When Stuffed Fables arrived as our monthly game, I have to admit I was a bit fascinated. I’d never heard of it before and reading the box it sounded quite exciting. When we opened it up though and read the rules, I was a bit concered that it was going to be complicated. However when we played, I was pleasantly surprised.
The game is basically a little bit like family D&D. The board game is actually a book (basically like a pre-written Dungeon Master) and all the players get to play a role in the story. Stuffed Fables is a story of a little girl who finally gets moved from her crib into a big girl bed. The first story you play (the one for beginners) gives some back story and basically explains about the stuffed toys that you will play. Each player picks a character and takes their game card and player token.
Each character has a specific set of abilities, some available from the beginning and others which you can earn as you play the game. The book is the board game and as you play the story through and turn the pages, you can new mini board games and stories to play.
There are a lot of rules, so I won’t get into explaing them all but each round you roll dice and then choose to move, search, fight etc. Your actions have some bearing on the storyline and as you complete each section and turn the page for the next part of the story, you ocassionally even have choice in which way the story forks.
The game does take quite some time to play. It’s definitely a solid afternoon and evening for one story or leaving it set over the weekend for a couple of sessions of playing. The first story is only 5-6 playable pages but that still took us a good four hours (although we were also learning how to play).
Though I wasn’t really sure about this game at a glance, especially as it seemed complicated, I would strongly recommend it. Since it’s a cooperative game, kids ages don’t really matter as you are more than able to help them out without just taking over. The story itself is beautifully written and you find yourself quite sucked into it. Though we have only played the first few stories, I can’t wait to play some more.