As we get towards the end of the year, we’re starting to look at gift ideas that exist in the tabletop space but would work well in a group that is more used to playing lighter and more family orientated games. The Plot Thickens: The Science Fiction Edition is such a game and features in our Gift of Cardboard series of games.
The Plot Thickens is a improvised story telling game, where players will use story cards dealt to them in order to craft the perfect story and create a scene that will then play out over various rounds. This carries on until the players reach the last chapter, and the main character has the chance to finish off the story and decide how the whole tale will finish.
In The Plot Thickens, each player will be dealt of number of cards that will help them to determine the plot of the story they are playing through. In this science fiction version, the cards are all space themed, with a collection of words that you would normally associate with your favourite book, film or television show. Players will first pick a character to play as, and then a selection of other people, places and thing cards. On their turn they’ll then play cards using the words they play to be part of their story. Each card contains one word that can be used in the story. As they play them, they’ll earn ‘plot points’ that can be played in follow up rounds. As the rounds progress, you’ll maybe try to bring in words from other players’ previous rounds as this will allow you to add ‘plot points’ to their cards and increase your chances of being the overall main character, which at the end of the game will allow you to finish the overall story. If your story doesn’t make any sense then other players can call out ‘Writer’s Block’ which will mean your turn ends, unless you spend a plot point to keep going. Once you reach the end of an agreed set of rounds, then the player with the most plot points in total is allowed to name the story, while the player who has managed to place the most plot points on other players cards is allowed to finish the story and tie up any potential loose ends.
Bad Winners or Good Losers?
Since this is a story telling game and down to imagination, it will all depend how other players cards play out as to how good a time players are likely to have. There is no direct player elimination, and you can be as strict as you want regarding the Writer’s Block rule. The Plot Thickens plays more as a semi cooperative adventure and you’ll find players are likely to all follow the same thread of the story, unless they are trying to be a big silly. Which is normally me. There’s nothing to stop you from helping out younger players as much as you want to. At the same time, nothing to stop you from calling someone out for their nonsense.
What Am I Learning?
The Plot Thickens is designed to encourage the use of imagination, memory and literacy. When played in a more friendly manner it promotes cooperation and will also assist in increasing vocabulary in younger players as well.
You can decide the number of rounds that you want to play, so a game can take anything from a cheeky forty five minutes upwards, depending on the number of players.
Who’s Going To Like It
The Plot Thickens is going to suit those with an active imagination, though there is a strong case for it to be used as a educational tool as well. There’s also nothing stopping it from becoming the most ridiculous party game as well, with there being a chance for players to brag about how many of their plot cards they can possible fit into their own individual tale. It’s very much suited to getting together during the dark winter months, having fun as a group or family and allowing your imagination to run wild.
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