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Dharam bIr Khalsa
United States
Massachusetts
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Coming into this game I had little idea of what to expect. The name "Tales of the Arabian Nights" seemed very vague and led me to approach the game with skepticism, especially considering the other games/movies I've experienced with names similar to this.


The rules were well written, and easy to understand for the amount of content in the game. After what was a lengthily setup time, we started playing the game with 5 people. The main objective of the game is to get the most story and/or destiny points. You get these by completing quests, and just encountering characters and situations in the game. A player can get story points for both bad and good things that happen to them, which I think was a cool mechanic. It became immediately apparent that this was a sort of "choose your adventure" type of game. The huge "Book of Tales" was basically a booklet filled with numbers corresponding to specific events that would happen throughout the course of the game. Right of the bat I ran into a "decrepit wizard" and chose to attempt to honor him, but only ended getting turned into a donkey and "humiliated". This reminded me of games like "Kingdom Come Deliverance" and even the original "Choose Your Adventure" books in the sense that anything can happen with any encounter throughout your "story".

As the game went on each of us became more and more suffocated with "conditions" we had to get rid of. For example, one player was imprisoned for trying to steal from a character encounter in the game. After what was only a few turns each of us had some sort of condition we had to get rid of to continue with the main objectives of the game(completing your "quests"). Many of these conditions were humorous, and led to many good laughs, but seemed to keep us from playing the parts of the game we wanted to play.

Though the overall flow of the game was enjoyable and relatively easy to fallow once started, many aspects of the game were highly questionable. For example, the idea of buying, selling, and even becoming slaves was very rampant in this game. I understand the developers were going for historical accurateness, but when also including mythical beasts like efreets and sea serpents along with "magic" I'm not sure if something like this is even warranted. Just saying the words, "Okay, Ill buy this slave" in a game makes for an uncomfortable experience in my opinion.
There are other aspects of the game I feel could be problematic, but I'd like to hear the opinions of other people as well. For example, there's lots of "pilgrimages to Mecca" and other religious "quests" having to do with the Islam faith.

The game was definitely not all bad; the seemingly non-linear story telling allowed for players to have drastically different experiences. One of us started out the game imprisoned by chance, and had to spend their first few turns just getting out of jail. Another one of us had their entire quest altered when they were unexpectedly married to a character they encountered. This wasn't just a condition, it had flavor to go with it. The player had to then "visit their kids" and other interesting things that effects game-play. These situations I enjoyed in the game, and by the size of the "Book of Tales", there are many scenarios like this. The sheer size of the game is impressive on it's own as well. There is a huge amount of ways you can react to an encounter, similar to a table-top rpg or D&D.



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Rob McArthur
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Did you not realize that the game is based on Arabic literature? It’s completely natural for it to include pilgrimages to Mecca and other Islamic quests, just like a game of Arthurian tales would include praying at churches and quests for holy grails.
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