Recently I was given the opportunity to preview an upcoming new game that is currently available to back on Kickstarter. I received a preview copy of the game along with the rules. These are my thoughts and opinions on the presented materials. Enjoy!
Love Formula is a game by Dylan Gwin, published by Gwin Games. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will be playing the part of match maker as they try to set up various different anime style couples on the perfect date. Of course, they’ll also be doing their best to sabotage their opponents to keep them from making matches as well. The player that can be the best Cupid and collect the most victory points will be declared the winner.
To begin, each player receives a Part Time Job card. The remaining Part Time Job cards are set aside, not to be used during the game. All of the other cards are shuffled together and placed in the center of the table face down to form the deck. Play now begins.
The game consists of 2 phases; a draft phase and a play phase. Once both phases have been completed, they are repeated a second time. After the play phase has been completed a second time, the game ends. Let me explain how each phase works. The first and third phases are the draft phase. Drafting is done by dealing each player 12 cards from the deck. Each player will look at the cards in their hand and select 1 card to keep, placing it face down in front of themselves. Once all players have selected a card, the remaining cards in their hand are passed clockwise during the first phase and counter clockwise during the third phase. This continues until players have no more cards in their hand to draft from.
The second and final phases are the play phase. These phases begin by each player taking all the cards that they drafted from the previous phase and putting them into their hand, along with the Part Time Job card that had placed face up in front of them earlier. They will then look through the cards in their hand and select one to place face down in front of themselves. Once all players have selected a card, the cards placed are flipped face up. Cards are then resolved based on priority order going from the highest to lowest number ranking on the card. A player can then immediately move a preparation card on their field to any other valid position on their field either before or after a player resolves a card. Speaking of preparation cards, there are 5 different types of cards; action cards, couple cards, preparation cards, obstacle cards and reaction cards. Reaction cards are only played when the triggering criteria has been met. Once this happens the card can immediately be played and it’s stated effect is resolved. The card is then placed in the discard pile. Now let me explain the other 4 card types. Action cards are quite simple. Once they are played, the effect stated on the card is resolved. Once this is completed, the card is discarded. Couple cards when played are placed on the player’s field area. This is the space in front of the player. Any preparation cards that have been placed earlier may then be attached to this card if they are listed in the required cards area on the bottom of the card. The more cards that are attached to a couple card yield more victory points. However even a unfulfilled couple card will give the player 1 victory point. Preparation cards are the events, locations or items needed to complete a couple card. When they’re resolved, they are placed in one of two valid positions on a player’s field, either on a valid couple card or in a free spot. I’ve explained the couple cards earlier. Each player only has 3 free slots, one for each of the 3 types of preparation cards. If there are no available free slots, the card is discarded. However it should be noted that a player is free to discard any couple or preparation card on their field at any time. This makes it possible to free up an free slot. Preparation cards are also worth a victory point. Obstacle cards are attached to a couple card on an opponent’s field when they resolve. These cards negatively affect another player’s couple card when they resolve. However, reaction cards can sometimes negate these obstacle cards and their effects. Once the play phase is completed, any unused cards in a player’s hand are discarded.
After all 4 phases have been completed, the game is over. Players add up their victory points gained from preparation and couple cards. The player with the most victory points is the winner.
It should be noted that the Part Time Job card can not be discarded from a player’s hand. Any time a player is forced to discard a card and the Part Time Job card is the only card in their hand, they do nothing.
With this being a preview copy of the game, I won’t go into a lot of detail here. Most of the cards that I received for the game were missing the accompanying artwork that will be added later in the production process. However the artwork that was available is really beautiful. I really like the anime style artwork and think it fits well with the theme of the game. All of the cards were easy to understand and looked nice. I also got some really cute anime style buttons with the game which I understand are an add on part of the Kickstarter campaign. The artwork on these match the cards that have actual artwork already created for them. Overall, I’m really happy with what’s here and look forward to seeing the final cards with the included artwork.
The rulebook was simply a preview pdf file that I downloaded. The rules look really nice with plenty of pictures and explanations of each of the different types of cards. I didn’t see anything that was difficult to understand or to read. Everything seemed concise and to the point. There are only 5 pages, so it didn’t take very long to read through either. I didn’t see anything problematic that needed fixing at this point. For me, I’m happy with the look of the rules and don’t see anything that needs changing.
This game is a fun anime style card drafting game. Basically you’re drafting cards and then using them to the best of your ability during the play phase. Of course there are some aspects of set collection included in the game as you try to gather up the corresponding preparation and couple cards. There’s even a mild bit of take that with the use of the obstacle cards. I really like how the different cards work. Things can get a bit chaotic but that somehow seems to fit in the anime style theme of the game. Being a big fan of anime and manga, this really seems to scratch a gaming itch that I didn’t even realize that I had. In many ways I get a 7 Wonders or Fairy Tale feel to this game. The keeper style aspect of the couples and preparations give me a feeling like the game Fluxx. I’d think that fans of any of these genres or games would really enjoy this, as would anime and manga lovers. The game is simple enough that it can be played with younger players with very little help apart from some basic reading skills. The game doesn’t take a long time to play either. Most game sessions last around 30 minutes or so. I enjoyed the game quite a bit. The game at this point appears family friendly, as I saw nothing that could be considered inappropriate or risque. This one is just plain fun for me.
8 out of 10
Love Formula is a an anime style card game with aspects of card drafting, hand management and some take that mechanics. The game doesn’t take a long time to play. Most game sessions last no more than about 30 minutes or so. The look of the game is really adorable and has plenty of fun anime style artwork. I really love the design and theme of the game. Fans of games like 7 Wonders, Fairy Tale or Fluxx should really enjoy the different mechanics of this game. I’d also think that anime and manga fans would enjoy it as well. The game really scratches an itch for me. It’s really quite simple to play and appears to be family friendly as well. I really enjoyed the game and style. It’s one that I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product as the first pieces of artwork for this one are simply amazing. I will say that there’s not a whole lot of strategy to the game but for good clean adorable fun, this game is the tops. This game is Otaku approved.
8 out of 10
For more information and this game, please check out the game’s site.
You can also back it on Kickstarter now by following the link below.