Once Upon A Time

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Mike Hulsebus | Contributor


Once Upon a Time is a storytelling card game in which players are given a h& of cards and the ending lớn a story and are tasked with telling a story that incorporates all of their cards before ending. The game isn"t without its flaws, but the game is different & innovative sầu enough lớn be a lot of fun.

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At the start of the game, players get a Happily Ever After thẻ that is their goal for how they want the story khổng lồ end. They may say things like “With the rival dead, they could get married at last“ or “And the king was delighted with such an unusual gift” và the Dark Tales expansion also adds unhappy endings like “They were buried in the same grave sầu và the kingdom mourned them.”

Players then get a h& of cards with different words on them like “This animal can talk,” “Prison,” “Witch,” “Chef,” "Weak," & “Spell” and try to lớn string together their cards to tell a story that ends in their happy ending after playing all of their other cards. Each time a player mentions one of the items on his cards in a separate sentence, he may play a thẻ from his h& onto the table.”

One player starts out as the storyteller. “Once upon a time, there was an evil witch,” he might begin, playing a witch card, “and this witch had been put in jail for casting spells on children, turning them into goats!” he would then play the spell card. “The King was furious!”


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An unhappy ending thẻ.

Mike Hulsebus | Contributor


At this point, if a different player had a King thẻ (or Angry card for that matter), he could then play it (since it was mentioned in the story) và take over the story from where the previous player left off, trying to lớn hijaông chồng the plot so that it ends in a way that will arrive at his Happily Ever After thẻ. So if his ending card is "The farm was returned to its rightful heirs," he would vì well lớn add a farm to the story as he tells it.

The main problem with the game is that it penalizes you for doing well. If I start with a h& of 5 cards và vị so well that I get down to lớn one thẻ before being interrupted, I am likely to lớn spover the rest of the game without hope of my thẻ being mentioned in the story, therefore making it rather impossible for me to win. If the story takes place on an islvà where demonic cattle need lớn be cured with holy milk, I can be pretty confident that a stepmother isn’t going khổng lồ come up, effectively taking me out of the game. There are specific cards designed khổng lồ be used as interrupts khổng lồ help this situation, but if you don"t have sầu an interrupt, you are out of luông chồng.

While the rules were thorough, we had to invent house rules khổng lồ fix the timing of interrupt cards và also ruling that one player can’t interrupt one interrupt with another interrupt because players were gaining control over the story only khổng lồ đại bại control before they could even play a card. We also find the game is more fun when each player gets his or her choice of two endings at the start of the game.

I hope that if Atlas Games does a third edition of the game, they will make the cards easier khổng lồ read so players can hold the cards in their hands & read them at a glance. If you look closer at the image below right, you"ll notice how under the word "Chase" is hard-to-read yet important text that identifies the thẻ as an sự kiện thẻ. Some fans of the game have sầu gone so far as khổng lồ print their own, more legible cards.


Players may have a difficult time holding their cards in a way where they are readable at a glance.

Mike Hulsebus | Contributor


This all being said, the game is a lot of fun if you’re looking to lớn tell a funny story rather than worry about who wins the game. The fun of Once Upon a Time is in the journey, not the competition: I’ve sầu played games of Once Upon a Time in which two players didn’t get to lớn play a single thẻ but still have sầu had a fun time being there for the story telling. The game is best played with the Dark Tales expansion, which adds a lot of fun và conflict khổng lồ the game; I enjoy situations where one player tries khổng lồ over the story with a happy ending và the other tries khổng lồ bring misfortune down on the characters.

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In short, if you want to play a game where players must be creative và Cosplay stories, buy this game. If you don"t, buy a different game. I think that this is definitely a game that you could play with kids that are of reading age though perhaps without certain cards in the set. Games go by pretty quickly, và we find ourselves typically playing a few games as a transition between heavier games.

Starting today, I’m going to add one-sentence Đánh Giá from people that have played the games with me to lớn help give a more varied look at a game:

One-Sentence Reviews

Brian: I thought I would hate this game because I"m not a story teller, but I really enjoyed playing it.

Allie: I"m not usually a hugely competitive sầu person, but I become positively obnoxious in my attempt to lớn work in semi-related words. It irritates the blogger <not true! -M>, but I enjoy it immensely.

Jake: This game can be good or bad, depending on the people you play it with.

Rob: Once upon a Time was a real wake up Gọi for me: I now realize that I would make a terrible Dungeon Master.

Xem thêm: Xét Tuyển Sinh Đại Học Tiếng Anh Là Gì ? Tuyển Vào Đại Học Bằng Tiếng Anh

Anna Marie: I enjoyed trying to use all the classic fairy tale tropes in my hand while neatly avoiding everyone else"s. We were talking about our stories for the following week!

Join me next Monday for a return khổng lồ our previous format in which we look at what happens when popular TV shows become board games.

Mike Hulsebus was walking along in the forest when suddenly he saw a Long. If you have sầu a vorpal blade to lend him, he can be reached at mikehulsebus