The Game of Love as a Board Game

‘Landing Mr. Right’ gets saucy in a hurry. But, just like in real life, 10 minutes of finding a man always leads back to starting over.

Landing the right man is no longer just a Friday night pursuit at a bar. Now it’s a board game.

Recently I got a sample version of the game “Landing Mr. Right” sent to me to test out. The game is new to the market and the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign in the fall. A few days after receiving the game, a girlfriend and I played a round—via Google Hangout—to try our luck at getting lucky in love. Here’s how it all ended up:

The Basics

“Landing Mr. Right” comes packaged like “Candy Land” or “Chutes and Ladders” with a massive, fold-out board and a heap of playing cards to set up. The pieces are tiny jewels of all colors and mostly heart shaped (appropriate, I suppose). The spaces wind around in a snake-like Cinnabon pattern, with the starting spot referred to as “Ready Set Date” and the goal destination simply called “Mr. Right,” where images of six different guys await.

Along the way—surprise, suprise—players hear details of the dates on which they go. Some are humorous, some harsh, some a little risque. The board also has a series of pink spaces, each with a cursive-looking heart and the word “Date” on it. Landing on this means the player gets to pick her male companion from a stack of six different types of cards (we’ll get to that in a sec).

On these date cards are descriptions of the excursion—and zingy retorts to the man if he has not lived up to being a quality date. Some cards end by saying things like “Move to Wild Things.” That’s not actually a cue to remove an article of clothing. Rather, the prompt signifies that the player has to pick up a “Your Story” card and read that off. “Wild Things” is just one category of “Your Story” cards. For some inexplicable reason that was the category that kept popping up for us. But also there are ditties, organized around theme, like “New York New York,” “Be a Sport” and “Mountain High.”

It’s also possible to get a “Your Story” card, by the way, by landing on one of the board spaces illustrating one. Other special spaces might cause you to lose a turn, or you might be entitled to a shortcut through Fashionista Freeway or Rose Alley. (These are real shortcut names, I assure you.)

Essentially, as a female player your power lies in being able to choose who you go out with. From there, it’s a crapshoot about how it turns out and the adventures in which you partake.

The makers of the game, in the cutesy instructions, leave the players with one final thought before getting down to it:

Playing time for the game is approximately 45 minutes. In the rare event a girlfriend lands on Mr. Right in less than 10 minutes,
she needs to start over and enjoy playing the game before settling down.

Ah yes, the game is trying to teach us about life as well. On to…

 

The Game

Armed with the rules, my friend and I set off competing and wooing. Right off the bat her dates were better than mine, although we both advanced at a decent pace through the board and, to be fair, had our share of train-wreck cards. For example, my first date was with a Rock Star who, according to the card, gave me a bunny in a boxnot the fluffy kind, though. We’re talking vibrators. Apparently this passes for a date on the road to landing Mr. Right.

This game, as you can tell, gets saucy in a hurry.

My friend’s first date, meanwhile, involved a Techno-Geek who sexted her all week and then became shy in real life.

Yeah, this could be pretty true to life, we surmised.

The next several rounds we had dates that were nearly as bad as experiences we’ve had around D.C. After an ego-maniac Blue Blood bragged about his money at a zoo fundraiser my friend ended the evening by freeing a caged ape and locking her date inside the cage instead.

Ouch. And, I suppose, just another Saturday night.

Things got a bit better when I dated a Triathlete who decided that a worthy meeting would be me watching him swim. Then, the Triathlete, in his infinite grace and wisdom, got kicked in the head during the swim, forcing me to give him mouth-to-mouth. We dated for two more rounds of play.

Pretty soon our dates went from gambling in Vegas to polo matches with our suitors’ Mother (not his mom or his mother, but simply “Mother”)

We felt like globetrotters, then the next minute we were traumatized, feeling like we’d never have successful dates, Landing the Right Man is a roller coaster—I could see the ad now.

Before long, the two of us veered close to the end. The rules dictate that you must land exactly on the “Mr. Right” space. Plus, you only have two shot to roll the dice to the correct amount. Otherwise, you must go back to the nearest date space and try again.

Naturally, when I was positioned two spaces away I over-rolled. My friend, though, hit two on the die exactly and cruised past me to win the game and end up with her Prince Charming—a Blue Blood. This made me happy for her but needing redemption. Too bad there was no time in that sitting.

 

The Men

The types of men to choose from are as follows: Blue Blood, CEO, Regular Guy,  Rock Star, Triathlete and Techno-Geek.

During the game we played the field and tried on each variety for size.

The Regular Guy, probably picked least often since we couldn’t grasp what a regular guy was,  took me camping during a storm, According to the card, this angered me and I told him, “You can pitch a tent in your own backyard.” The Triathlete, along with requiring CPR during my date, also woke my friend up at 4 am to run, as a warped getting-to-know-you strategy that did not exactly thrill her to the core. Oh, and when a Blue Blood took me on a boat date, I managed to get smacked in the head by a boom and go down for the count. Lovely.

It was hard to ascertain patterns except that these men were into some wackier dates than mere dinners or happy hours.

 

The Discussions about Dating

The “Your Story” cards are where the game begins to get juicy, interactive and, just, good.

Each card describes a scenario or poses a question and then asks the player on deck to share and respond. It’s like a twisted version of “Truth or Dare” with some of the raunchy flavor of Cards Against Humanity thrown in for kicks.

For instance,

  • A “Sunny Side Up” card asked me to describe my man if he were an egg — soft-boiled, frittata or eggs benedict. Our collective verdict was scrambled.
  • A “New York, New York” card asked my friend how her man would rescue her if King Kong were holding her captive atop the Empire State Building
  • And a Wild Thigs card asked my friend to talk about the craziest thing she’s ever done on a date (I’ll keep this one in the vault)

 

The Negatives

One of the spaces that appears throughout the board is called “Girl Time.”

Once you land on “Girl Time” there’s a scenario described and usually the result is that the player gets to select someone else’s piece to move to that space. Doing so can be a strategic ploy to help or hurt someone else in the game. We understood this and were fine with the premise.

What my friend and I didn’t love were the overly girly, stereotypical scenarios spelled out on the “Girl Time” spaces. Spa treatments. A bitchy friend in the crew. They were fresh out of Cosmo magazine.

Not really a negative, but more of a suggestion we also had is around the ideal number of players. Essentially, we say the more the the better. The rules dictate that two to six people can take part,  It was certainly fun and bonding for the two of us to play. Greater, though, would have been to have three or four more players with us, particularly if there was a mix of women who knew and didn’t know each other beforehand. That would make for blushing, sharing stories that hadn’t already been passed around the circle instead of just laughing about things we already knew about each other.

 

Overall

Get past the pink exterior and the name, and “Landing Mr. Right” is actually a rousing good time if you don’t take it too seriously. There are some witty parallels to real-life dating, and the game is simple enough to understand and play — even with wine flowing. Scratch that. You definitely want to play with wine in hand.

For more information or to buy the game yourself, head here.

-Dena

https://landingmrright.com/

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