Tell Tale Fairy Tales Game Review

The Basics:

  • For ages 5 and up
  • For 1 to 8 players
  • Variable game length

Geek Skills:

  • Active Listening & Communication
  • Cooperative & Team Play
  • Logical & Critical Decision Making
  • Imagination

Learning Curve:

  • Child – Easy
  • Adult – Easy

Theme & Narrative:

  • Whatever you create!

Endorsements:

  • Gamer Geek rejected!
  • Parent Geek approved!
  • Child Geek approved!

Overview

Dr. Seuss (real name Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904 – 1991), an American writer, poet, and illustrator best known for his many children’s books, once said, “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” So very true. Best of all, it is also a geek skill and one that is available to everyone at a very early age. In this game, imagination is key as the players use random fairy tale story elements (characters, setting, plot, and theme) to create imaginative stories of their own or as a group. The playing area is your table top, but there are no boundaries to where this game can go.

Tell Tale Fairy Tales, by Blue Orange Games, is comprised of  60 Image cards that have an illustrated fairy tale object, location, or character on both sides of the card (providing 120 different story elements to choose from). Tell Tale Fairy Tales is part of Blue Orange Games’ pocket line, which means the entire game fits in a small tin can. This makes the game highly portable and easy to bring with you to just about anywhere you would want to go and play games.

Example of some of the game components

Spinning Yarns

Tell Tale Fairy Tales comes with five different game variations to choose from. Each variation has a different game set up and objective.

Storyboard

The objective if this game variation is to tell an imaginative story using 6 Image cards.

To set up the game, shuffle the Image cards and deal out to each player 6 cards. The players will then place them, from left to right, in any order or card side they choose to their playing area. Once completed, each player will tell a story using the 6 Image cards they have in front of them, from left to right.

If playing in teams, game set up is the same except the team is dealt 6 Image cards instead of each player. The cards are still played to the playing area, but in front of the team members. On the team’s turn, the team members take turns adding to the story, with the first team member using the first card, the second team member taking the second card, and so on. This continues until all the cards are played and the story is concluded. Then it’s the next team’s turn.

Round ‘N Round

The objective of this game variation is to add to a group story.

To set up the game, shuffle the Image cards and deal out to each player 4 cards. One player starts the game by selecting one of their Image cards and introduces the story using the image on the card. The next player selects one of their Image cards, places it next to the last played Image card, and contributes to the story using their Image card story element. This continues until all the players have played their image cards and the story is concluded.

If playing in teams, game set up is the same except each team is dealt 4 Image cards instead of each player. The cards are still played to the playing area, but the team members take turns adding to the story using the Image cards. Once one team members adds to the story, the other team has one of their members add to the story, and so on until all the cards area played and the story is concluded.

Showtime

The objective of this game variation is to tell a story using unknown story elements.

To set up the game, shuffle the Image cards and deal out to each player 6 image cards in a stack. The players do not touch the cards at this time. On the player’s turn, they will flip over the top card on the stack, revealing the image on the other side, and begin to tell their story using whatever story element is provided. Once the player is ready, they flip over the next top card in the stake and place it to the right of the last played card, and so on until all the cards are flipped over and their story is concluded.

If playing in teams, game set up is the same except each team is dealt a stack of 6 Image cards. On the team’s turn, each team member contributes to the story by all the players in the team taking turns flipping over an Image card and adding their own imaginative interpretation of the image to the story being created by all the team members. Once a team member is done, the next team members goes. This continues until all the cards have been played for the team and the story is concluded. Then it’s the next team’s turn.

The Stack

The objective of this game variation is to create one big story as a group.

To set up the game, shuffle the Image cards and deal out 24 cards into a single pile to the center of the playing area. On the player’s turn, they will take the top card on the stack and begin to tell their part of the story using whatever story element is provided (on either side of the card) and adding to the story being created by the group. Once the active player is done, the next player goes by taking the next top card in the stake and places it to the right of the last played card, adding to the story using the story element illustrated. This continues until all 24 Image cards have been played and the story is concluded.

Storytime

The objective of this game variation is to put your little geek to sleep with a smile.

