable before breaking up with them. This aspect gives a nice depth and dimension to the story-telling. It also illustrates and simulates a real relationship.

To spice the simulation, there are certain traits each character has, and they change based on the decisions taken along the way. These decisions are the main composition that makes Fog of Love interesting. I love how we make some decisions in secret before simultaneously revealing it with our partner. It influences how the story goes and branches in the future’s scenarios, which also affects the game in its entirety. The way we’re secretly deciding things really gives out the personality of what kind of partner you want to be in the simulation.

Thanks to these aspects, Fog of Love feels dynamic. There are some swings and sways, and it does feel like a real relationship. It needs two to tango, and so is a relationship. Throughout the game, we can learn and read our partner thanks to how they decide on the previous round. This process will then, hopefully, lead us to understanding our partner deeper — and that means we can somehow deduce how they will act upon something. With that in mind, it allows us to have a clearer picture of which scenes we need to pick to keep everything on course.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

Fog of Love is definitely a role-playing game designed for two players. The game relies mostly on proceeding the printed card effects, which is a bit too card-based for my taste. Nevertheless, the point of this game lies upon both parties’ process and progress, creating the stories befitting their Destiny cards. It’s a unique experience, something easy to crunch and pretty light to digest. If you are looking for either a grand adventure or multiple gaming mechanics that elevate the complexity of the game, Fog of Love may not be interesting for you. On the other hand, it is something that can be fulfilling for those who seek for story-driven game that’s different from any RPG in the current market.

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