A fairy-tale card game exercises the imagination and challenges storytelling skills.
Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game
Publisher: Atlas Games
Anyone who grew up reading fairy tales will recognise what goes into creating one: a protagonist (a prince or princess, or even a peasant girl or village boy), a villain (a witch, a greedy king or a scary beast, perhaps), and several obstacles (an enchanted forest, a cursed tower, a poisoned apple ... take your pick) that the hero has to overcome.
Once these difficulties are overcome and the antagonist defeated, the hero then finds his happy ending, which hopefully lasts ever after.
Yes, the ingredients are indeed familiar, but it is in the way they are mixed together that the magic lies. That, essentially, is the premise upon which Once Upon A Time: The Storytelling Card Game is built.
Players use their cards to create a story from the typical elements of a fairy tale, with each person interrupting and taking the story in his/her own direction. The eventual winner is the one who manages to bring the story to a happy ending. The game, however, is as much about the journey as it is about winning, for while the elements may be similar, each story is never quite the same!
The game has three types of cards: Story Cards, Interrupt Story Cards and Ending Cards. Story Cards, which are various elements of a fairy tale, are divided into five categories: characters (like Princess or Stepmother), things (sword, well), places (cottage, forest), aspects (brave, evil) and events (journey, meeting).
The Interrupt Story Cards also each belong to a category and have a story element, but can also be used to interrupt the story that is being told.
The Ending Cards, meanwhile, show a possible conclusion to a fairy tale, for instance: “He saw the error of his ways and lived a good life from that day forward.”