I’ll be honest, I have not reviewed a board game in a professional sense before today. However, I’ve been playing tabletop and board games with a group of friends every few weeks for the last few years, and I can definitely certify that I have played a lot of them. A LOT. Because board games, unlike video games, are inherently multiplayer, I’m always looking for new games for specific crowds and situations rather than genres. Am I playing with three friends who want to have a super intense battle of intellect? Maybe 2019’s Dune. Party with close friends my own age? Codenames or Cards Against Humanity. Casual play with new people on a weekend afternoon? Maybe Smash ’em Up or Ravine. Point is, Cyanide and Happiness’s new game Master Dater has absolutely made its way into my circulation of Party Night games.

Master Dater is exceedingly simple, much like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, and carries with it the same vibe. You’ll need just a few seconds to explain the rules to your friends, and then it’s off to the races! You go around in a circle, and each round one person is the Sexy Single (the judge). The judge draws three interest cards, which are things like “I’m looking for someone to force feed me Cheetos” or “I’m interested in absolute bankruptcy.” There are three kinds of interest cards, color-coded in red, yellow, and blue, and whoever collects 5 cards first with at least one of each color is the winner.

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Each player draws three head cards and three body cards, and then it’s up to them to craft the most powerful combinations they can – or rather, the most attractive ones. Each person will present their bachelor or bachelorette and defend why the judge should pick them. For instance, if the judge this round has “I want someone who can crush my head with their mighty thighs,” you might be able to score that card by picking a body card like “athlete” or “body builder.” If the card is “I’m looking for an imminent copyright lawsuit,” then you might use my creation down below.

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The judge can give the three interest cards out to different people each round, so it’s not like someone is going to hog all the cards and win in two rounds. In the many games we’ve played, I don’t think I’ve seen the judge give the same person more than one card but twice. I played with four different groups over different days, and each game ended up lasting about 20-25 minutes, which if you ask me is perfect for a party game. One of the issues with the reigning king of party games, Cards Against Humanity, is that it’s hard to come to a stopping point. Having smaller games stops someone from having to reluctantly say “Okay, should we make this the last one?” when that person is suspiciously in the lead already. My only negative point with Master Dater is that the cards pretty quickly become not funny if they get to the point that they’re being recycled, but there’s an expansion deck as well that’ll keep things fresh for many, many games.

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I’ve genuinely had an insane amount of fun over the last few weeks with this, and let me go ahead and tell you this is not a family game. I imagine I am the exact target demographic for it, so grab this if you’re a younger millennial or older zoomer. I cannot show this game to my mom for our family game nights, mostly because a stunning amount of the cards include blowjobs and anal sex. Think we’re gonna stick to scrabble for those.

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If you’re getting tired of the current party game mainstays, I really recommend Master Dater as a great addition to your collection. With its pretty universal humor and extremely easy to learn rules, I think it’ll work great for casual get-togethers of friends your own age, drunk hangouts in college, girls nights, and more.

 

I reviewed this game with a copy provided by the publisher. Master Dater is available at Explosm’s website for pre-order and will be available starting next week.

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