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Subject: A game to replace Tales of the Arabian Nights rss

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Rebecca Jensen
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Washington
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I got Tales of the Arabian Nights as a gift for my wife after the super-enthusiastic review from Shut Up & Sit Down, since I thought that she (we) would enjoy a story-based game.

We broke the game in by inviting over 3 friends that generally aren't into games, but that we thought would enjoy TotAN. I tossed down blankets on the floor, lit a fire, played background music, and I tried to learn the game beforehand.

Well. It took longer to figure out the details of the game than anticipated. Then, once playing, it was very fiddly to get through all the dice rolling and page turning and finally read a story aloud. Then, our choices seemed to not really matter at all.

Crap. I don't think these friends will trust a recommendation from me again! And, I feel bad that my gift is a dud (though my wife is more optimistic than I am, and wants to play again just the two of us).

So. Can you recommend a new story game for us? Something where our choices matter, or at least based on some information? And, even better, where a cohesive story emerges about our characters, instead of a string of random choices?

I've heard about a variety...
Arkham Horror
Eldritch Horror
Mysterium
T.I.M.E Stories
...but I have them all confused at this point.

Also, I don't like horror themes, but I think that maybe Arkham and Eldricth are not as horror-y as I think.

I do own and play Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, which I enjoy, despite the scoring being ridiculous.

Thanks!
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John James
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Check out Above and Below, might be just the thing.
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Reed Dawley
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Agents of SMERSH may work, if you dig the spy vibe.
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Jon Cormier
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While not storytelling, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 has a very strong narrative to it. It probably helps if you already like Pandemic though. But this felt like playing a movie to me and my wife.
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Richard Urich
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Agents of SMERSH is like Tales of the Arabian Nights, but the choices feel like they line up with the result a little better. T.I.M.E Stories has a more cohesive story I guess, but the choices are still pretty much random.

The good news is it's an area with a lot of games in development. The bad news is none so far have been very good. Well, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. But you said you already have that. You might check out new content for that game created by fans. I haven't yet, but an amateur production for that game I feel is likely to be better than any of the current professional options if I'm being honest.
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Tim Tix
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Doomsword wrote:
Check out Above and Below, might be just the thing.


Or its successor Near and Far
 
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Riley Doyle
United States
Londonderry
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Mythos Tales is Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective set in the Lovecraft if you're looking for more of that.

There's also more Sherlock coming out soon Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures.
 
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Rebecca Jensen
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joncormier wrote:
While not storytelling, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 has a very strong narrative to it. It probably helps if you already like Pandemic though. But this felt like playing a movie to me and my wife.


Yes! We play this with another couple and LOVE it. Was disappointed to see that Seafall wasn't cooperative (or even well received).
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Rebecca Jensen
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TimTix wrote:
Doomsword wrote:
Check out Above and Below, might be just the thing.


Or its successor Near and Far


Hmm. It looks beautiful, but it seems like the story aspect is more like "long flavor text" and doesn't really drive the game. Would you agree or no?
 
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Rebecca Jensen
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RileyD wrote:
Mythos Tales is Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective set in the Lovecraft if you're looking for more of that.

There's also more Sherlock coming out soon Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures.


Well I definitely need to get 'Jack West' for the couple that we play Sherlock with! Thanks!

Do you know how the gameplay of Mythos compares to Eldritch? (Despite not liking horror, Eldritch is actually leading my list at the moment.)
 
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Adam Gordon
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So second or third ofAgents of SMERSH and the one I might add is Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game as an option.
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Krawhitham B
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PlayBosco wrote:
I got [thing=34119]It took longer to figure out the details of the game than anticipated. Then, once playing, it was very fiddly to get through all the dice rolling and page turning and finally read a story aloud. Then, our choices seemed to not really matter at all.


Classic mistake when introducing a new game - not having a solid grasp on the rules and gameplay. We've all done it.

Some games are more like a rollercoaster and you just have to enjoy the ride and be into the story that is being created.
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There are Some Who Call Me... Tim
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Depending on how seriously you want to take your stories, Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game can be great fun.

The cards are designed for telling stories of a fairy tale/fantasy nature, but every once in a while, we mix it up and change the theme to sci-fi or western or whatever. It's fun trying to match some of the existing cards into that dynamic.

Everything depends on the people you play with - for example, I have a friend who sees it as his primary goal to find a way for the primary protagonist to meet a gruesome end. shake
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Doug L
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Arkham Horror is an amazing story game, but its complicated, long and fiddly. The choices you make DO make a difference. The horror of this game is not about things jumping out and murdering you (although that can happen). Its more about the mysteries and monsters from Lovecraft. This game is more like an RPG that plays out on a board in one game. I play it solo with 4 characters and I love it, but its not for everyone.

The main fiddly-ness of this game is really 4 things:

1) The ability to adjust stats before each round so you can plan what you want to do. You do this by moving sliders on your character card. I really like this because of the flexibility and trade offs it offers.

2) The Mythos cards (one read each round) are not laid out properly. Once you understand what order to read them in, its easy.

3) Its huge and has a lot phases to play through easy turn. Just take your time and go through each phase, one at a time and you'll be fine.

