You do not collect $200 when you pass “Go.”
You don’t trade in fake pink and green cash.
In fact, you might not even finish the game. And that’s OK.
The point of “Landing Mr. Right,” a new board game created by Palm Beach County besties Alys Daly and Victoria Brewer and inspired by a really bad date, isn’t just about the destination, which is getting better at picking the perfect guy. It’s really about the stuff you learn along the journey, the stories you have to share and the choices you’ve made in the past that are pretty darned funny, at least now.
“When men see the game, the first thing they ask is ‘How do I win?’,” says Daly, a 43-year-old public relations professional for FPL. “But women never do. They get it.”
Described by leading toy industry publication The Toy Book as “a grown-up version of (’70s girls game) ‘Mystery Date,’ ” the tagline of the pink and purple-hued game is “Roll the die, pick your guy and share your story.” And those are pretty much the rules — players move their jewel-like pieces around the board, picking cards that describe date scenarios with six different types of guy — the Rock Star, the CEO, the Triathlete, the Blue Blood, the CEO and the Regular Guy.
The card might pose open-ended questions like how you’d follow a kiss on the top of the Eiffel Tower or the identity of your first kiss and whether you know if that person is on Facebook. They’re meant to encourage women to talk out the answers and share similar stories from their own dating experiences.
Designed for a free-flowing girls night, “Landing Mr. Right” becomes “therapy in a box,” Daly says. “Sometimes, drinking a glass of wine. Like in life, you never know with each move whether you’re closer or further away. But by the end of the game, you know your friends much better.”
When she called friend Brewer, a very youthful 55-year-old former model and Realtor who lived in Jupiter at the time, after a bad date, the Miami native was looking for the kind of cheap, shoulder-to-cry-on therapy that girlfriends give each other after such experiences.
“I said ‘Have I got a story for you!,’ ” says Daly, who invited Brewer over to commiserate the next morning. By about 9 p.m., their gab session had led to the jotting down of stories and then a rough sketch of the game. Each of the dating prospects “are stereotypical but they all kind of bleed through into each other,” Brewer says.
“That’s the point,” Daly confirms. “There is no one Mr. Right type. Mr. Right might be a combination of all of these characters, We’re encouraging women to date outside of their comfort zones.”
“We’re not professional gamers,” says Brewer, who has since moved to Manhattan but comes back to Florida to promote the game. “We knew the first thing we needed to do was make it simple and easy to follow. We say that it’s for dating age and up, but it’s intended for a more sophisticated dater.”
Players may notice that the game board doesn’t end with a giant fluffy pink wedding cake, because “it’s not about getting married,” explains Daly. “It’s about women finding confidence in themselves and their choices.”
The game is based, in part, on its makers’ experiences. And they both have stories to tell — Daly was engaged to be married, but within a few months “broke up and turned 40.” The divorced Brewer used to work for the Trump family, married her then stand-up comic beau at New York wedding mecca The Plaza but found the marriage didn’t stick. Now finding herself “out there” in her 50s, she says she and other women her age who never expected to be single again are looking for a different approach.
“It’s about having fun,” Brewer says. “It’s risk-free dating.”
“Landing Mr. Right” is currently the subject of its own Kickstarter crowdsourcing campaign that offers everything from a signature water bottle, because dating “is a uphill climb. You’ll need to hydrate,” to a signed copy of the game. Brewer and Daly intend to have it available for retail for $34.95 by the holidays.
The current version of the game, which is intended for women dating men but has been played by gay men, has already sparked interest from other dating communities, so Daly and Brewer are looking at possible variations, including ’tween and gay versions.
“Landing Mr. Right” will be featured at an event Wednesday at Runway Consignment Boutique, 421 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach, starting at 5:30 p.m. 561-832-6760