Players: 4 (8) - 20
Game Time: 20 mins+
In Love, Career & Magic, from Pegasus Games (https://unicornwithwings.com), you play a group of strangers living together in the same house whose daily interactions and drama are commentated on by the other players in a reality TV show (Big Brother style). In order to win the game, you gain points. Whoever has the most points wins. That simple right?? Think again!
I must remind you all that the game we received is a PROTOTYPE, sent to us by the designer Wonmin Lee, and where we talk about production in the review it is purely based on aesthetics and not the final production quality since this isn't the finished format!
The gameplay is fairly simple - all players are acting out / roleplaying characters in the world of Love, Career & Magic. It has a whimsical dungeons and dragons theme but in modern society. If you have seen the film Onward, then you'll get what I mean.
You set up the game as follows:
Decide who will be playing as 'Members' of the house. Everyone else will be playing as 'Commentators' on the reality show.
You will need four to eight members to play. If you have fewer than seven players, each member also plays as a commentator (receive two character cards—one is a member, one is a commentator - which is really hard to ACTUALLY DO, so I do recommend more players).
Members are then given a random character card, a secret goal card, and two signal tokens.
All players place their character cards face up for all to see, whilst making sure to keep their goal card secret. The more convincing you act in this game, the more fun is to be had!
Your goal is to finish your secret goal card or find love and leave the house.
Commentators are given a random character card and a signal token.
You may speak up at any time. Sit back and enjoy the show. The more you talk, the more everyone has fun!
The commentator goal is to commentate on what the members are doing and crack jokes (this is very hard 4-player).
Once you are all set up, play then takes place over six simple steps:
Step 1 - Introductions Round
New Members have just arrived at the house! All new Members must introduce themselves to everyone (in character of course, this is an RPG acting style game!). All members then SECRETLY point their signal token(s) towards ANY member they like or dislike based on introductions.
Players use their character card to cover their signal token(s).
Flip the token over for like / dislike. You can like or dislike someone for any reason.
Step 2 - Commentary Round
Commentators commentate on and openly discuss what they just saw and what they think about the members. All commentators then use their signal tokens to PUBLICLY predict which member likes or dislikes who (remember THINK Big Brother).
Members and commentators are not allowed to interact or speak with each other (so hard in 4-player).
Players acting as commentators PUBLICLY place their signal token in between two Members, placing their character card underneath their signal tokens to mark that it is their prediction.
Flip the token over for like / dislike.
Steps 3 & 4 - Event Round (Liked)
The member with the most amount of predicted ‘likes’ pointed towards them from commentators is now trending on social media!
This Member draws an Event Card from the top of the deck and chooses who will act out the Event (read the card out loud).
You may include yourself in the Event.
The other Members not included in the Event can either watch or have their own side conversations with each other.
Event Round (Hated)
The Member with the most amount of predicted 'hates' pointed towards them from commentators is now getting criticised on social media! This member also draws an event card and follows the same steps previously outlined.
Step 5 - Reveal Round All members are now back at the house and talk about how their days went. Any member can now ask out any other member even without event cards.
All members now reveal their signal tokens. For any correct predictions, the commentators and both of the two predicted members receive a point each.
FINAL ROUND - Graduation Round
Any members who have accomplished their goal card may choose to graduate from the show to receive a point.
Members who like each other may decide to graduate together to receive a point each.
Any graduating member is replaced by the youngest non-member player with the lowest amount of points. Pick a random character card and join the house.
Repeat from Step 1 until bored, or until someone has points equal to the amount of players.
So the production is what makes up for the player count issue with this game. The characters and artwork are perfect and the tongue-in-cheek comedic style for character backgrounds and lore should make folks LOL (laugh out loud). Of course remember though that the player backgrounds are not set in stone and players are actively encouraged to go OFF script if needed.
So let's break it down for you in our key areas:
It is highly repayable. There are multiple characters, events and goals and with the RPG element of this you will struggle to get the same game twice. My only small criticism is that if playing with the same group some of the goals could soon be predicted, especially amongst close friends.
The artwork is stunning! The characterisations and background stories really help you get into character and the option to fully go off piste with your character representations really bolster the RPG element.
Love the theme / premise, it's simple and will have mass appeal.
Nothing complex about it (unless you're playing 4-player - avoid this where possible!).
Simple and easy to follow, nice clear language, and the cheat sheet on the back page is ALWAYS useful.
Up there as unique; I am not aware of a game with this style and premise.
This is good value if you get together with large groups of friends on a regular basis.
I neither like / dislike this game, we just struggled to get enough players together to play the game properly. You need eight players minimum, in my humble opinion, to play this game, four members and four commentators. Four players trying to do both is too much effort and made the game hard work. The artwork really helps you get into the mindset for the acting / RPG element of the game. Fans of #TTRPG, #boardgames, and large #partygames will love this. The last point I would like to give for this game is the size of the box. It allows for easy storage of the game, and still has space for you to sleeve the 'Secret Event Cards' and 'Event Cards', which makes a nice change.
Your DoaLG founder & Talent
Love, Career & Magic will be launching on Kickstarter soon. You can sign up for updates by visiting www.kickstarter.com/projects/pegasusgamesnyc/love-career-and-magic-a-mythical-reality-tv-card-game?ref=discovery