This past weekend was full of stories, as I played two storytelling games, Gloom (pictured above) and Once Upon a Time.
Gloom is a card game that is a bit backwards from most games. Rather than winning the game by getting the highest score, you are trying to get the lowest. You start the game with a “family” of 5 members, represented by cards. On your turn, you play cards on your family members that have themes at the top, such as “Perturbed by the Pudding.” The idea is that you make up a story about how a member in your family was “Perturbed by the Pudding.” After a successful story, you can play that card on your family member to gain them a negative score. Other players can make up stories about your family members as well, and give them a positive score. After a family member has a negative score that you are pleased with, you can kill them off. When all of one players family members are dead, the game is won by whomever has the lowest total family score. (For a more official game description, see this link)
This game is so much fun! It’s quirky and the titles of each card give you enough to get you started with a story, and not enough so that each game play can go in a completely different direction.
Once Upon a Time is a card game that facilitates fairy-tale storytelling. You are given two cards with different fairy-tale endings. Those are kept secret from other players. You are also given a stack of cards with different items, ideas, people, etc. on them, such as wicked, princess, castle… The object of the game is that you use the cards in your hand to create a complete story that uses every single card you have and ends with one of your story ending cards. The difficult part is that if you mention something in your story, and another player has a card for that item, they can steal your story and twist it to go towards their ending. So you may be about to wrap up your story and win, and suddenly someone else takes it. By the time you have a card to get it back, the story may be so far away from one of your endings that you are unable to finish it with the cards you have. (For a more official game description, see this link)
I really enjoyed this game as well. It was a lot harder than Gloom because sometimes your cards were all so different, that it was really difficult to weave them all together. Plus, with people constantly taking over your stories, it was hard to get them back to where you needed them to end. But still, a good game. I recommend either one, if you are a lover of creative story telling. Or if just want to challenge yourself in a different creative medium.