4) There are a lot of tokens/things. Get a plano box to organizer the tokens and some ziplock to organize the cards and you'll save a ton of setup/cleanup time.

It looks more intimidating that it is.
 
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Chris Milis
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Hi Rebecca,

I also thought the game looked great from their review, still haven't got it yet though. Sorry the play through didn't go to plan. I have a great game Dawn of the Zeds (Third edition) it is a zombie game where you are defending a small town from being over run! Check out some of the videos to see if you like it. The story is great and the decisions you make either solo or co-operatively really count. + there are loads of ways to increase the challenge.

All the best and I hope your next try of Arabian Nights goes a lot better!

Regards,

Chris
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Brian Franzman
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I was also disappointed by Arabian Nights, and I'll warn you that Agents of SMERSH is a very similar kind of game from what I've read. I don't know how complex of a game you are looking for, but there are a couple coming up that look to have long-term story arcs for the characters involved.

First is Arkham Horror: The Card Game, a cooperative semi-deck-building game in which your character's actions in one story affect what they are able to do in future stories. It is an LCG (Living Card Game), which means there will be loads of large and small expansions that give more stories, characters, attributes, etc. add on as you go.

Second is The 7th Continent, a cooperative exploration game which has unique "save" features that let you pick up the next game right where you left off. This is important because you are exploring an entire continent, made up of 1,000+ tiles! It's going to take many, many hours to explore the whole thing, and believe it or not, there are multiple versions of some cards that are supposed to make it fairly replayable.

If you want a current game, Betrayal at House on the Hill might be a good one to look into.
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Benjamine Allen
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Legends of the American Frontier might be a good one for you as well.
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John James
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PlayBosco wrote:
TimTix wrote:
Doomsword wrote:
Check out Above and Below, might be just the thing.


Or its successor Near and Far


Hmm. It looks beautiful, but it seems like the story aspect is more like "long flavor text" and doesn't really drive the game. Would you agree or no?

Yes, you could say that. After repeated plays, all the tidbits might give you an overall story of the world once you've read enough of them. An engaging game, light enough for all but still fun for more serious gamers.
 
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Daniel B
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definetly time stories. supreme co-op experience and nice stories.

eldritch horror after that
 
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Colm McCarthy
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Krawhitham wrote:
PlayBosco wrote:
I got [thing=34119]It took longer to figure out the details of the game than anticipated. Then, once playing, it was very fiddly to get through all the dice rolling and page turning and finally read a story aloud. Then, our choices seemed to not really matter at all.


Classic mistake when introducing a new game - not having a solid grasp on the rules and gameplay. We've all done it.

Some games are more like a rollercoaster and you just have to enjoy the ride and be into the story that is being created.


This. Any game with a group can be a disaster if one of you doesn't take the time to learn the rules beforehand. Invite over some friends, crack open the shrinkwrap on Arkham or Eldritch Horror and turn to page 1 of the rulebook. Three hours later your friends will want to kill you.
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Gunther Schmidl
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If you can get it, City of Chaos is not bad.
 
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Rebecca Jensen
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colmmccarthy wrote:
Krawhitham wrote:
PlayBosco wrote:
I got [thing=34119]It took longer to figure out the details of the game than anticipated. Then, once playing, it was very fiddly to get through all the dice rolling and page turning and finally read a story aloud. Then, our choices seemed to not really matter at all.


Classic mistake when introducing a new game - not having a solid grasp on the rules and gameplay. We've all done it.

Some games are more like a rollercoaster and you just have to enjoy the ride and be into the story that is being created.


This. Any game with a group can be a disaster if one of you doesn't take the time to learn the rules beforehand. Invite over some friends, crack open the shrinkwrap on Arkham or Eldritch Horror and turn to page 1 of the rulebook. Three hours later your friends will want to kill you.
Yes, I committed a board gaming sin by not having the rules down. In my defense, I watched a how-to video several times, then got it out earlier in the week to learn with my wife... and she fell asleep while we tried to figure it out. Ha... oops. I'll have to just play it through by myself next time (she falls asleep a lot).
 
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Virginia M.P.
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Once you get the rules down pat, try playing TotAN with half the VPs for a shorter game. We never play to full points and the game still lasts a long while. We love the theme but all that book shuffling and page turning...
 
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reaching out from the in-between spaces...
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PlayBosco wrote:
RileyD wrote:
Mythos Tales is Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective set in the Lovecraft if you're looking for more of that.

There's also more Sherlock coming out soon Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures.


Well I definitely need to get 'Jack West' for the couple that we play Sherlock with! Thanks!

Do you know how the gameplay of Mythos compares to Eldritch? (Despite not liking horror, Eldritch is actually leading my list at the moment.)


Mythos Tales basically uses the Consulting Detective framework, but it's horror based.

Eldritch Horror has the rules available online. It is waaaay more complicated than Tales of the Arabian Nights. Also, the story telling is identical in the random things happen to your heroes. No real coherent story, needs a lot of player input to connect.

Take a look at Mansions of Madness: Second Edition. While the app required to play may put some off, it tells a wonderful story of...horror. Which you may not enjoy.
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Ed T
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All great games, but if you found Tales of Arabian Nights too fiddly, you are going to find Arkham Horror (and possibly Eldritch Horror) much much worse in that regard.
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