Meet a game so kinky the publishing house refused to print it! Here’s to The Lovers Hardcore—the hottest couples BDSM game premiere of 2021.

There are really few erotic games designed for people for whom kink is the main or one of the preferred forms of sexual expression. I don’t know if the cause of this is the fact that many game designers and developers are not that into BDSM or think adding elements of domination and submission into their games will somehow scare the customers. In all honesty, could be neither, could be both.

The Problem with Erotic Games for Couples

When it comes to erotic games for couples, I think it’s fair to say that many of them are based on quite similar concepts that do not fully fit into the kinky lifestyle. With many games available on the market, you can get the impression that if you play one, you actually played them all. In terms of BDSM most of them go only as far as proposing gentle spanking, body restraint and using a blindfold during sex.

Don’t get me wrong—these are all good. We all have different likes and preferences when it comes to adult playtime. To one person using a pair of handcuffs in bed can feel very naughty, while to another a vacuum bed play is as extreme as a walk in the park—and that’s okay! However, I’d like to point out a significant disproportion between adult card games with one-size-should-fit-all safe scenarios and games based on kink.

At this moment Fetlife has over 7 million registered users. So it’s not like there are no customers for these types of games. Quite the contrary—the potential audience is quite large. So my guess is that the disproportion is rather due to the lack of knowledge and creative ideas on how to translate kink into a game. Plazacraft, adult card game producer, decided to fill this gap and give our community something genuinely BDSM-based. It was my pleasure to observe the process of creating The Lovers Hardcore from behind the scenes and even more pleasure to actually play it. Was it as hardcore as the title suggests?

Where Are My Kinky Players?

The Lovers Hardcore is the second level of a series of games designed by Plazacraft. The first level, titled Romantic, premiered in 2019. The series will ultimately consist of 3 levels and I am not exaggerating by saying that I am convinced that with the last part of the series (Pervert – in preparation) they should change the title to The Fuckers. Let me just tell you that a certain printing house refused to print The Lovers Hardcore after seeing the contents of the cards, delaying the premiere planned for way earlier. What’s funny, the printing house already had erotic games in their portfolio. So here’s the type of content we’re dealing with…

The Lovers Hardcore is available in two versions – Master & Slave and Switch, acknowledging different dynamics of BDSM relationships. I must say right away that the content of the cards remains the same in both varieties, however the order of the cards is different. I identify myself as switch, and I’ve chosen my set accordingly.

The game itself looks very elegant. It comes in a stiff cardboard box that contains two sets of cards, one for each player. The cards are matte and sturdy—they surely will withstand many gameplays. Each of the cards is adorned with erotic graphic art—the pictures are very sensual and stimulate the erotic creativity. I consider The Lovers Hardcore a perfect gift for a kinky individual or a sexual explorer and hedonist.

The Lovers Hardcore – Gameplay

I must warn you that you cannot play The Lovers Hardcore totally spontaneously. The gameplay requires some preparation and having certain gear available, such as fetish clothing, gags, toys for impact play, candles for wax play, or at least you have to be ready to procure some new items. Of course, you can experiment with perveritbles as you go—use a belt or a tie as restrains, a scarf as a gag, or a kitchen spatula for spanking. After all, a lot depends on your imagination and what you need to fully get into the scene.

The gameplay of The Lovers Hardcore is based on certain missions and actions. For each completed mission and action you get a certain amount of points. With each failed attempt you loose the points. The cards are already pre-arranged in the order the tasks should be carried out for each player. The duration of a round is customisable—it can take a day, a week or even a month, if you desire. The hard part is that the content of missions may not be revealed until they are completed. This means that certain activities should be introduced naturally during a scene, which on occasions require some planning and is quite exciting. With actions it’s a little bit different—they’re revealed right away as it’s the other person’s task to complete.

While the goal of the game is to accumulate as many points as possible to win one of the two prizes, for me the gameplay itself is a much more rewarding than the prize. I must say, I’m not very competitive. I play for pleasure and honestly don’t care about winning.

What I Love about The Lovers Hardcore

All the levels from The Lovers series are designed to be played for longer periods of time. Therefore one gameplay might take up to couple of months if you really want to take your time. The makers encourage you to enjoy the process, the closeness, the added intimacy—at your own pace. I understand that for some people fast paced games that are meant to be played in one evening are too overwhelming. Here we’re encouraged to approach the gameplay mindfully and treat the missions and actions as inspirations, not as musts.

I also appreciate the sensitivity and responsibility towards the players—as The Lovers Hardcore plays with consensual non-consent, you will find a content warning on the box and in the manual. This is extremely important, as the gameplay should be pleasurable, not triggering.

Inclusive language is also a valuable element of this game. The tasks and missions do not refer to specific genders or genitals, so not only cis-het couples can play The Lovers Hardcore. However, the artwork on the cards that depicts couples, mostly involves opposite-sex pairs. There’s certainly room for improvement in here.

At the beginning of 2022, The Lovers series will be expanded with 6 exciting additions (4 for The Lovers Romantic and 2 for Hardcore), which will feature scenarios including sex toys, costumes, new locations and positions to try. Players will be able to use them as stand alone games or add them to the main sets of cards, adding the new elements to enrich the missions and actions.

The Lovers Romantic

People who find The Lovers Hardcore a bit too BDSM-oriented, but still want to give this type of gameplay a go, should try the Romantic variant. It’s more “traditional” in the couples games department, but also very enjoyable. The first lever of the series focuses more on encouraging playfulness, teasing and seducing your partner, and strengthening intimacy. It does not require any major preparations or BDSM gear, either.

The scenarios in The Lovers Romantic are still very innovative, and you won’t find similar mission and actions in other games. So if you want to avoid repetitiveness and try something new, you may as well try going from the level 1.

The Lovers Hardcore – Summary

The Lovers Hardcore is a game designed for people who are already familiar with BDSM and find joy in dominance and submission. You can tell that the game was written by someone who’s been to a dungeon or two, and is not afraid to introduce topics that some might find taboo. We’re talking consensual non-consent, financial domination, pet play etc. In my opinion you don’t need to be a board game nerd to enjoy the gameplay, as there’s a lot of flexibility on how to play this game. So you always have a choice: to turn The Lovers Hardcore into an erotic competition or simply draw a card or two a day to get inspired, try something new or test your boundaries.

This review was sponsored. As always, all the opinions are my own.

Natalia Grubizna – sex blogger, pleasure educator and sex toy reviewer. She works with individuals, facilitates group workshops and advises organisations within the sexuality field, mostly within Polish-speaking communities. Natalia is 2016 alumni of Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society and a firm believer in the power of informal, peer-led sex and relationship education.

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