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Tales of the Arabian Nights
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Store:  Strategy Games
Theme:  Arabian
Format:  Board Games

Tales of the Arabian Nights

List Price: $59.99
Your Price: $47.99
(20% savings!)
(Worth 4,799 Funagain Points!)

This item is In Stock []

Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 120+ minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Eric Goldberg

Manufacturer(s): Z-Man Games

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Product Description

In Tales of the Arabian Nights, you are the hero or heroine in a story of adventure and wonder just like those told by Scheherazade to her spellbound sultan! You will travel the land seeking your own destiny and fortune. You will learn stories and gain wisdom to share with others. Will you be the first to fulfill your destiny? The next Tale is yours to tell! There is, of course, a winner in Tales of the Arabian Nights, but the point of the game is less to see who wins and more to enjoy the unfolding and telling of a great story!

In this new edition of the groundbreaking storytelling game, you enter the lands of the Arabian Nights alongside Sindbad, Ali Baba, and the other legendary heroes of the tales. Travel the world encountering imprisoned princesses, powerful 'efreets, evil viziers, and such marvels as the Magnetic Mountain and the fabled Elephant's Graveyard.

Choose your actions carefully and the skills you possess will reward you: become beloved, wealthy, mighty -- even become sultan of a great land. Choose foolishly, however, and become a beggar, or be cursed with a beast's form or become insane from terror! YOU will bring to life the stories of the inestimable Book of Tales in this vastly replayable board game with over 2002 tales that will challenge, amuse, astound and spellbind you for years to come.

Product Awards

The Dice Tower Awards
Best Game Reprint, 2009
The Dice Tower Awards
Best Game Artwork Nominee, 2009

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Eric Goldberg

  • Manufacturer(s): Z-Man Games

  • Year: 2009

  • Players: 2 - 6

  • Time: 120 or more minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 3,540 grams


  • 1 Game board
  • 1 Book of Tales
  • 1 Reaction Matirx
  • 6 stand-up figures
  • 6 player mats
  • 125+ cards
  • 100+ counters
  • 3 dice
  • rules

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.1 in 6 reviews

Sort reviews by:

One of the best I've ever played
July 27, 2003

I'm not a board game fanatic, but I can really appreciate a complex and well-designed board game when I come across one, and Tales of the Arabian Nights delivers! I can't believe this game is as difficult to find as it is, but that's probably because everyone who has a copy is holding on to it. I think this may be the best board game I've played. I love how it just allows you to design a character based on a set of skills and then go adventuring around the board; you can do whatever you want, and your achievements are based on your reaction to individual encounters. I definitely recommend playing this with at least four or five people, and set aside several hours, because it definitely takes a lot longer than two!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Nah, Doug's too hard on himself
June 25, 2001

The in-game repetition rate for tales is low enough, but game to game, after a dozen playings, you notice more tales coming back. My major criticism is the Book of Tales cover is too thin and suffers. The sheer handing it gets tends to wear it down. So if you get a copy of this gem, xerox the book of tales--despite the cost and time, it's worth it. (If you don't think so, sell me your copy instead. Someone ran off with mine when I loaned it to them for a weekend party.) :) Given that, there is a good replay value by following different strategies in characer type and area, and thus avoiding loops.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
by Toni G.
This game is a true treasure
May 01, 2009

We picked up this game as a gift for a friend almost 20 years ago and we still tell tales of the adventures we had. The game play is a little slow because of all of the page turning in the story book, but if your friends are the least bit creative, or slightly intoxicated, you will have tales to remember forever.

This game takes several hours to play, and if you have more than 4 or 5 people it can take all night, but it is well worth the effort. It is very easy to choose poorly and find yourself ensorcelled or imprisoned. But that just makes the game more fun.

You have to make choices, a lot of them. Sometime it seems like there are no good choices, but there is (almost) always something good waiting around the next page.

A "Choose Your Own Adventure" for grown ups.

Classic literature, almost classic game
April 28, 2001

'Tales of the Arabian Nights' is one of a long-lost breed called paragraph games. These games were story-oriented, relying on a semi-random mechanic to determine which paragraph in a booklet would come next in the story, and the players' action would be affected accordingly. The earliest examples of this genre were published in Ares magazine, a short-lived mag devoted to science-fiction and gaming. The earliest examples were more more experimental than successful as game designs, as there wasn't enough variety to satisfy for the long run.

Victory Games took the ball and ran with it in the successful Ambush! series, which allowed a solitary player to play out very detailed squad-level missions set during WWII. The system took the part of the enemy and could play a very intelligent adversary.

The paragraph game reached its highest glory in 'Tales of the Arabian Nights.' Here is a game that does not use the system as a mere adversary, but as a tool to tell a story. Each player takes the part of a hero of Arabian folklore, Aladdin, Ali Baba, and so on. During the game, the players journey over a lush mounted map of Arabia and its surrounding areas, getting into and out of trouble. The system is able to generate thousands of storylines, and the skills players have chosen for their heroes can mean that the same plotline can result in two entirely different outcomes for different players. The game, unfortunately, takes quite a while to play. A game could easily stretch to 3 or 4 hours, more than most contemporary gamers are willing to spend on a game.

Still, if you want a game that is highly atmospheric and gets players involved in the telling of some wonderful stories, TotAN can't be beat. It was republished a short time ago by a German game company, but unless one is fluent in German, I would not recommend buying it. There is a LOT of reading to be done in this game.

If, on the other hand, you put it on your Funagain wish list, or find it at a garage sale, I would highly recommend this game to gamers and story lovers alike.

P.S. If you want to create your OWN tall tales, I recommend the wonderful Once Upon A Time.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Great Games, but Needs Updating
September 05, 2005

I've got this game and, though the box is falling apart and I'm missing some treasure tokens, it's in pretty good shape. However, I'd really like to see someone create a new version of the game. Besides making more robust game pieces, it would be nice if there were, for example, cards for each status and treasure that described its effect so it wouldn't be necessary to re-read the description to be reminded.

Also, the "special" cards hardly ever get used because players are rarely in the same space. I would change them to affect players in adjacent spaces, at least. Plus there's one "special" that says you can use any skill against another player, but there are no instructions about how to use skills that way.

Finally, what's with the rule about only having one status? I can understand that more than two or three is unwieldy, but sometimes a result gives two statuses, and the instructions say you only keep the last one, which is silly.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Interesting "Paragraph Adventure" style game
September 12, 2000

As one of the people who worked on this game, I can say that it's flawed but still a lot of fun. It has a 'book of tales' from which you read the results of your encounters, and the use of skills and items gives you input on how you conduct each encounter. Some encounters occur too frequently, making the game a bit repetitious, but the more esoteric encounters are exciting when you finally find them. I find the game a bit cringeworthy now, but many of the people I know who play it absolutely LOVE it!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Other Resources for Tales of the Arabian Nights:

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