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  • DIY Games and Charades

    Marriage Game ‘Mission: Marriage’ – Reader’s Creative Gift Idea

    A splendid creative gift idea not only for board game lovers: one of my readers wrote about a marriage game ‘Mission Marriage’, which she received as a wedding gift.

    A.P. wrote:

    ‘We received our marriage game as a wedding gift. Its rules are similar to those of other board games, but its content is unique. The aim of the game is to survive one year of marriage, which is not so easy due to several arising crises. These may be more or less severe and include Christmas preparations, visits of parents-in-law, holidays or flu. Meanwhile, we have to make sure we don’t starve buried under a pile of dirty laundry – like in real life 😉


    The best part is that the marriage game has been customised to imitate our life. In order to survive crises, we have to use resource cards that relate to our ways of relaxing and our mood lifting methods. Some of them include the images of our friends and relatives (the ‘Phone a Friend’ card always has the face of a specific person). Also the troubles we have to face have been inspired by our life, e.g. the husband away on business, a move, neighbours’ crying baby or stolen registration plates.


    Our marriage game refers to a book by John Gottmann, American marriage therapist, who believes that a successful relationship requires constant updates of our partner’s map. This means being up to date with what interests, pleases, worries or irritates our spouse. During the game, we have to answer questions related to the love of our life and check if we guessed right. This helps us not only to win the game but also to win in real life.

    Naturally, the marriage game may only be won (or lost) through a combined effort. It requires cooperation on the level of strategy development and decision making. We have received numerous highly original gifts from our friends, but this present is definitely the most creative of them all. What makes it even more precious to us is that it relates to our life, our values and life goals, one of which is to have an increasingly happy marriage.’


    As you may see in the pictures, the marriage game has been carefully planned not only in terms of its content, which has been highlighted by its recipient, but also in terms of its form. The game board shows that you don’t have to be a graphic designer in order to create something of value. The box cover, with the heads of the married couple crowning the bodies of Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the crises cards prove, in turn, how skilled their authors are and gladden the eye with a clever and aesthetic execution.


    Perhaps some of you also play games created specially for you? If yes, please let me know in the comments below, or send me a detailed description to inspire others!




    My advice:

    – The easiest way to give someone a personalised game is to remake a well-known board game, inspire yourselves with it or invent new rules of a game you already play. I have already provided you with an example of such a game last month when I wrote about a personalised Jenga with questions related to a specific couple or tasks to be completed.

    – If you like cooperative board games, I definitely recommend Forbidden Island, Pandemic and Codenames. You may find detailed descriptions of them in the RECOMMENDEDANNIVERSARY tab. Who knows, maybe you will find a way to personalise them or create a game from scratch inspired by them?


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