28 November 2017
Does the trivia game inspired by the popular TV show make a good first impression?
Taking the Channel 4 dating show as its leaping-off point, First Dates is ironically a poor choice of game to play with complete strangers – doubly so if you intend on seeing them again.
Oddly enough, the simple gameplay is more reminiscent of another British TV staple, Mr. & Mrs., as couples separately choose who from their pair fits each prompt best and the rest of the group votes on whether they will agree or not.
While the gameplay is little more than a morsel, the presentation is at least admirable, with wipe-clean boards, pens and three separate ‘courses’ of cards: starters, mains and desserts.
Running with the dinner theme of the series, questions steadily increase from fairly innocuous dilemmas up to more controversial decisions that you definitely would not want to ask over a shared sundae or cheese board. Who would win in a rap battle? Who will have more people at their funeral? Who is more likely to sleep with their cousin? Who would punch their mum in the face for £10,000?
It’s a setup that works best with close friends, as knowing someone’s personality helps players agree on an answer – and laugh off any unwilling accusations. We actually found that real-life couples aren’t always the best choice, as their relationship voids several of the questions (or just makes predicting that they will agree too easy for everyone else).
The awkward explicit tone is pretty typical affair for party trivia games looking to surf in the wake of Cards Against Humanity. First Dates wears out its welcome faster than many of those already fleeting distractions, due to the lack of variation in the subjects and answers.
The crass ‘humour’ is often more exhausting than entertaining – a couple of the prompts can lead to insightful and amusing discussions between friends, but most just result in brief choruses of ‘ew’ before everyone moves on.
Some of the questions may raise a titter or two the first time around, but the severely limited scope means that unless you’ve somehow never come across a modern-day party game, you’ll probably have had your fill after your first meal. You won’t be coming back for a second date.
Publisher: Big Potato
Time: 20 minutes
This review originally appeared in the October/November 2017 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here – or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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