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Once Upon a Time
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Store:  Card Games, Party Games, Family Games
Edition:  Once Upon A Time
Series:  Once Upon a Time
Genre:  Storytelling
Format:  Card Games

Once Upon a Time

second edition

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Product Description

Players of Once Upon A Time create a story together using cards that show typical elements from fairy tales. The Storyteller creates a story using the ingredients on her cards, guiding the plot toward her own ending. The other players use their cards to interrupt her and to become the new Storyteller. The winner is the first player to play out all of her cards, ending with the "Happy Ever After" card.

Product Information


  • Rulebook (16 pages)
  • 112 "Once Upon A Time" storytelling cards
  • 56 "Happy Ever After" ending cards.
Cards with blank faces are included, so players can add their own ideas to the game.
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 28 reviews

And I thought Scheherazade had a lot of tales!
January 18, 2010

Okay look... This game is not going to be for everyone, and the people you play with are going to drastically change the level of enjoyment you get out of it. If you go in with a closed mind and tight lip, you're going to pull down everyone else playing. If you play with a creative and extroverted person, they're going to make it much more fun. An open mind is going to make this game an instant favorite that can be played over and over again, always different, always fun!

I can equate this game to a theatre exercise. There's an improve game where all the actors are lined up and tell a story, one person starts and someone else jumps in and continues from that point. I myself have played this game on stage in front of countless people dozens of times for recreation and competition long before I knew what Once Upon A Time (OUAT) was. It's designed to get you to think on your feet and continue what you've been given with a positive attitude for the good of the story (play, show, whatever). This game is the same thing with enough structure to make it a solid game design.

I first learned about OUAT at the Art Institute in a game design class. The teacher, who's been designing games since B.C. (Before Computers), had the class play this game as an example of a unique and good game design. A game that relies more on the ingenuity of the player than the cards you're given (although there is still a bit of luck involved). It was probably one of the most memorable games we played. You're much more likely to remember the experience of playing with your friends and family when there's a specific and often humerus story involved. It also is a good example of how some rules are meant to be taken for their spirit and not necessarily the letter of the law.

Some reviewers have said that you just sit down and people barrel through their cards as fast as they can while you listen with no time to react. To them I say 'nay!' If you're just barreling through the cards you haven't read the instructions well enough. Like all good stories you should take your time with the flow and let elements sink in for other players. If someone is going to fast, (Playing two or more cards in the same sentence or when the card played isn't an important element in the story) call them on it and end their turn.

So yes, buy the game. Play it with fun, exciting, energetic, "theatre" type people. Don't let not being so good or quick at the start slow you down, you'll get better with practice, and it's good practice to have. Everyone should involve themselves in more "improv"-like activities. You'll think quicker and be more creative for it, many people have said that they've improved their lives greatly, from their general outlooks on life to job interviews, just by taking improv classes.

One word of advise though, get the expansion pack as well, it adds many more fun and often macabre elements for stories.

by Kyle A
I love this game
February 18, 2008

I love this game! I went to a party the other night and played this for the first time. There was another player who was playing it for the first time also, even though her english wasn't that good, she won. We were all loud and cracking up laughing that the 4 board looking scrabble players next to us kept turing around to listen to our story! (I love Scrabble too). I asked our host where I could get this game and am ordering one today... Thanks

Storytelling Becomes Rampantly Widespread!
October 15, 2004

This is a Great game! Not only giving those who love to craft tales an outlet to their creativity, (without everyone in the room looking at them curiously) but people who never told a story in their life can be gently pulled into it. This game takes storytelling to it's basic roots, people, places, things, events, and builds so quickly into truly tall tales that players will amaze themselves.

The best part of the game is it's flexibility. With expert talecrafters we play close to the rules and allow competition, but with those more new to the idea we set a "card limit" for each turn and lose the competition factor entirely. This keeps the game moving around more, and thrusts everyone into the limelight. It then focuses on the Storytelling aspect(Never fear, interuptions are still Very Frequent:) and longer, wilder, and more creative stories result. Speed versions of one card each turn are also challenging and require quick shifts to keep your ending in sight. These can get pretty funny!

Keep in mind that the game is geared for Enjoyment! For some that is speedy tales, and for others it is story craftmanship. Try both, you may be suprised at the result!

Go on... enjoy this game!

Show all 28 reviews >

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