Instead of reading one of their books, have the little geek select 10 Image cards or randomly select 10 Image cards. The little geek should now put them in order, from top to bottom, depending on when they want a story element to be introduced. For this game, use the top facing card. Optionally, the storyteller can use any image on the 10 Image cards. Using the cards, a bedtime story is created. This can be done by one storyteller or done as a group activity. Once done, it’s time for bed. Lights out, don’t get up, don’t call out, there are no monsters under the bed, no you can’t have a cookie, and yes, tomorrow you can pick out your own clothes.

To learn more about Tell Tale Fairy Tales, see the game’s official web page.

Prediction

My little geeks, family, and friends have had great success with story telling games. Their current favorites are Rory’s Story Cubes and Dixit, which continue to get much table time. Unlike Rory’s Story Cubes, Tell Tale Fairy Tales has a few specific strengths that will set it apart from what would appear to be a very similar game.

First off, Tell Tale Fairy Tales is very colorful and the images are much easier to interpret. Instead of small black and white icons on a six-sided die, each illustration on the card is big, bold, and beautiful. These make them easier to use in stories and some would argue, more fun to play with.

Second, because of the many cards in the game, there is more opportunity to play with other players and have a wider range of story elements. Both games are limited by the number of images they depict (be it on dice or cards), but Tell Tale Fairy Tales has 120 possible images where Rory’s Story Cubes only has 54. That is a significant difference! Of course, you can increase the number of possible images by adding more dice with an expansion like Rory’s Story Cubes – Actions, but so too can you add to Tell Tale Fairy Tales by adding to it the cards from Tell Tale.

Tell Tale Fairy Tales does have one significant disadvantage, however, and that’s its components. Rory’s Story Cubes is only comprised of six-sided dice that are very durable. Tell Tale Fairy Tales is made of cards that can be bent, torn, ripped, and shredded. Quality wise, they are equal, but in the arena of durability, Rory’s Story Cubes wins hands down.

So where does that leave us in regards to the prediction?

The Child Geeks and the Parent Geeks are going to love this game, and the Gamer Geeks are not. We have essentially swapped out dice for cards for a very similar game that has already been reviewed and played many, many, many times. The only unknown is how much more or less they will like Tell Tale Fairy Tales. Certainly, because it is new and colorful, it will get much attention, but a lot of focus now does not mean it will have much appeal at a later date.

Teaching the different ways to play is very simple as they are all based on the creative process of story telling (which pretty much everyone knows how to do). There were never any questions or concerns when we taught the game and everyone was ready to play the second we were done explaining. The only issue was determining which game variation to play. And so, as I set the game up for my little geeks to play for the first time, I asked them their thoughts on the game so far.

“A nice and more colorful version of the games we’ve played before. I think I like the big pictures better instead of the small dice icons.” ~ Liam (age 8)

“Can I make a story about dragons and Iron Man, Daddy?” ~ Nyhus (age 5)

With their creative minds at the ready, we shall start  our game. Let’s see if this ends up being a tale worth telling or a sad little footnote.

Final Word

As expected, my little geeks had a great time with the game. When I asked them if they would rather play with Tell Tale Fairy Tales or Rory’s Story Cubes, they said “both”. Turns out that the colorful cards were most welcome but not significant enough to warrant my little geeks suggesting one game was better than another. My 5-year-old, however, later confessed that he preferred the colorful images versus the dice, but was happy either way. For both the little geeks, their stories were rich with humor, creative, and best of all, included me as the hero and the villain.

And, yes, Iron Man made an appearance in many of my 5-year-old’s stories.

Parent Geeks also enjoyed it, but actually preferred the cards versus the dice-based storytelling games they were already familiar with. According to one Parent Geek, “the images make for an easier time creating a story and connecting to the plot.” Well said! Still, there were other Parent Geeks who simply did not care either way and enjoyed both the colored cards and the dice. One Parent Geek actually preferred the dice because they were “easier to handle and play with.” In the end, all the Parent Geeks agreed Tell Tale Fairy Tales was a very good game and only debated on which medium, card or dice, was best.

