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Subject: [Video Review] Tales of Arabian Nights rss

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Tom Vasel
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Direct Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j04J_VU0nxA
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Charles Hasegawa
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That about sums it up Tom - good review.

Given your like of the game, you should definitely give the Storytelling variant a try.
 
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Pelein de Cratia
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Thanks Tom!
 
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mike christiansen
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Tom, very good review. So is choosing to beat the beggar the same as being nice to them? Is there any strategy to the choice you make? If I choose to be evil the entire game do I get different outcomes. The game sounds fun, but I'm worried that there is a zero strategy here.
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Neil
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Nice review.

An observation from this end: your microphone picks your voice up extremely well, so I don't think you need to speak louder than you normally would for us to hear you.

 
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mike christiansen
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Hatchling wrote:
Nice review.

An observation from this end: your microphone picks your voice up extremely well, so I don't think you need to speak louder than you normally would for us to hear you.



The volume of Tom's voice is always a good indication of how good he thinks the game is.
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Jim Cote
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Not really a game in the strictest sense; more like participating in a piece of fiction. Players make no choices that affect their future other than by complete chance. For example, if you move your piece to any space with the smae symbol and number, and roll the same values on the dice, you will have exactly the same random encounter. You have almost zero control of your destiny (similar to Betrayal, must less than even Arkham Horror).

We did have some humorous chain reactions that were worthy of re-telling. I think you'd really have to appreciate watching the uncontrolled story play out in order to get any enjoyment from this game.
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James Bentley
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Well, at the risk of getting blasted for this...

Ugh! This should be retitled "1001 Fiddly Tales of the Arabian Nights"...



Just my humble 2 cents (or drachmas?)...
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Mark Johnson
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megasquidd wrote:
Tom, very good review. So is choosing to beat the beggar the same as being nice to them? Is there any strategy to the choice you make? If I choose to be evil the entire game do I get different outcomes. The game sounds fun, but I'm worried that there is a zero strategy here.


Your chances of winning in the game is so random that it's almost just as well to roll a dice to determine the outcome. It's the journey that really matters. Even reactions to encounters are very random, in that I could choose to attack a beggar and my weapon use skill wouldn't necessarily be have any effect on the outcome. I agree with Tom that it's about 90% story and 10% game. If you are looking for strategy + story, you're probably better off playing Arkham Horror or Android. I think this would be a great gateway game for pen & paper RPG's and some people are going to love it. I personally feel that this is an average game with poor component choices. As for me personally, the stories are good but in the end I would probably rather read a good book. Snickering at people's negatives statuses (such as being Sex-Changed/Imprisoned) will only be funny for so long.

Now when I say that they made poor component choices, don't get that mixed up with the production values. I'll admit that it's a gorgeous production. In terms of the components, I would have made secret dial selectors with numbers from 0 - 20 around the dial with two arrows (ala Maharaja) for choosing your victory conditions. I would have spaced out the skills more on the character references and included a lot rectangles to surround the skills you've learned. These rectangles would be different a color on each side to differentiate Master and Talent level skills. In the game currently there may not be enough skill chits or status cards depending on how many people you're playing the game with. I'm not going to even go into the coiled spine of the Book of Tales and how damaged the book will likely be after many repeated plays and this is coming from someone who takes great care of their games.
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Will
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Eeeville wrote:
I would have made secret dial selectors with numbers from 0 - 20 around the dial with two arrows (ala Maharaja) for choosing your victory conditions.


Fortunately someone has made a couple versions of dials already, they are in the file section

Also someone has made a new version of the player mats in which you can use a marker to mark the statusus and skills if you don't want to use markers or cards that could run out.

jrbentley wrote:
Well, at the risk of getting blasted for this...

Ugh! This should be retitled "1001 Fiddly Tales of the Arabian Nights"...



Just my humble 2 cents (or drachmas?)...


If you play with 3 or more players you split up the overhead of an encounter and it goes quite fast. Printing out one of the extracted list of tables from the tales book in the file section helps speed that up.
 
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Ernesto Cabrera
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WOW... This game sounds awesome
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dustin boggs
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How does it play with kids... have you had your girls play?
 
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This games looks like a lot of fun. The big shame is its massive dependency of language. It's one thing to play a game that has cards in English and stuff, and we manage quite well. But it's a very different thing to actually have to read things to another player (most likely doing an in-the-run translation), then look for his reply (most likely doing an in-the-run backwards translation), and explaining what happened to him...

I have no faith in that a translated version of the game will do it justice (I've seen translations in my country, and they suck. Plainly).

So, with a bit of a shame, I probably won't play this one ever.
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David C
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All the table lookups make me think of one thing:

IRS form 1040A.

They really should have this streamlined into a computer program.
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Will
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bippi wrote:
All the table lookups make me think of one thing:

IRS form 1040A.

They really should have this streamlined into a computer program.


Yeah but saying COMPUTER REQUIRED on the box would cut down the number of potential customers by a huge amount. And even if it was optional, opening up a board game box and finding an application CD included in a board game would turn off many people.

I mean if I want to use a computer to play a game, I'd probably just simply play a computer game.
And many gaming sessions take place in an area where a computer may not be handy.


Now if someone wants to make a utility to help with this and upload it to the file section for those who want to use such, thats would be great. It wouldn't be too hard to make one that would automate everything to 2 steps. First would be spitting out a matrix letter when you put in an encounter number. Second would be spitting out a paragraph number when you select a reaction. Its just a few table look ups with a couple die rolls.
I doubt that I would ever use it, but some people apparently would by reading comments in various threads.

