Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: I Dare You

I'm fascinated by the idea of sex games. For a long time, most of what I knew about them were the notorious dirty dice - style games, and had heard whispered giggles implying that they were raunchy. In the last few months, I've seen and learned a bit more, so when Babeland offered me the chance to review the new game "I Dare You", I was game (if you'll pardon the pun).
The presentation of "I Dare You" is quite lovely, and won me over at once. The game comes in a pretty red and black box in a pattern reminiscent of antique wallpaper; the box is slightly padded on the outside to make it soft. The box closes with a ribbon tie. When opened, the box reveals a black flocked plastic insert which holds the cards. Each card is enclosed in a darling little envelope, embellished with curlicues. The envelopes are unfortunately sealed; this limits the replay or pass-on value of this game, because it is very difficult to open the envelopes without tearing them. The cards can be put back without the envelopes, but it seems a shame, because the envelopes are so pretty.

A variant on the old "truth or dare" theme, each card holds either a "truth" ("Tell me...") or a "dare" ("I dare you..."). There are no instructions included, so you get to decide whether you take turns opening and reading the cards, who has to obey them, whether you grab two at once (answer the truth card, or obey the dare card), etc. This can be quite frustrating if you were hoping for a game you could play straight out of the box, but if you like to play variations or make up your own rules, it can be fun.

The game itself was interesting, but definitely not what I was expecting. As we played, we quickly realized that we were not the intended audience. Perhaps I read more into the idea of sealed "Seductions" than was intended, but I was expecting more foreplay and sexual cards. First of all, this is not a sex game, it's more of an intimacy or ice-breaker game for couples who may be uncomfortable talking about sex or initiating foreplay. There are very few cards that involve sex or foreplay acts, so if you are looking for a classy sex game, look elsewhere. This game would be best for couples who find that they aren't comfortable talking about sexuality, or that they take sex too seriously.

And that's where this game shines. While some of the truths and dares were very hot (tell me your hottest fantasy was always a favorite), most of them are about learning about each other and getting more comfortable with communication and spontaneity. Some of them were just plain fun and silly while still being sexy, which was a nice touch. However, I did get the feeling that this wasn't intended to be played out as one continuous game, using all of the cards, because there are quite a few cards that either tell you to drop the game and go have sex, or order activities that could quite quickly get to the stage where there is no WAY I'd be going back to the game that day, if you know what I mean.

It might be best to play this game with the intention of only using as many cards as you can get through without abandoning it for sex, and save the rest for the next time. Honestly, once you've used all of the cards, it's hard to get much replay value out of this. Unless you wait a long time, most people will remember what was on the cards. Here is where I wish that the card envelopes hadn't been sealed, just folded closed - other than tearing open the envelopes, the game was in almost perfect condition when we were done. I would have liked to be able to pass it on to a friend as a lightly-used game, but that's more difficult with torn envelopes. Also, even if there are no instructions, a list of props to have on hand would have been nice. It really disrupts the flow of the game to have to go dig out something you never use just to complete a dare. (And honestly, not all of us have a set of clothes to shred to pieces on hand, you know?)

Over all, this was a nice little game. The presentation was lovely, and the idea was nice, but it could have been better executed. It might be best for new couples, or couples who want to become more comfortable with sexual communication and spontaneity. I really, REALLY appreciated that the cards were gender and orientation neutral; for that alone, this game gets extra points. If you're looking for a bit of fun mutual seduction, grab your creativity and give this game a try.

This product was provided to me free of charge by Babeland in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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