Floodgate Games describe Décorum on the box as 'a game of passive aggressive cohabitation'. It's an accurate summary. Décorum is a cooperative puzzle-solving game where players have individual secret objectives that they are trying to achieve. They need to deduce from each other's actions a way of achieving them without undermining the different objectives of the other players.
The theme of Décorum is decorating and furnishing a house. The house comprises four rooms: a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. You can choose the paint colour of the room and you can add or remove objects distinguishable by type, colour and design. Your individual secret objective card will specify what you need to fulfil: for example, a particular colour for the living room, no lamps in any room and just one antique. Other players will have their own different objectives. You mustn't share your objectives (at least at first) but you give feedback on any changes made. This is along the lines of 'I love it!' (a change that chimes too with one of their objectives); 'I hate it!' (your change conflicts with their objectives); or 'I don't really care about that' (the change is irrelevant to their objective).
This then is a deduction game as players are using the information they get from feedback to build a picture of what the other player(s) objectives might be and of where they can find the path of commonality. Periodically, players have an opportunity to share one of the conditions they are trying to satisfy in a 'heart-to-heart' (two-player game) or 'house meeting' (three- or four-player game).
Décorum is designed by Charlie Mackin, Harry Mackin and Drew Tenenbaum. In its two-player form, it reminded us of Fog of Love (Hush Hush Projects), which is also now within the Floodgate Games' stable. Like Fog of Love, couples risk falling out if they forget that it's just a game! Unless you've recently argued fiercely over home decor, Décorum tho' shouldn't tread on quite as many nerves. It helps here perhaps that the colour choices for the rooms are so boldly unsubtle: just the three primary colours and green: in our experience most couples' arguments are over barely perceptible variations of off-white hues in the Farrow & Ball paints range. :-)
There's plenty to get your teeth into. There are envelopes for each of the scenarios and these are delineated for the number of players: 2 or 3/4, with the latter further divided into different levels of difficulty. There are some extra rules for the three- and four-player modes, and the all-important memory element in any deduction game is all the more difficult with three or four players. The Board's Eye View team has enjoyed Décorum at all player counts but, for us, the game really shines as a two-player cooperative game. In part that's because the memory element is more manageable but we also loved the fact that, with two players, it's a campaign game where players are encouraged to play their way through the numbered scenarios in order, and with large sealed envelopes awaiting for your later games...
Floodgate Games have also announced an app is on its way, offering still more scenarios, so Décorum has plenty of replayability!
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