Gamer Geeks acknowledge the benefits and creative play the game provided but took no interest in it or desired to play it with their peers. With other Parent Geeks and their Child Geeks, they enjoyed it, but more because of who they were playing with versus the game itself.

I am always amazed how organized and creative a little geek’s mind can be – if only their rooms where as orderly as their creative thoughts (sigh)

Gamer Geeks, this is not a game you’ll likely play anytime soon with your peer group or desire to plop down in the middle of your gaming table come your next Gamer Geek elitist gathering. There is no game here for you to play or to really enjoy. No strategy, no tactics, no victory condition…the list of what it doesn’t have that you would be interested in is very long. That being said, you’ll respect it for what it is and what it does, but will not give it much thought after giving it a curt node of recognition for its efforts.

Parent Geeks, this is a wonderful game that is full of colorful cards that can easily be understood by everyone in your family. All the fantasy story elements are represented and in abundance. You will not be lacking for material or hints to use when you create a story by yourself or with a group. Non-gamers enjoyed the game and were rather impressed with the many different and unique images the game offered. The game really does a great job of supporting every player’s creative side and can support individual to large group game play easily, making it a wonderful game to bring out to the table after having a dinner party with friends who also have children. We doubt you’ll find it of much interest, however, when playing the game with just your own peer group.

Child Geeks, this is going to be a wonderful game for you. The cards are colorful, the images are whimsical, and there are no rules to speak of for you to learn or to master. The only aspect of the game you will find difficult is keeping your stories short. But, let’s be honest, you don’t have to do that either. Have fun! Be creative! Make stories that includes vast kingdoms full of brave knights and beautiful maidens, or tell a tale of a cursed land that is ruled by a witch and her beasts. It’s up to you and there is simply no wrong way to go about it.

Tell Tale Fairy Tales is more of an activity than it is a game. From my perspective, it isn’t a game at all. There are no winners, no losers, no points, no scores, and no victory circle. There is no testing of one’s skill versus another in a competitive way to suggest that one player is better at a task than another. That doesn’t make it a bad thing, however, but let’s not suggest that Tell Tale Fairy Tales is a game in the traditional table top sense as we understand it. What it is is simply a medium in which a group of individuals can sit down and use to have a great time together. That, in itself, should be enough for just about everyone.

What I really appreciate is how visually appealing Tell Tale Fairy Tales is. All little geeks start reading books by looking at pictures and we, as adults, continue to enjoy looking at pictures for our entire lives. From age 5 to age 105, Tell Tale Fairy Tales will appeal to the masses and be well-loved. For in each of us there is a storyteller and a creative genius waiting for an opporutnity to express themselves. Be it on canvas, on paper, or the family gaming table, there is no wrong or better medium for an individual to explore vivid new ideas and develop creative new thoughts than through the art of storytelling.

If you are looking for a colorful and highly accessible game where communication, creativity, and sharing is a must, then do explore the many different possibilities that Tell Tale Fairy Tales can provide. Enjoy your journey and the many wonderful stories you are sure to hear and create!

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

About Cyrus

Editor in Chief, Owner/Operator, Board Game Fanatic, Father of Three, and Nice Guy, Cyrus has always enjoyed board, card, miniature, role playing, and video games, but didn't get back into the hobby seriously until early 2000. Once he did, however, he was hooked. He now plays board games with anyone and everyone he can, but enjoys playing with his children and wife the most. Video games continue to be of real interest, but not as much as dice and little miniatures. As he carefully navigates the ins and outs of parenting, he does his very best to bestow what wisdom he has and help nurture his children's young minds. It is his hope and ambition to raise three strong, honorable men who will one day go on to do great things and buy their Mom and Dad a lobster dinner Cyrus goes by the handle fathergeek on Board Game Geek. You can also check him out on CyrusKirby.com. Yes, he has a URL that is his name. His ego knows no bounds, apparently....
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2 Responses to Tell Tale Fairy Tales Game Review

  1. Brian Beck says:

    The real name of Dr. Seuss was Theodor Seuss Geisel. Theo. Lesieg was a pseudonym he used for numerous early reading books that he wrote but did not illustrate.

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