Tuesday , February 27 2024
Couples get the chance to outdo each other in doing nice things for each other.

Card Game Review: ‘Marital Bliss’

mb-boxMarital Bliss is a dynamic social card set perfect for pairs wanting to increase their romantic gestures in what is possibly the most adorable game ever.

Duo Nick and Nicole Fink designed Marital Bliss as a new option for existing couples’ games, which they described as limited to “an uncomfortable and embarrassing ‘relationship-building’ game, or an over-the-top sex game that makes 50 Shades of Grey seem like a children’s book.” Instead, Marital Bliss sets each end of a couple onto the task of being as thoughtful as possible toward the other.

Marital Bliss’s set comes with two sets of rules, one Competitive and one Cooperative, making two games out of one to suit any kind of player. Two decks come in the pack: one filled with Reward cards, the other with dozens of Mission and game-changing Strategy cards. Rewards include home-baked cookies, a surprise bouquet, a night on the town, a slow dance, reenacting a first date.

Each Mission card has a point value corresponding to how difficult the task might be to perform. Washing the dishes is three points, while cuddling is five points, and seven points comes for carefully timing a spouse’s towel fresh from the dryer as soon as he or she is done with the shower. Bonus “Brownie Points” come from going the extra mile, such as putting away the dishes after washing them or cuddling all through a movie.

For the Cooperative game, players draw five Reward cards apiece and choose one to hold onto. After establishing how many days the game will last, players draw seven Mission cards to see what they will need to do to accumulate enough points to “win” the Rewards. The next days will see the couple consciously go out of their way for each other, trying to achieve points. Reward cards become coupons, ready to be used whenever the time feels right.

The Competitive rules kick things up a notch. Players are encouraged to comb the deck to find Missions they would veto so things do not get rough. For example, the “watch a sunrise together” mission would be abject misery to a night owl and certainly not a mission a spouse would want to try to accomplish. Players draw and select Reward cards (showing each other or acting in secret), and then draw Mission cards from the culled deck. A game round lasts one week as players compete to have the most points, with the winner getting the Reward.

missionsA twist is that a player may guess the other’s missions and render the card’s points void, ideally done just after the player completed a mission like a back rub. Missing a guess costs a player a point, so guessing willy-nilly is discouraged; instead players are encouraged to be genuine about their nice deeds rather than just striving for points. A particularly devious strategy might be to do all kinds of thoughtful and generous things throughout the week so that the other player has no idea what missions to try to guess.

Marital Bliss is a card game for two players. It is one of the longest games players will encounter, lasting several days up to a week. During that time, life may continue mostly as normal, but some of those extra niceties might just rub off and become habits. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter run, a print-and-play version is available for free.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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