Fog of Love is about finding out how to achieve a happy ending in the love story you create together.
It's all about the choices you make when you shape your story. In the end, each of you can win or lose... individually or together.
Five unique design elements contribute to an engaging and playful experience when you play the game.
Fog of Love would be nothing without its characters.
You do not play as yourself when playing the game, but as an imaginary character. The character is your device to explore and experiment with the narrative and fictional relationship.
Your character is defined by a set of three secret personality traits that influence what he or she desires and wants to avoid. The character also has an occupation and three physical features that are assigned by your partner - that's what your partner fell for or noticed about your character.
Just like in real life you don't know each other's motivations - at least not in the beginning (hence the title of the game). A key part of the game is therefore getting to know each other through the way you play and the choices you make.
Your way, my way or a shared way?
In the end all choices in the game add up and shape the balance of your relationship. The central personality track is where you keep score of your choices. Your traits define where you want this to go.
Push too hard for your preferences and your partner may begin to believe that this relationship isn’t going anywhere. Push too little and you’ll have trouble realising your goals.
Yet sometimes compromise is not possible. When this happens, when your interests are directly opposing, you still have some options left in the game:
Find happiness in other ways.
Change your character’s personality to align with your partner.
Form a story where your character’s satisfaction is not essential.
Prepare to leave the relationship.
Deciding how to cope with differences is key when playing the game.
All stories are made up of scenes. So are those in Fog of Love.
The players take turns introducing a new scene that develops the ongoing story. This is done through rich and descriptive Story Cards.
Many of the Story Cards are like small prisoner’s dilemmas where you have to decide between what is best for you and what is best for your partner.
You will often decide simultaneously. Here you need to consider what your partner might choose, as the combination of your choices will have impact on the shared outcome. Sometimes it will be better to agree than to have it your way - and sometimes not.
The Story Cards are the building blocks of your love story. There are 100 of them in the base game. This is enough to conceive countless variations of archetypical love stories. Even more were added as stretch goals in the kickstarter campaign.
A story without tension is not a story.
All stories in Fog of Love are structured into three Chapters and a Finale. They drive the narrative forward and increase the tension as the game and your story develops.
The Chapters define what deck of Story Cards you can draw from and thus what kind of scenes you will have available to introduce into the game. Initially you will only draw sweet Story Cards, while the serious and dramatic ones become available, even mandatory, later on.
Furthermore, each Chapter introduces a critical choice to be made or a challenge to overcome.
Overcoming crises - or learning to live with their consequences and adjusting your strategy - is key to playing the game.
The kickstarter version of Fog of Love includes three unique Love Stories, each with their own Chapter cards, special conditions and overall experience.
All stories are basically defined by how they end.
In Fog of Love you have a handful of possible Story Ending cards available. Each Story Ending card determines how the story will end and what your character’s role in the relationship is.
Some of the Story Ending cards have a cooperative focus, while others are competitive or even deceitful in nature.
For each chapter and as the story evolves, you will discard some of these Story Ending cards. In the end you will settle on one.
The choice of a Story Ending is the most critical one. It is existential as it ultimately defines what your winning conditions are and thus what game you are playing. The game is basically cooperative, but it does not assume cooperation.
Since you will discard the Story Ending cards as you play you will increasingly limit your available options and thus commit to one version of the story.
Do you trust the signals you get from your partner in order to go for a cooperative story, or will you retain a break-up card on hand just to be sure?
In Fog of Love the story is up to you.
If you want to know more about how to play the game you should check out Rahdo's excellent setup and gameplay run-through videos here.
If you want to go more in depth, you can access a beta-version of the rules here. Please bear in mind that this is work in progress. The presentation will be revamped completely in the final version. The text will be thoroughly proofed and updated by native English speaking editors. Small changes in the rules might also be introduced.
Fog of love is not about your destination, but your journey towards it. Winning or losing takes backseat when creating fun and memorable stories together.
If you like to explore surprising narratives, if you like to guess and mind read your partner and if you like to be playful with the tools you are given, then Fog of Love is for you.
Casual gamers have responded very well to the game. Fog of Love has simple rules and is easy to set up, since the board serves as a clear guide for all content. Reading the rules or watching Radho's game setup video above is enough to get started.
Nis and Signe above have become regular playtesters. They normally play games like Settlers of Catan. Both were surprised by how easy Fog of Love was to play - and how fun it was!
According to them, Fog of Love is more entertaining than almost any movie on TV. It's a great way to spend an evening together.
Fog of Love is at its best when played thematically. Many serious gamers enjoy how Fog of Love offers intense and deep gameplay even while you get to role play more or less outrageous characters.
It is not a game that is played for pure structured competition like Magic, Netrunner or Twilight Struggle. Instead it is like Dead of Winter for two players, where both players incrementally decide whether to be the traitor or not. With a slightly different theme...
In the photo above, Jacob (Fog of Love's designer) is playing with Nis. Both are long time role players and board gamers and enjoy playing out the crazy relationships they somehow end up with.
At the outset Fog of Love was incepted as a game to be played by a gamer and her or his non-gaming partner. Fog of Love can be played based on long term goals or spur-of-the-moment decisions. Just like life.
The tight integration of mechanics and theme makes this possible. Finding a common path together is central.
Contrary to many other games, the casual player does not necessary stand at a disadvantage, as both empathy and strategy are equally important when you have to adjust to and understand each other.
Morten has helped testing the game and is an avid player. His girlfriend Dorthe has a more casual approach to games, but is cunning in how she reads people. They are fans of the game and enjoy playing it together, jockeying for a common middleground.
Fog of Love contains the following
- 1 Rulebook
- 1 Game board.
- 2 Dual-sided character cards (male/female).
- 3 Predefined Love Stories (scenarios) in separate envelopes. Each love story comes with a Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three card and a Finale.
- 2 Card stands (1 blue and 1 pink).
- 110 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).
Stretch goals included
In addition the following stretch goals are added to the Kickstarter edition. They will not be included in the retail edition of Fog of Love. The Kickstarter edition can be pre-ordered here for a limited time:
- 3 additional Love Stories (scenarios)
- 30 custom Story Cards that support the new Love Stories.
- 8 new story ending cards (a blue and a pink set of 4 cards)
- 4 additional dual-sided character cards supporting new mechanics relevant for the new Love Stories.
- 22 additional Story Cards.
- 24 additional Trait cards.