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Popular Storytelling Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Storytelling mechanic.
Gloomhaven board game
83
Rank: 2
Trending: 26
Dixit board game
66
Rank: 58
Trending: 186
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island board game
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition board game
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong board game
70
Rank: 83
Trending: 583
The 7th Continent board game
77
Rank: 102
Trending: 102
Pax Pamir (Second Edition) board game
84
Rank: 113
Trending: 36
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases board game
Above and Below board game
69
Rank: 152
Trending: 610
Chronicles of Crime board game
74
Rank: 192
Trending: 288
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The Wormworld Saga - Is Cinematic Art and Storytelling The Key to Viral Content and Board Game Adaptation? image
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Nice selections! I'm one of those people who jumped straight into Clank! Legacy without any Clank! experience. It shot right up into my top 5 games after game 1 :)

I like deck-building when the mechanic isn't the entire game (e.g. Dominion) so Clank! was a natural choice. The storytelling and the choices it presents to the players are very fun and I love the randomness involved (some people don't like that about Clank! though)

My #1 for this list would be #Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile

I like co-ops just fine. But I prefer non-co-op games. I find a lot of co-op games ending up being quarterbacked, or there's no real decision making, just reacting to the board. Which isn't bad. I still like and enjoy co-ops.

Co-ops are a popular choice for entry-level because they're not competitive, so players can work together to help new players. And, of course, some are downright amazing.

Speaking of amazing, #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 was one of the best games I've ever played. Period. I think it might have had to do with it being my first legacy game (although I did get to help play test #SeaFall) and I loved the immersive storytelling in it. 

I also think #The Reckoners Board Game is way up there on the list. Tense and lots of decisions, including the fact that you have to rely on your team to make their best decisions with their dice rolls and usage. This game discourages quarterbacking simply by giving everyone their own dice to use. Of course, it can still happen, and open discussion is welcomed, but it feels more "team" than most.

I haven't played many co-op games but have heard these to be good ones (they're both 4 players max though and are quite a bit more difficult to learn than some of the games you've mentioned):

  • #Pandemic - Pandemic or any of the iterations (I liked #Pandemic: Iberia) are solid co-ops and is the inspiration behind may co-ops today.
  • #Spirit Island - You and the other players take on the role of powerful Spirits that have to drive off the would-be colonists invading the island. Each spirit has vastly different powers you need to take advantage of. Tough to learn and takes quite a long playtime but I've heard nothing but good things.
  • #Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island - Another solid co-op that's difficult to learn and hard to beat, but very satisfying gameplay with great storytelling elements. 

I'm way more familiar with these games (I either own, played, or looked thoroughly into these games):

  • #Concordia - If you like the resource management and building settlement side of Catan, and if you like some deck-building in your games, then I think you'll really like this one.
  • #Viticulture: Essential Edition (with #Tuscany: Essential Edition expansion if you end up liking the base game) - A highly thematic game about wine-making where players manage a limited number of workers and compete to produce the best wine and fulfill orders all the while increasing the prestige of their winery.
  • #Champions of Midgard - I second this one. You play the role of viking champions visiting a town surrounded by monsters and sea creatures. You use your workers to earn food and money to hire more helping hands to go battle the monsters for the sake of glory. One of the most prevalent decision-making in this game is to see how far you should push your luck when going into battle--should you play it safe and assign all of your soldiers to battle a single monster? or spread them thin to defeat more monsters but risk losing most of them in combat?

Hope you'll find some games that will work well for you out of everyone's suggestions. And great to have you here!

love storytelling in games! My favorite games are those with a strong theme, which certainly helps. I agree that flavor text helps a lot. And I think #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 was one of the best storytelling games I've ever played! The narrative that drove the gameplay was a lot of fun, and it felt more than just a game. 

I love games like #Above and Below and #Near and Far because they give you options within the realm of the ongoing story. And games like #Western Legends puts you in charge of your character to create your own story. I'd say theme plays a large role in all games with good storytelling, but it's the thematic games that have mechanics that relate to the theme that are the real winners. 

I actually just started a new website/channel for storytelling within board games. It's called Board Game Immersion, and I just started it at the beginning of August. I like to write short stories inspired by board games, and storytelling will be a big part of this site and channel. That's how much I love storytelling in games haha

Storytelling through gameplay. #Xia: Legends of a Drift System has been super fun for that.

Space. I like space. 

Critters.  I don't really have any games with critters, but I'm always interested in them.  Watership Down always holds a good place in my imagination, so I still have hopes of some day playing Aftermath.

Dinosaurs. I used to have pencil bags full of little dino mini toys when I was a kid, which naturally fed into my draw to #Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles... I did try it on tabletopia just to address my fears that I only wanted to back it because of dinos, and I really enjoy Anachrony, but I'd be lying to myself if I didn't admit that the dinos won't make me feel like a kid again.

Anything uncommon.  Themes that are different than a lot of games will usually draw me in even if I'm not that interested in the theme initially.

I pretty always impulse buy if I find a game in a charity shop, if I don't know the game I will usually google it and if it has an average rating above a 6.5/10 and the theme/mechanics appeal I will usually take it, I always figure that if I get one game out of it, even if it is laughably bad then it is worth the £2-£5 I pay for it.

