This goes back to Valentine’s Day. Rem and I make Valentine projects for each other every year and this year he gave me a board game. But it was kind of a starter game – he had an idea, and he’d found some sweet dice with hearts for the spots or pips. He got a little wooden box, painted the lid, put in a photo from our honeymoon, and added a smaller plastic box that fit inside to hold the dice. He added some old coins for playing pieces and wrote up a few rules.
His idea was we would play it using a board from another game. He called it the Lovely Game because we’ve used the numbers 1 4 3 to signify “I love you” (the numbers correspond with the number of letters in each word) and to win the game, you had to roll those three number: 1, 4, 3. Otherwise, we just took turns moving one space at a time until one of us advanced to the finish line or rolled those three lucky numbers.
I was charmed by his Valentine gift to me but after playing the Lovely Game, I asked if I could work on a new board with a few more rules and more variety. He readily agreed and this is the result.
We have only played this game with each other but I’m sure it could be adapted to a less smoochy, more family-friendly version that could be played with more players. Creating the board was a great crafty project on it’s own. But we truly enjoy playing it (and played it before we were housebound due to the pandemic).
Here’s the basics from our game: it has 47 heart-shaped spaces. They kind of spiral around the board and I added little arrows to help keep track of the direction of play. There is a “Start” heart and a “Winner!” heart. We each have three dice.
To start play we each choose one of the colored buttons that became our playing pieces, and we each roll a single die. Highest number goes first.
We have two hearts marked with B/P, which stands for our nicknames, Boo and Peaches. If you land on a B/P, before you roll on your next turn, the other player (or if more players, it could be the player to your right) asks you a question. For our game, the questions is something from our years together, kind of a Boo and Peaches trivia question. They’re always easy questions. If you get it right, you get to go. If you miss it, you have to skip one turn. For a family game, these could be signified with a big question mark. You could even write questions on cards as long as the questions are ones that everyone would be able to answer.
Three of the hearts are marked with a big X which stands for “kiss.” When either player lands on the X, the players kiss. Maybe you could do high fives, hand shakes, or in the spirit of social distancing these days, elbow bumps, foot taps, clapping, winks or other positive expressions of greeting or affection.
One tricky heart says “Odd: Even” and if you land on this heart you roll the three dice as usual. If the resulting number is odd, you move back the number of the highest die. If it is even, you move forward the number of the highest die. An additional rule has been added that if you land on this heart 3 times in one game, you can treat it as any other heart and move forward normally.
Bad news if you land on “Lose a turn” but good news if you land on “Bonus 1 Die Roll!” You do not need to roll the exact number at the end to win, and if anyone rolls 1 4 3 (in any combination, it still counts if it is 4 1 3, or 3 1 4…you get the idea) you WIN!!
Here are the other rules:
- Roll three different numbers: move lowest die.
- Roll double: move forward one of the double numbers.
- Roll triple: move forward total of all three dice.
- Roll three sixes: START OVER!!
We wrote the rules on the board to help us remember as we play. Sometimes one of us will roll the winning combo of 1 4 3 and not notice, so a new rule we’ve added is if you roll 1 4 3 but don’t notice, and you move forward and the other (or next) player rolls the dice, it is too late and play continues. But we like to see the other person win and take a victory lap around the board, so we try and help each other.
Our game was created on a piece of cardboard that was the back of an old calendar, using paint pens, punched paper hearts and a washi tape border.
Maybe you could create your own version of the Lovely Game. The numbers 1 4 3 could mean “I Like You,” and perhaps with some searching you can find some dice. Now just might be the time for you to tackle this project. If you do, be sure and send me a picture!
Thanks for the visit.