Review: How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
Publisher: Paramount Pictures
Year: 2003
Tagline: One of them is lying. So is the other.

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey shoulder to shoulder

how we met

I have mentioned previously that I sometimes look at sales sites to see what board games are there. And I don’t know why I do this. I never buy anything. But sometimes, rarely, I will find something to add to my wish list. How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days has been on Craigslist in this area for about 2 years for $15. I was delighted and astonished that a board game based on this movie existed. In fact I think its existence tore down any lingering mental walls I had around what properties you can use as the basis for a board game.

Enter the beloved thrifting minions. My friend, Courtney, posted a photo of the game at a thrift shop as a goof, like “get a load of this guys.” I commented that, oh man, that’s actually on my wish list. And she bought it for me, the dear.

And it was unpunched. Which is a great sign.

how it plays

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days is a 2 player game where your object is to gather the items that you need according to which character you are, and then get to the Finish. Then you win!

Dog, Vagisil, an album, a scale
A few of the items
a six pack of beer, a photo album, a phone, a fern
A few more of the items, all direct movie references

Players roll a die on their turn and move in any direction they like. Your items must be landed on by exact count, so you will likely do a dance around them before finally grasping them.

If you land on a space that says to Draw A Card, you draw the card corresponding to your pawn. So Kate Hudsons draw girl cards and Matthew McConaugheys draw boy cards.

Sample girl cards
A smattering of the Kate cards
Sample boy cards
And some random Matthew cards

The first player to collect all of their items and get back to finish wins How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days!

how it went

Wow, you guys. This game is special in all the wrong ways.

Let’s quickly revisit the movie plot prior to diving into the game play. The gist of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is that the Kate Hudson character wants to write an article about losing a guy by intentionally driving him away with common relationship pitfalls. Meanwhile, the Matthew McConaughey character is trying to win a huge advertising account by convincing his boss that he can sell anything, even himself. In situational comedy style, these two characters find each other as their respective targets. You can probably guess the rest.

The plot treats love as a game, and the characters even have a conversation around whether “all’s fair in love and war.” I can definitely see why Paramount Pictures decided to make this plot the only tryst they have (according to BGG) with game publishing. A one night stand, if you will.

The Matthew pawn in foreground and 3d board in background
Our play

But now let’s talk about the game. First of all, there are almost no rules. The rule sheet spends an entire paragraph explaining the back story. Then there are two rules: 1) roll and move in any direction but land by exact count on your items and 2) only draw cards if you land directly on those spaces (duh!).

The boy pawn hanging off the girl pawn
The rules of course did not address what happens when a pawn lands on another’s space, so this is how we handled it

The publisher made interesting choices throughout. The back of the game box is completely blank, a big white spot. No info on game play, no pictures, nothing. But when you open the box, the inside has some printing on it, as does the insert. So that’s a strange approach. And the 3-d stand-up portion of the board does not matter to game play, and also doesn’t really stand.

The 3d portion is just the title and the characters standing shoulder to shoulder
We ultimately had to put a rubber band around the characters and the milk duds to get it to stand

The game is meant to be played by one couple. So we played girls as the girl and boys as the boy, just taking turns around the table moving our character.

You need to collect six items per pawn. The game board has four quadrants on it, and each pawn has two items in two of the quadrants, and one in each of the other two. So you know where you start and where you need to finish, and the rest of your movement is just trying to make the best of your odds.

One of the most amazing things about the game is the cards. There are numerous misspellings and grammatical errors, even some cards that are completely nonsensical, but all of the cards have close tie-in’s to the movie. We enjoyed the cards immensely – again, for all the wrong reasons. Let’s look at a few.

Typos and grammar errors like cutsie instead of cutesie, you're instead of your, etc
A few of the grammatical and typo errors. In my nightmares my card game is full of these
Card reads "After blowing cool on poker night you suggest you attend couples counseling together. ooze 3 steps ahead."
All the cards reference the movie closely, but the wording is still awkward
"A Frond in Need. Her Love Fern dies. creep back 2 steps."
OK, this one is clever and cute
Two cards from his and hers perspective on the Vagisil plot point
All cards have a fellow, so there is a thing started by one character and the other character’s reaction. But you don’t draw them at the same time, so..?

Keri and I generally had luckier rolls and were able to pick up our items more quickly than the fellas. We made it to the end first and won How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days!

play or pass

Pass. This game makes The Mask look like the ultimate in movie to board-game tie-in sophistication. This is one of the most careless games we have ever played. I loved every minute of it.