Winners from Charity shops have been: #King of Tokyo (great gateway game), #Gloom, #War on Terror (hilariously satirical, a better version of risk), #Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game (just a wonderful group activity)

Games that I have only played once or twice and then passed on: #Smash Up (liked it but realised it just wouldn't get played much), #Game of Thrones: The Card Game (again, it wasn't bad, but wasn't looking to get into a CCG) #Munchkin (similar story, not good enough to see regular play, knew a friend of mine would enjoy it a lot more)

I have occaisionally been suckered in on a great deal on Ebay, I am now much more discerning but when I first had disposable income, I was picking up any interesting looking games if I felt I was getting a good deal. I buy most of my games second hand, but the following are games I didin't search for and just came across.

Winners: #The Grizzled (so good and bought for like £2, a small co-op which I haven't found many of), #Choson (set collection with a bunch of take that, quick but wonderfully tactical, aslo bought it for £1.20 so can't complain), #Supervillain: This Galaxy Is Mine! (stayed on my shelf of shame for a long time, one I will write about this week)

Losers: #The Staufer Dynasty (I really need to give this another chance, but it was just a little dry first time around)

I think I go through phases of a particular theme/mechanic really appealing. However, Asymmetry is a massive pull for me, and any kind of deck/engine building being incorporated, or just generally upgrading your faciont/character, this doesn't have to be the core mechanic, but I like to growth in a game.

My wishlist is basically the games that are always on my mind. This includes:

#Warp's Edge: The second game in Renegade Game Studios' Solo Hero Series. A solo bag-builder set in space. Count me in!

The upcoming Call to Adventure: Stormlight Archives version. *DROOOOOOOL*

#Nemesis: I just love this game. The storytelling and thematic nature gets me every time.

#Star Wars: Rebellion: Obviously.

#Star Wars Imperial Assault: Obviously again.

#Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated: I love Clank!, and I love legacy games. These two combinations makes this a game I am desperate to own one day. One loooooong day away haha

I did a little bit of d&d in my youth. I enjoyed it. BUT based on my experience with that I have several thoughts. 

A lot depends on the dm, and it is a lot of work for him/her.

The Storytelling can be great and the gameplay elements can be fun. 

But here is where it comes down for me. I would rather play a game for the gameplay elements, or read a book for a story element. I know this isn't the "right" a answer, but it's where I am. 

I could, however, be very interested in a #Gloomhaven like dmless tabletop RPG. 

I've played the Star Wars RPG a couple of times and really enjoyed it. However, that's as far as my experience takes me. I'd love to do more, but like you said, DMs aren't so easy to come by. Recently, however, I've been watching YouTube videos and reading articles about how to DM. I'm a big fan of storytelling and think it would be fun to DM (although I'd probably prefer being a player instead).

There are a number of reasons why I play. 

1. It's fun. 'Nuff said.

2. I love storytelling, and board games are another way of immersing me into a story. There's little doubt that thematic games are some of my favorites. In fact, I have often found inspiration for my writing in thematic games. It's like a choose your own adventure book, only I get to see it play out on the table instead of just my head.

3. I like making decisions. Not all decisions, mind you (such as which pair of socks I should put on in the morning--white, or white with grey heels? Touch choices there), but the ones in board gaming help me feel like I'm using my brain, learning as I go, and making at least some sort of progress as a human being. Learning can be fun, and there are plenty of lessons we can learn from these games.

4. It's an escape. I suffer from depression (not as much now thanks to the wonderful world of medication), and playing games lets me forget about that depression, at least for a time. It helps me reset and refocus. It helps me be myself when I would otherwise feel terrible inside.

5. I have made some fantastic friends through board games, and I wouldn't trade those friendships for anything. People who know me are surprised to discover that I'm not internally extroverted as I come off. I mean, I used to play rugby and I'm a certified ref, I've performed improv comedy and other stage shows (i.e. children's theater; not your fancy stuff haha), I've presented at writing conference as a panelist (about board games, but still), and I get involved where I can. But making friends doesn't come as easily for me as one might expect. So, board games have made it easier for me to invite people over, to get to know acquaintances (neighbors, coworkers, church goers, etc.) more-so than if I didn't have that resource to turn to. 


I think, for me, board gaming started out as something fun to do--it was new and exciting--but now it has evolved into something much more, something that has attached itself to my life in such a way that it's part of who I am now. It has helped me out of slumps, it has helped me during long durations of unemployment (that's when I started doing rule book editing), and it has helped give me purpose when nothing else seemed tot be able to.

So to answer this post's question, Yes, I have thought about why it's important to play games haha And I know that the reasons why it's important will be different for everyone, but that still brings all kinds of people together, and that right there is one of the main reasons I play--for the people.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

I love the idea! I think it plays right in line with how I write stories inspired by games. I imagine what the game would look/feel like as a story, and make it happen. I think you should totally do this. I’d be very on board. Easy for me to say of course as I don’t have to do any of the work haha But I love storytelling, and this is another facet of it. Great idea. 

These are for slightly older kids but....

A resource management game based on Dr. Suess' Lorax. 

And something based on a Bill Peet story. Preferably something like Cowardly Clyde but they are all good. 

I just thought of it. We could have a storytelling game based on "And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street." You could compete to see who could tell the most outrageous tales, and whether or not you can tell them under the questioning gaze of your father.