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Subject: New Storytelling Milestone? rss

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Tim Tix
Germany
Hamburg
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While browsing the Geek, I found Tales of the Arabian Nights fascinating. But it's hard to come by (in Germany). And I hesitated buying it since also the most positive review said it wasn't much of a game.
I also liked Above and Below when I found it here. I just wasn't sure if I would love the gameplay so much that it was worth to try to hunt it down.

Now, Near and Far hooked me. More of a travelling theme than A&B and as it seemed a refined/improved game following the first one.

The campaign mentions some changes (maybe improvements) to A&B, for example:

Quote:
In Near and Far, all of the stories also have a reaction description, filling out the story AFTER you make each choice.
Some of the stories are connected in thematic quest lines, so that choices made in an earlier story will affect the outcome and choices of later stories.
The story book in Near and Far is at least twice as big as the book in Above and Below. There is a huge world to explore here!
When playing campaign mode, all stories are linked to a location on the map. You'll see something intriguing on the map, travel to that location, and read a story to find out what is there.


So, here's the thing: Will Near and Far be a new benchmark of mechanically solid storytelling games? Or at least belong to the very best?
(Of course, this is hypothetic since the game is not even published. But hey, this is a question/thesis and I'm curious what you think.)


To give some perspective:
When you sort all storytelling games by BGG rank, A&B (already) holds the 4th place while TotAN comes in 5th. 3rd is Dixit which is a different sort of storytelling, I think. 1st is Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game which is No 1 because it is a popular game overall. (The Crossroad cards make it stand out between similar coops, but it might not be the No 1 storytelling game.) Last, or well: 2nd, is T.I.M.E Stories which I haven't played. But even if N&F would not surpass that one, it could stand as one of the most prolific storytelling games.

What do you think? Which other games are there?
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Antonia Browne
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Santiago
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Story telling is a genre that i like a lot. Since i liked A&B, i felt the gaming aspect wasn't very god, yet the encounters were fun. That's why i'm so ecited about N&F, is more encounters and les of the other i think.
On the story telling genre there are some very good games. There is Dixit and Mysterium that are a diferent sort of storytelling. With those stands once upon a time. A very very fun game of creating stories. A very good one if you play with creative people.
Then you have the more inmersive ones in witch N&F could fit. Other great games in this aspect are T.I.M.E. stories. Realy good one, i dislike the dice aspect of it, but is Ok. Then is Tales of the arabian nights which i havent played, so no comments. Then is the great great Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. You can say is no much of a game (it is almost imposible to beat Sherlock), but wow what an experience resolving those cases. Is pure fun. My favorite in this genre so far. Also there is an spanish game called Naufragos. The game was broken because of the semi cooperative aspect of it, but the story telling part of it was solid, fun and neat. And had a good combination with an euro style game. Thats what i know about storytelling games. About if near and far is gonna be a milestone, we'll see.
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Michael Reitz
Germany
Mayen
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I pretty much like Above & Below as a good mix of Ameritrash and Eurogame.
It is true that the stories in A&B are not connected and you never know what you get when exploring.
In Near and Far this might be better (i.e. you might be able to better know what to find at a certain location of the map), but I don't know enough about it to be sure, yet.

Agents of SMERSH is the game that wasn't mentioned here, yet.
It has a strong story-telling aspect in a James Bond style theme.

An upcoming game potentially being a new milestone in story-telling might be First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet, which is a successor of Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island but uses an app to manage the story-parts.

And finally not to forget The 7th Continent, a very successful Kickstarter project with an interesting card-based "world" (map), which will be delivered this year.

Michael
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Chris Van Deusen
United States
Austin
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KivasFajo wrote:

The 7th Continent...will be delivered this year.

Let's hope! whistle
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Bradley Hays
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Raymore
Missouri
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Here's the thing: Without the story telling aspects, the game-play of Above & Below would be just okay. The mechanisms are solid, but not amazing. It's easy to see what buildings are available, what workers you would like to recruit. It all works well together, but it would not be a game of any note. The basic Euro mechanisms anchor the game. But the story element is not just mere icing on the top, like the flavor-text read off the bottom of a card in so many Ameri-trashy games. It also provides the random factor that makes the game interesting. It's the grease that keeps the wheels turning. And it makes it fun because it holds a double function of providing a very thematic touch while giving you the possibility of collecting resources.

Who KNOWS what will happen as you go off on your expeditions? And yeah, you might have bad luck, bad adventures, bad rolls of the dice. But you might discover something incredibly cool, you might find some resources or reputation around which you can build your strategy. There isn't enough time to build much of an engine without going on quests, and even if there was, it wouldn't be much fun. You need to develop a team to go off and encounter things while you have a few regular folk to keep the business working up on the surface.
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Tahsin Shamma
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TimTix wrote:
So, here's the thing: Will Near and Far be a new benchmark of mechanically solid storytelling games? Or at least belong to the very best?
(Of course, this is hypothetic since the game is not even published. But hey, this is a question/thesis and I'm curious what you think.)


The way I see the game is it's basically like the old Steve Jackson Sorcery! books. However, there's an added component of party building and more board-gamey mechanics.

Should be a fun ride!
 
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And then there is Fortune & Glory: The Cliffhanger Game, which in my view has enormous replayability (especially with the expansions and add-ons) and a superb theme (Indiana Jones).

Link to the game:
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/95103/fortune-and-glory-...
 
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Steve Cohn
United States
Racine
Wisconsin
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Jamiri wrote:
enormous replayability (especially with the expansions and add-ons) and a superb theme (Indiana Jones)


But suffers from equally enormous downtime at higher player counts! I am sincerely hoping Near and Far will deliver superb adventure-style play through the stories and actions but at half-to-two-thirds the time that Fortune and Glory does.

I agree F&G is a fun adventure, but my first experience was a painful 5-hour slog with multiple players at the table on their phones or tablets when it was not their turn. Six player game, five hours of playing, 3 players at any given time not paying attention at all with the dreaded "is it my turn? what happened?" questions. Not something I would care to repeat. At 3-4 players, yes. Given that Near and Far supports a 2-4 player count by default, plus story, plus campaign-style, plus exploring a fun world I already love, this was a no-brainer insta-back for me. Some of the other games listed, Dixit and Mysterium, creative players can make up stories to go with it. Which is great! But, brainpower-lacking after a long day of work or heavy games, both Above and Below and now Near and Far offer the story as part of the experience, it's built in, and I'm really looking forward to that experience with Near and Far to supplement what we are already enjoying in Above and Below.

Cheers!
~Steve
 
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