(posted August 2011) One of the newest games from Think-a-Lot Toys is "StoryPlay Cards." Now, regardless of what else I say in this review, let me tell you what happened at my house after we opened the review copy sent to us by the company.
We first made the "unboxing" video which is posted at the end of this review. My 12-year-old and I played a quick game of "Animal Slap." I then walked upstairs to write a review. As I started to write, the noise downstairs soon became a raucous mix of laughter and good-natured yelling as my four kids, ranging in age from 12 to 21 discovered many ways to play with these cards. While I was in my office thinking "I wish the instructions would have more suggestions for storytelling," my family was downstairs having a blast. So, so much for my criticís eye. It appears that this game with its colorful cards and eye-tempting artwork does not need me to say much more. It is a hit in my house.
My wife says that the kids dug through the booklet with the many suggested games and chose "charades." Apparently, the youngest of my kids needs to incorporate yelling into her charades. Who am I to question that enthusiasm? My wife says, "Donít worry; they are already planning on using it again." That is high praise in my house of game-players and storytellers.
The box includes 90 cards, two types of instruction booklets and a good drawstring bag to hold the parts between playing sessions. The creators suggest many games for families and even a few for very young children. I was surprised to find very little storytelling suggested in the set, as the game subtitle is "The Storytelling and Card Game."
(More review below the video.)
If you purchase this game for use in educational settings, there are many ways to utilize the cards for literacy and math fundamentals as such as categorization, sequencing and patterning. It would fun to watch older students develop games for younger children.
The included booklet that "explains" what each card means seems out of place in a use-your-imagination game. As a storyteller, I know that the job of explaining the meaning of a story belongs to the listener, not the teller. This component of the kit is probably of limited long-term play value but itís only a small fraction of the game use. I think that you will play the metaphysical "how does this card make you feel?" game once or twice and then move back to games such as screaming charades.