Thursday, October 13, 2011

New game: Love It! Hate It! by Patch Products

September through December is the annual Million Minute Family Challenge sponsored by Patch Products. The MMC is an organized effort to increase game playing (and therefore social time) amongst friends and families. As a family, we’ve been participating in this event for the past three or four years. Of course, we’re a pretty game-intensive family anyway, but this event gives an excuse to throw our family-time into overtime. 

Patch Products makes games and activities for families and younger children. They really don’t have many games that interest us, since our boys are older (preteen) and we specialize in niche games, but the ones I've played have been great. Their newest game is called Love It! Hate It! They sent me a promo copy a few weeks ago and we finally got a chance to play it. (Technically, it was a raffle contest for members of their mailing list.)

In play, this game is similar to Apples to Apples, a game with which many people are familiar. On each turn, the active player reads a question, like “If I were a cartoon character, I would LOVE it if I were ___, and I would HATE it if I were ___.” The other players write down their answers for the two questions, trying to guess what the active player would say. Then one of the players reads out the answers to the active player, who chooses his/her favorite of each. The other players whose answers are selected get tokens (green for Love It, purple for Hate It). The first player to earn three of each token wins the game. 

The game played well. Very well. We all loved it. This game would be great with people who are familiar with each other, ie, friends and family. It would also work as an ice breaker-type party game, but in that case, players would probably be trying to be funny more than trying to target their answers to the active player. 

The game components are high quality. Rather than printed paper sheets for players to write on (like you’d get with typical party games of this sort), Love It! Hate It! provides hard plastic (ABS?) slates and dry erase markers for the players to write on. There are six of each, which is enough for a group of seven people, actually. The scoring tokens are made of the same high-quality plastic. 

The downside to this game is the packaging. It comes in a metal storage box, probably due to the box’s awkward shape. Inside the box is a cardboard insert that acts to keep the components in place, but I’m betting we’ll pitch that soon. I’d much rather have the usual rectangular card-stock box.

I am grateful to Patch Products for sending this game to me. It will go into regular circulation in our mix of board and card games and I can’t wait to play it with our friends. I encourage you to give this one a try – give me a call if you want to play!