I personally prefer to roll the dice though, rather than let a computer randomly determine it, it gives more of a sense of control (however illogical that is)
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Universal Head
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Great review. It's been funny reading the comments by people annoyed that the game is too luck driven, that they have no control etc - Tom summed up what has been made very clear from the beginning - this game is just lots of FUN! Fun! Go elsewhere for strategy and control!
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megasquidd wrote:
Tom, very good review. So is choosing to beat the beggar the same as being nice to them? Is there any strategy to the choice you make? If I choose to be evil the entire game do I get different outcomes. The game sounds fun, but I'm worried that there is a zero strategy here.


Zero strategy is about right. Although enriching a beggar may not lead to the same outcome as beating them, the outcomes may not at all correlate with your intention, and even if you choose to do the same thing in roughly the same encounter, you may end up somewhere else, based on both the fudge die and your skills. For example, you might enrich a beggar, only to find out they were an evil djinn in disguise who beats you senseless for your wealth. Or, you may beat a beggar who accepts their punishment with resignation and becomes your faithful companion for teaching them a lesson. It's outrageous. It is, as Tom said, Hilarious. It is not predicatble. Sometimes, your intentions will come through, and by honoring a noble prince, you will get the expected reaction. You can't count on it though.

Tales of the Arabian Nights is not a competitive game. It just isn't. The win conditions are only there to give the game a timer. They may be freely ignored without changing the game at all.
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ramkitty wrote:
How does it play with kids... have you had your girls play?

I have 3 girls ages 11, 12 and 13. All of them love to read adventures of all kinds. I've played with the 11 and 13 year old and they really love it. It'd say the game is rated PG in text - nothing explicit anywhere, but you do have a chance of changing sex (male to female or vice versa) which leads to many humorous situations later (like if you get married or have a kid - and yes, these things do happen in the game). The game is really fun just as Tom said. Nothing I'd play every night mind you because it is purely a romp, but loads of fun if you're in the right frame of mind.
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bippi wrote:
They really should have this streamlined into a computer program.


This game sounds like it would have been a good candidate for partial conversion to a DVD format, at least for the reference material.

That way it could be played as a party game around a coffee table while players listened to an actor thematically announce the encounters. I'm not adverse to a bit of reading during a game but it seems like there's a lot of it required for ToTAN.
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David F
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Every time I watch Tom's reviews, I wish he'd get out of the picture so I can admire the hot stuff on his shelves. shake
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Will
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ndru wrote:
bippi wrote:
They really should have this streamlined into a computer program.


This game sounds like it would have been a good candidate for partial conversion to a DVD format, at least for the reference material.

That way it could be played as a party game around a coffee table while players listened to an actor thematically announce the encounters. I'm not adverse to a bit of reading during a game but it seems like there's a lot of it required for ToTAN.


It wouldn't work on a normal video DVD, because thats far too many differant options for a video DVD to handle (I can think of several technical blocks that would likely prevent it).
My points about a computer CD from my earlier post would thus still apply since this would be a computer DVD.
In addition, that would be quite a lot of work for the game publisher. 300 pages is an entire book (plus each of the 2500 paragraphs is a separate story which makes it MUCH more work for voice recording), and having someone not just read it but make it interesting and non boring would likely mean hiring a professional (and even among professionals, there are countless computer games where the voice actors quite frankly suck). In addition you would run into other problems with having choices in each paragraph. For instance, it could ask you to select which skills you'd like to use from a list shown on the screen after reading the intro, but all of this would shift the focus from social and board game interaction to a computer screen since the other players aren't involved anymore.
Most of the story telling aspects that involve player acting and interaction would be be gone with just listening to a single voice on a computer. Plus this would increase the other players downtime since they are again not involved in anything now when its not thier turn. At this point the board game components almost become superfluous IMHO. I mean you could have the board on the computer and track everything automatically.

All that would likely add a non significant amount to the cost of the game in addition to changing its likely market.

Its barely within the realm of possability that I might at some point use a computer application to help pick out the paragraph number instead of the manual overhead. I would not at all be interested in using a computer to replace that much of the game.

If I want a computer role playing game with full speech, I'd just play a computer game. There are a fair number out there with far more speech and depth than something like that would be

Just my 2 cents.
(Note that I'm just trying to think about the ramifactions of the suggestion logically, not trying to cause any offense)
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James Bentley
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Well, I must eat some crow. Ugh.

I'm not too proud of myself that I would not admit when I've misspoken or made a (probable) mistake.

The more I read the rules on this game, the more reviews I read, the more interesting this game has become to me! So, sure enough, I ordered it! (Even though many of my plays of the game will likely be solo.)

So there! I got that out of the way.

Now, where's the bicarbonate of soda...I have a feeling that crow will be with me most of the day...

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David C
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Ok, making this into a computer program would not be too terribly hard, but good luck finding the story book in electronic format. We have some semi-credible coders on this thing, but ain't nobody crazy enough to retype or OCR-scan that sucker.
 
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Universal Head
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Personally, I play boardgames to get away from bloody computers!
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UniversalHead wrote:
Personally, I play boardgames to get away from bloody computers!


Agreed, but continually flipping through charts and paragraphs doesn't fit within my definition of "hobby" either.

EDIT: I think the graphics in the new ToTAN look fantastic!
 
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