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Love on Board: 10 Tabletop Games About Love
Most tabletop games like Monopoly, Ticket to Ride, and Settlers of Catan involve bloodthirsty competition for resources as your try and dominate your opponent out of existence. That’s great and all, but sometimes you’re in the mood for something a bit more of loving — a game that allows you to feel or get felt up. That’s why we whipped up this list of romantic themed games you can play with your dates and mates. They’re not all cuddles and kisses — some are downright vicious — but they are a good reminder that love can be fun and games too.
These range in appropriateness from “fun for the whole family” to “sexy naked time,” so choose the one that fits the occasion.
This one’s designed for a couple to play together. You take turns quizzing each other in various areas (sensuality, relationship, knowledge, competition) with the goal of filling up a score card. Once your card is all filled up, you can trade the card in for … well, you know.
The first move of the Synchrohearts board game: a hug and a kiss. Awww. Players pull cards that quiz them about how they feel about each other, how well they know each other, and what they’d like to do with one another. The designers (who call themselves Dr. and Mrs. Luv, good lord) say that they were inspired to create the game after a rocky period in their marriage.
In this game, you face off against 1-3 other players, all competing to deliver love letters to a princess locked in a tower. Players draw and play cards to try to deflect each others’ love letters before they reach the princess. This is an easy one to play with family — it’s good for kids aged 8 and up — and a game usually takes less than a half hour to complete. Also, it’s probably a good opportunity to talk about how games tend to treat women as powerless, helpless prizes.
Okay, ready to take a journey through the dark side of romance? In this “How to Host a Murder” clone, you are presented with a scenario in which a couple is about to renew their vows, but suddenly the father of the bride is murdered. Any one of the players could be the secret murderer, and it’s up to everyone to figure out who’s guilty. (Or if you’re guilty, to blend in.) One of the best parts of this game is that it comes with an audio file in which actors stage the scene of the crime like a radio show.
Ugh, can we not say “make love” as a euphemism, please? Just say “sex” if that’s what you’re doing. Anyway, this game is for two people who want to get close. Players roll a die and then jump around a board, with instructions on each square for giving or receiving. This isn’t always a sex act — sometimes it’s “Tell your partner what you can do to make more time for love and romance in your lives.” Other times, it’s “from behind, massage your partner with romantic delight.” If you don’t particularly like the square you’ve landed on, you’re allowed to avoid it by discussing your feelings. Each game takes an hour or two to complete, like most successful lovemaking sessions.
Yes, there was indeed a board game of the show The Love Boat. Hard to find these days, but if you happen to pick one up at a flea market, you’ll be assigned a particular ‘70s celebrity at the start of the game, and then you need to draw cards that match that celeb while the ship travels to port. The final destination is San Francisco, so extra points if you get gay-married at the end.
It’s regular Jenga, but with each block you remove, you must read and obey a command from the bottom. These might be tame, like “draw another pink block,” or they might be a little more fun, like “say ‘I love you’ in another language.” Others are a little awkward, like “describe your disappointment in a love affair.” Our favorite might be “let everyone feel your head.” You can go wild with how you interpret that one.
This is a game for families with small kids, essentially a game to practice memory and movement. Kids have to match cards that show various actions, and must imitate the action when they match them. Most of the cards feature an attentive parent-bunny being affectionate with a child-bunny. Cute and fun and a nice way to spend time with the important children in your life.
You’ll need a big tub for this one, because nothing is less erotic than trying to jam two full-sized adults into a tiny bathtub. If you do happen to have a large wet area to play in, this game provides you with some plastic bubbles with various romantic actions written inside. Pick a bubble and perform the action and then set the bubble loose again in the tub. You win this game by getting so turned on you have sex, or so bored you have a long talk about why you’re even in this relationship anymore.
Jesus, this one is brutal. You draw two cards when it’s your turn, each one representing an asset in your divorce proceeding. One card you keep, and the other you give to your former spouse. You can also employ lawyer-based tricks and buy bribes to get the best assets, and sell property to a pawn shop to buy more legal protection. When the game is over, whoever wound up with their children’s hearts is the winner. Fun for all ages!
Previously published on March 5, 2015.
GX, or GaymerX, is a “queer space”; a yearly convention in Santa Clara, California, where panels center on queer themes, but all are invited and welcomed. As a proud media sponsor of GaymerX, Unicorn Booty covers gaming issues of all sorts. Tickets are available at GaymerX.com.
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