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STORY CRAZE (Preview)

October 25th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Kids, it turns out, have quite the active imagination.  Whether it be excuses as to why the chores didn’t get done or blaming an ill-mannered smelly/noisy bodily function on some sort of imaginary animal, kids certainly know how to make your brain spin.  That’s why I have a feeling “STORY CRAZE” is going to be a success, because it encourages kids to be creative and tell stories…after all, you can bet they’re going to do it anyway in some other setting.  Why not direct their energy into creating something fun that the whole family can laugh about?  Before we talk more about this upcoming Kickstarter project, I’d like to thank Maestro & COO Ellen Stebbins from StoryClub Games, LLC for providing me with a prototype for preview purposes.  It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you see here subject to change.

 

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“STORY CRAZE” is easy to set up…simply give each team a pencil and story sheet from the pad.  Teams can be one person should you wish to fly solo, though the more people you have playing, the better.  You’ll also separate out the cards into their appropriate decks…that is, “People”, “Places”, “Things”, and “Judge” decks.  When you’re ready to begin, each team will draw a card from each of the “People”, “Places”, and “Things” deck and then brainstorm to come up with a story that includes the content on said cards.  Teams have ten minutes to brainstorm and write up a chapter on their individual story sheets (starting with chapter one).  After teams are finished or the time limit expires, teams read their stories aloud and choose a judge (usually the youngest player for chapter one, then the second youngest for chapter two, and so on).  The judge then draws a judge card and chooses the team whose story they liked the best, awarding that team a point.  Objections are possible too, if a good enough of a case can be made.

That’s not the only way to play, though.  You could, for example, opt to have the judge draw a card before stories are actually written.  Alternatively, you could simply remove that step from play altogether so that you can concentrate on creating some pretty outrageous stories.  Your group could also decide on a specific theme before playing, should you want to.  For example, if your family is currently camping, you could keep your stories focused on events related to that topic.  Of course, you’re highly encouraged to include something silly to keep people laughing.  That’s one thing that “STORY CRAZE” has in abundance…the freedom to allow all parties playing to use their imagination.  With all the different ways to play, there’s bound to be at least one “game mode” with which your family and friends will enjoy losing themselves.

Out of all the different ways to play, I recommend drawing the judge card before the story the crafting of stories begins so that every team has a chance to draft their story accordingly.  If you’re less strict about such things and are in it simply for the fun, then remove the judge cards and aim to have the silliest story every single time.  When we play “Apples to Apples”, we tend to follow the silly route…that is, the person who makes us laugh the most wins.  I suspect that a lot of folks play this way because let’s face it, playing games are a form of entertainment.  Entertainment exists to help us get away from everyday life and lose ourselves a bit.  If you’re not having fun with said form of entertainment, then you tend to put it down to go do something else, am I right?  Well, that’s how I operate anyway.

The “People”, “Places”, and “Things” cards can also be ignored, though I recommend using them so that everyone’s story is almost guaranteed to be different (especially if you decided to focus on a particular theme).  I mean, a story about a dancing bear on your camping trip might get a bit old when unintentionally told for the third time in a row.  These cards help to prevent that from happening as they provide specific nouns for teams to use.  One team might get “french fries” as a thing, for example, while another team might get “an Xbox or Playstation game”.

 

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“STORY CRAZE” comes with 150 “People”, “Places”, “Things”, and “Judge” cards total and while that may not SEEM like a lot, it’s important that remember that you’re only drawing one card from the former three for each team for the upcoming ten minute round.  With three teams playing, that’s nine cards total for each round (plus the judge card).  As a result, the risk of overlap is low when playing this game over the long haul.  Most games last about a half-hour which is roughly three stories per team, though you’re free to play as long as you want.

On a personal note, I realized how much a game like this would benefit kids who are testing for various mental health conditions.  Just recently, someone in our family was tested for autism and one of the activities we performed together was the act of telling a story with the figurines on the table.  When I started playing “STORY CRAZE”, I was reminded of this event and thought how well this game would do in that type of setting.  I mean, the game even has a ten minute sand timer so it’s not like it would be difficult to set up in a pinch.

In any event, adults or teachers responsible for the care of younger children would do well to go give this project a look.  The Kickstarter campaign is due to launch on October 25th, 2016.

Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/storyclubgames/57727896?token=add557ab

 

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