Once Upon a Time
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from 21 customer reviews
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Let me also add my wholehearted endorsement of this game. The one very low rating below perfectly illustrates the success of the design: this is a *storytelling* game, and it facilitates that beautifully. If you have no desire to tell stories, of course you won't enjoy it.
The reviews below have sufficiently explained the mechanics, with one exception, and that is 'passing.' On your turn, if you happen to be in a situation where the cards you have are not in line with the story being told, you can simply 'pass' and draw a card from the deck (whereupon you may discard one card). I have never been in a game where this wasn't sufficient to deal with a strange assortment of cards in your hand.
There is, to my mind, just one area of improvement, should the game have future editions (beyond the second edition). In a game born (almost) purely of the imagination, the illustrations, in the future, should receive the lion's share of resources. Here (in the second edition) they are sufficient but no more.
Far better than 'Dark Cults' - a game in a similar vein (although it does make me long for a horror-version of OUAT) - it is essentially a framework in which to tell a semi-cooperative, slightly competitive fantasy story and is a poop-load of fun.
This one consistently has us cracking up with each bizarre story.
ONe of my best friends introduced me to this game 2 years ago. The first time I really played it as it's meant to be played, it was five of us who have been friends for years. The game went on for an hour and a half, covered almost every private joke we've ever had and spawned about six more. That said, I also played this recently with fifteen people in a writing workshop I run, only a few of whom I've known for more than a few weeks, and we had a WONDERFUL time. I'm not going to bother discussing how the game works, since other reviewers have done that; but if you approach it with teh right attitude, I have never known anything to be more fun. After finally finding it here and buying it, I hooked my family, half my class and the aforementioned writing workshop within the week. The fairy tale elements sometimes do nothing more than add an element of the bizarre to it; they don't have to limit you unless you want them to. (Last time my brother and I played, the Prince was searchng for a Wife who was Ugly, because his mother the Queen was worried that the Kingdom filled with Beautiful people suffered from a lack of genetic diversity). This game is fun any time, anywhere...for the full effect, however, play it at 3 A.M, with a group of your best friends, and beware. :4)