Stuffed Fables

RRP: £69.99

NOW £47.79
RRP £69.99

Stuffed Fables, by Jerry Hawthorne and Plaid Hat Games, is an adventure book, co-operative, dungeon crawler, campaign game that is great for all the family. It has a wonderful theme and great miniatures, whilst the artwork and storytelling throughout is just amazing. Players take on the role of a small band of stuffed animals. Yes that’s right, you get to play as a group of te…
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Category Tags , , , , SKU ZBG-PHG2200 Availability 5+ in stock
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Awards

Fun for Kids
Dice Tower

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • An unforgettable experience.
  • Great art and writing.
  • Gameplay becomes more involved.
  • Branching choices.
  • Children love it.

Might Not Like

  • Sometimes vague instructions leave you momentarily unclear how to proceed.
  • Replay value will depend on your child/game group.
  • Story suits families best.
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Description

Stuffed Fables, by Jerry Hawthorne and Plaid Hat Games, is an adventure book, co-operative, dungeon crawler, campaign game that is great for all the family. It has a wonderful theme and great miniatures, whilst the artwork and storytelling throughout is just amazing.

Players take on the role of a small band of stuffed animals. Yes that's right, you get to play as a group of teddy bears. You come to life at night to protect the little girl who is moving into her big girl bed. You have to protect her against evil creatures that come out of the shadows. These are all based on other toys and similar and fit the theme perfectly.

Stuffed Fables plays out on a series of beautifully designed and different shaped play boards, each another page in the adventure book. There are seven main chapters but each has a number of pages to work through, each with their own challenges to overcome, different events that can be triggered and, depending on your choices and your luck, you can choose your own way through the story that unfolds and twists and turns over each separate page.

Players choose their character, mini and player boards. Choose a starting item that acts as a ranged or melee weapon including rubber bands, or a pair of scissors. You lay out five life tokens (pieces of stuffing) on your player board. Place any minions on the board and set out the item, story, adventure, minion and sleep decks around the book.
At the start of the turn players randomly pick five dice from the bag. Each of the different coloured dice are used for different actions. Players choose whether to move, attack minions, search for items and discover story text around the board, depending on the dice they pick and subsequently roll. As the game is co-operative, you can also choose to gift stuffing to others in an act of encouragement.
Beware the black minion dice as these will allow the minions to activate and attack, which could cause your stuffy to lose stuffing. If you run out, you are temporarily stopped but as soon as you pick a white stuffing dice from the bag you are revived.

Certain actions during the game will require a sleep card to be drawn. The sleep deck represents time, as the girl you are protecting is a light sleeper. Draw a restless card and additional actions will take place, if you don't complete the objectives before she wakes your story gains a different ending.

Stuffed Fables is great for adults and children alike and the story is well written so as not to be condescending but covers a number of the challenges of growing up. The cards, minis and artwork are beautiful and as the game can be saved at any point, allows you to work through the stories at your own pace.
So, pick your stuffy and prepare for a real adventure against those things that go bump in the night.
Player Count: 2-4
Time: 60-90 Minutes
Age: 7+

 

When I pictured what my board gaming future might look like, I never imagined I would be playing a story driven game about a little girl's transition to her first big bed. Neither did I imagine I would enjoy it so much! Stuffed Fables, by Plaid Hat Games, presents the story of an unnamed girl, and a band of cuddly toys (stuffies) who protect her at important stages in her young life.

Each of the seven chapters presents a bed time related challenge for the girl, which is then acted out in an alternate world by the stuffies.

Stuffed Fables - A Gentle Introduction

Upon opening the box I was stunned at how big the story book is. It's huge and it is a work of art in a visual and literary sense. The writing achieves that rare feet of being engaging for children, while not patronising the adult reader or listener.

The components are really good. Though the 'boards' are actually pages of the book. At least one of the pages in our book had some denting on, which is more noticeable because of the glossy pages. This is one of the downsides of the book format, but to let it put you off would be to miss out. Stuffed Fables comes with a number of miniatures. My son did comment on their 'spookiness' and that of some of the art, but it never bothered him more than that. It's fair to say everything has a 'Tim Burton' feel in terms of looks.

One of the really clever things about the minis are the bases. For the lesser minions there are a number of models identical apart from their bases. The shapes of the bases relate to a certain card which lists the relevant stats. This not only makes remember which minion is which a breeze but also allows the same models to have different stats.

Teething Problems?

The opening chapter of Stuffed Fables is definitely a warm-up. The game mechanics are simple and have not yet had the extra layers applied. The challenge is light, though I do recommend you sit down with the rule book before playing. My biggest complaint with the game is the vagueness at times within the rules. Sometimes we have not really known what we are meant to do next or how a certain rule works. For example you are not meant to carry equipment over from one chapter to a next but this is never actually explicitly stated.

To move your stuffies around the world and interact you draw coloured dice from a bag and choose how to assign them. Some have unique uses like searching or fighting. For each action you choose you roll the chosen amount of dice and take the appropriate action. You can boost these rolls through item cards, and even save a dice for a future turn or give one to a fellow stuffy.

Black dice are evil and activate the minions. Whenever a black die is drawn it is placed on a track and should the number of dice on that track match or beat the amount of minions present, then they get activated too. Minions hit very hard and you won't want them to attack very often.

Health is stuffing, and you lose it through attacks and poor choices. Yes choices. As you progress through the story you are given more and more important and less important dilemmas. Side conversations could grant extra loot, but could also waste valuable dice for little gain. While main choices can be the difference between a boss spawning or not.

The Plot Thickens

As the choice increases so do the gameplay mechanics. Using a surprisingly small amount of cardboard tokens, Stuffed Fables manages to invoke train chases and oncoming floods with levels that gradually fill with water, or have time pressures on them. Your stuffies can be come victims of status cards which hinder or help - nobody wants a 'soggy' stuffy. This progression is nicely weighted and escalates at just the right time.

I'll be honest, in chapter one I was impressed but also a little disappointed at the game being over balanced towards story. Two pages into chapter two and that had all changed.

 

Stuffed Fables - Every Ending...

Stuffed Fables is a great experience. The weaving together of story and game is masterful. For me, there is a caveat though - this is a game I would only play with family. This might be because of the story, the slowly unfolding gameplay or just me. I know of grown couples who are enjoying playing through the game, but I could not see myself cracking this open on game night with my group. Having said that, if this system was given a more adult theme and story I would have no hesitation in playing.

My son has been engaged throughout and the time I've spent playing Stuffed Fables with him has been valuable time together, sharing the experience. Due to it's interaction there is nothing else quite like it. The ending of every chapter has discussion points you can talk through with your children should you choose.

The adventure also plays out slightly differently on return plays due to choices made in the story. If you pick up certain items you will experience a different story to some degree. On top of this there is a campaign deck, like a simplified version of Pandemic Legacy's.

Ultimately, for me, Stuffed Fables has been a unique memorable experience. I would happily play through again with my son. Should the system be used for other stories I'll be first in line!

  • Zatu Review Summary
  • Zatu Score

    Rating

    • Artwork
    • Complexity
    • Replayability
    • Player Interaction
    • Component Quality

    You might like

    • An unforgettable experience.
    • Great art and writing.
    • Gameplay becomes more involved.
    • Branching choices.
    • Children love it.

    Might not like

    • Sometimes vague instructions leave you momentarily unclear how to proceed.
    • Replay value will depend on your child/game group.
    • Story suits families best.