Have you ever heard a story and swear you could see the scene in vivid technicolour detail? That is the aim for storytellers playing Atomo’s game Story Colors, designed by Juan Carlos Ruiz, with art by Javier Alonso, Marta HG and 221B Studio.
The 3-6 players take turns rolling four colour-adorned dice behind a screen and placing them in any order, before picking up a story card from the shuffled deck which has the beginning line of a story on it. The active player must then continue on from the story card prompt, weaving an engaging tale that alludes to each of the colours they rolled in order. Listeners must pay close attention and behind their own screens place cubes on the colours in the order they think the active player has. Once the storyteller has finished spinning their yarn, the screens are removed and points are scored by the listeners for guessing three or more colours in the correct order, while the storyteller earns points Dixit-style for being just explicit enough with their descriptions that everybody gets some points but not all correctly guessing everything. The next player then rolls the die and the game continues until someone reaches 20 points.
While simple in premise, the gameplay for Story Colors very much depends on players' imagination and storytelling capabilities. As in most storytelling and pitching games, some may rise to the challenge while others may tell too much of a tale and muddle the colours. Scoring may be slow to start but inevitably as the game continues, and with consecutive plays, groups will begin to gravitate towards their own references, the stories may become similar in subject or there may be a surprise appearance from an aubergine for that last purple die!
Don’t worry those of you who see the world in a different spectrum: the colours are each given a symbol as well to facilitate accessibility. The game's colour scheme on the player screens and score board is bright and fresh, although the score board could be larger or easier to visualise if it used standard wooden cubes instead of cardboard tokens, as playing with six players makes the board very crowded. In addition, scoring conditions for the storyteller could be explained more clearly in the rule book: some confusion was had about what the storyteller scores when some players gain points but not all players as the conditions seem to require. Overall tho', Story Colors is a great party game that all ages can engage with, encouraging youngsters' creativity and confidence while giving the older generation a platform to talk to a captive audience about times in their day.
(Review by Claire Woodward)