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Fairy tales get quirky with game

October 15, 2015
Amy Phelps , MOV Parent

A new game, "Fairytale Gloom," lets players create a story for fairy tale creatures by playing events that make them happy or sad. The twist? You are actually trying to make your characters have the saddest story, and trying to cheer up the other players' characters. Why? As the rules of the game says - "The fairy tales with the most depressing endings teach the most valuable lessons."

Play is pretty simple. Each player picks out a "family" of four fairytale characters, like Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Evil Stepmother, Baby Bear, etc. Players are then dealt five cards each. On each turn, the player can take two actions, playing an event card, a modifier card that goes on top of one of the character cards making them either more happy or more sad or play an unhappy ending card on an already sad character, and then draw back up to their current hand limit. Modify cards can not only make the character sad or happy, but can also have an effect on the player, like add or subtract from their hand number, make them miss a turn, discard their hand, etc. As players play the modify cards, they can tell the story of what happened to the character, such as, "One day Baby Bear went for a walk in the woods. He got lost and didn't make it back in time for his appointment with the fairy godmother, and so he Didn't Go to the Dance and he missed his chance to meet the girl of his dreams." (Giving Baby Bear a negative score.) Or, "The Seven Dwarfs learned from Baby Bear's mishap, so the next time they took a walk in the woods, they Carried a Compass so they wouldn't get lost and have a pleasant trip." (Giving the Dwarfs a positive score.)

Play continues until all of one players' characters have had their endings, and then players total up their negative scores. The player with the saddest characters (the most negative score points in total) wins.

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My kids enjoy the storytelling aspect of the game and like the fun illustrations and the snarky text below each of the card actions. The cards are a durable see-through plastic so the modifer cards can all stack on top and you can still see the character's picture. There is more reading involved in this game, so you want a bit older kids for this game. My 10-year-old enjoyed it, as did the 14-year-old.

"Fairytale Gloom" is published by Atlas Games. It's concept and game design is by Keith Baker, produced by Michelle Nephew, Jeff Tidball and Kyla McCorkle Tonding with illustrations by Jaume Fabregat. It retails for $24.95. You can find it online or at local game stores, and you can find more information at the company's website,



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