Stuffed Fables Review


What does this rating mean?

Posted by Allison on Mar 14, 2018

Critical Hits: Incredibly family friendly, Great storytelling, relatively easy to learn with simple mechanics.
Critical Misses: Some rules are a bit vague and open to interpretation. Story is kid and family oriented so not all adults may enjoy it.

Stuffed Fables is a unique story-driven game from the minds who brought us Mice & Mystics. This fairytale like game takes a frightening turn as your nightmares start to come to light. In this game players play as a little girl’s stuffed animals (stuffies). The brave stuffies come to life at night to protect their little girl from the nightmares of the night. The game is literally story-driven as the game board is a large book. As you turn the pages following the story, you discover a new board for new areas.

The game book is an all-encompassing guide to your adventure. Each story has its corresponding play area next to the text.

The entirety of the game is one overarching story of the girl’s stuffies protecting her from the nightmares of the night, each “chapter” or game has its own story that can be played without knowing the details of other chapters. Within each chapter there is a main objective, but how you can complete that objective can vary. On each page of the book there are a few options to complete to continue one. This will determine the next phase you will enter in your stuffed fable adventure. You will also see items such as eye icons that continue the story and text bubbles which give the player an opportunity to give up some of their hard-earned buttons (a mode of currency in the game) to possibly get a reward from some struggling stuffed animals you run into along the way. One of the coolest things about this game is how differently each page of the story can play out depending on what players accomplish, or don’t accomplish. For example (no spoilers), there was an early story objective that we failed to accomplish. Because of this, we were sent to a totally different location to complete an alternate objective to try and get us back on track.

Included in the game are a total of 7 stories or chapters, each one with multiple scenarios (pages) to play through. It took us about 3 hours to get through the first story with 4 people. Gameplay on the second story has gone much quicker as we are familiar with the rules. One downfall of the games simplicity is that the rulebook does not give detailed explanation into all scenarios of gameplay. This can leave different gaming groups to play slightly different depending on how they interpret the guide versus how the publisher may have intended the game to be played.

Stuffed Fables is a game that relies heavily on dice rolling. The game is for 2-4 players and comes with 35 dice! At the beginning of a player’s turn, they typically draw 5 dice, sometimes less if they are handicapped by some status ailment. These dice can be used for movement, attacks (ranged or melee), and accomplishing goals. White dice can also be used to regain stuffing (health), and black dice mean progress for the enemy minions. The evil minions are the creatures of your nightmares, and the drawing of the black die usually means you are working towards or triggering their turn. Dice-based gameplay can sometimes hamper a game with bad rolling, but in this game, it is actually the color of the dice drawn more than the outcome of the roles that can change how the game is played. This is a unique feature that works perfectly and adds some definite anxiety with every dice roll.

The Minion Figures are the evil monsters that you are working to fight off to protect your little girl.

The big highlight of this game, for most people, will be that it is family friendly. It has the depth and plot of board games you love, but with a story your kids will enjoy playing with you. Now, the box says the minimum age is 7 years old, which is 100% true, your 7-year-old can play with you, but this is not a game that most children that young could just pick up and play alone. The rules aren’t complex, but there are a lot of them, making this a good game to play with your kids, but probably not one for the kids to play without you. I would recommend that if you intend to play with young children, that you do a practice playthrough without them first. This will allow for a much quicker and engaging game with kids.

If you are looking for a game to get your kids into your hobby, or for a game the whole family can truly enjoy, this is a great starting place. The story building aspects of this game, combined with the fact that decisions genuinely have an impact on the game, make this game stand out. It almost feels like a choose your own adventure story, as the group can make decisions that will take your game in one of many ways.

The story, gameplay, and replay value, due to the different direction each story or chapter can take you, are all factors that will keep me coming back for more with Stuffed Fables. I enjoyed this story about a little girl, and I am eager to play through the rest of her adventures, and meet more characters, both friendly and not.

Character card showing their traits and special abilities. Each turn there are 6 steps to follow, but they are easily laid out on the player card.