Gateway Games: Storytelling Games

Gateway Games: Storytelling Games

February 28, 2019 Off By Tifa

Gateway Games is a series of articles aimed at helping you find the games that are right for you. Today I’ll be discussing storytelling games (in the spirit of celebrating my novel Kickstarter).

Storytelling is as crucial to human nature as playing games. My 2-year-old is only now putting sentences together, but he’s been telling stories since he was old enough to babble. As we get older, it becomes harder to find outlets to explore our creativity. Games are a great way to open up the possibilities and be creative together.

Here are some interesting storytelling games you can try out with friends, family, and loved ones.

Rory’s Story Cubes

While great for all ages, Rory’s Story Cubes is a particularly fun game with children. The game consists of 9 dice, each with a different series of pictures crafted to inspire a story. The gameplay is quite simple: roll the 9 dice, starting with “Once upon a time…” put together a story with the pictures that you see. The challenge is including all 9 pictures in one coherent story. This is a game that will push your creative limits in a fun way, using one side of your brain to solve a puzzle and the other to craft a narrative. There are many other ways to play this game, including creating a story together in a party or improv style game. There is also a wide assortment of themes for Rory’s Story Cubes, including Adventure Time and Batman.


If you are looking for a storytelling party game, Dixit is a fantastic choice. The art is beautiful and the strategy is easy to understand but complex to master. Each round, one player is the storyteller. They choose one card out of their hand of six images. Without showing the card to the other players, the storyteller narrates a one-sentence story and places their card face down on the table. Every other player then chooses a card out of their hand to try to match the story. The cards are shuffled and the pictures are turned face up. Each player votes on what picture they believe is the art that the story was based on. The tricky part is that you don’t want to be too obvious with your story because you don’t get any points if everyone guesses correctly. You want some people to guess correctly and some not for maximum points. As for the other players, they also get points if someone picks their card. The guessing makes for some interesting gameplay and hilarious conversations.

Once Upon a Time

Playing Once Upon a Time is a hilarious way to craft a story together with a competitive twist. Taking elements from fairy tales, each card represents an aspect of the story, such as a character, place, item, or event. One player is the storyteller, using their cards to create a story and other players can interrupt with their own cards if it makes sense thematically. If the interruption is successful, they become the storyteller. Each player has a Happily Ever After card and the goal is to guide the story into the ending that makes sense for your card while playing out your entire hand. Mixing creativity, collaboration, and competition, this game provides a unique experience every time it’s played.

I hope this article inspired you to find new ways to mix creativity and gaming.