Advertised as “a messed up dating game from Cyanide & Happiness”, Master Dater is a game about weird and wacky date combinations winning over a judge, or the “Sexy Single” as they call it. It was the first game I played at PAX Unplugged this year, and it definitely left an impression. The silly and over-the-top date can sometimes be perfect for the interests of the sexy single and other times be out of left field.
Disclaimer: I do know some of the team, but I have tried my best to keep this article as unbiased and honest as possible. This piece is classified as a feature, not a review, and will not give a score.
Master Dater Rules
Master Dater is easy to learn. The game is for ages 14 and older and consists of three main card types: Head, Body, and Interest. Everyone has three heads and three bodies to choose from, and each Sexy Single reveals three random interest cards that can either Spark (blue), Love (pink) or Flame (yellow). Each other player, or Dater, argues why their head-body combo is the best date for a Sexy Single with those three interests.
The Sexy Single can divide the interest cards up among any of the Daters as they see fit, for which best serves a certain interest. The first Dater to get an interest card of each category/color wins. You collect your interest cards face down, so other players do not know which color you need.
Dating, No Hating
As I said in the title, this game is The Dating Game meets Cards Against Humanity, only there is no mystery element as to who is offering what. The absurdity of all of the options allows players to answer questions so far removed from reality, such as “would I date a sentient gun?” (Yes) or “what can a social media influencer superhero offer me?” (Everything, obviously).
Master Dater nails the party game format, as it is quick to learn and play. I think it also does a good job of introducing players who may not have played a romance-themed tabletop game before to that genre.
Related: MonsDRAWsity Review: Chaotic fun for the whole friend group
Am I the Sexy Single?
The one major qualm I had with the game was the experience of being the “Sexy Single”. Given that your interests are given to you, rather than the interests being part of the options offered to you, it felt too impersonal. It felt like you had to choose between playing the interest cards you got and choosing based on your own interests rather than those things working together.
The cards for the Daters also could have been more diverse. While there were varying skin tones, the hairstyles didn’t vary in texture at all. Hopefully, this can be remedied in future versions or expansions.
Overall, I enjoyed the game! It was fun playing, and I would play it again. The pros outnumbered the cons, but I may be playing with a couple of house rules regarding those interest cards.
|True to the Cyanide & Happiness brand||Being the “Sexy Single” feels too impersonal|
|A fun party game for friends||The cards could be more diverse|
|So many different card combinations|
|Creates hilarious scenarios|
|Easy to learn|
Thank you for reading my Master Dater feature. For more features on the latest game titles, stay tuned to Press SPACE to Jump!