Master Dater, the messed-up dating game, is a new game from the folks behind Cyanide and Happiness. I went on some dates and here are my thoughts.
A copy of this game was provided for the purposes of this review.
In Master Dater, the messed-up dating game, players take turns being the sexy single. Other players then combine heads and bodies to make messed-up dates to pander to three unusual interests of the single. The single then awards the player or players who best argued their case with heart, love, and flame cards. When a player has one of each and five total, that player becomes the Master Dater and wins the game.
First things first, this is in no way a family game unless your family is all 18+ and okay with inappropriate humor. The basic deck isn’t too bad, but the expansion is definitely rated R.
The mechanics behind the game are nothing we haven’t seen before, especially from Cyanide and Happiness. The judging style of game is similar to Cards Against Humanity, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but after a while it can feel like all of these games are just rethemes of one another. Master Dater also requires more improv skills since you are trying to sell your person as a perfect match for the single. So depending on how comfortable a player is with doing that, the game could be a laugh riot or very awkwardly anti-climatic. Thankfully I play most games with theatre people who find joy in this role-playing style of game. I myself however am terrible at doing that, but my humor would come from my insistence on trying to make my messed-up person look befitting of the love of your life. If you can’t do either of these comfortably, you will probably not have a good time.
Frankly, there are a whole lot of other party games that play the same way, such as Superfight, or have similar themes, like Red Flags, so I’m not sure I can say that Master Dater is a must-have game. If you have an affinity for Cyanide and Happiness or have really enjoyed their previous games, than this might be a nice addition to your shelf. I personally have played so much Cards Against Humanity that I’m a little burned out on this style.
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