Untold Adventures Await Review - Header

Untold: Adventures Await Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop 0 Comments

Untold Adventures Await Review - CoverDesigners: John Fiore, Rory O’Connor
Publisher: Hub Games
Year: 2017
MSRP: $35
Players: 1-4
Play Time: 45-60 Min
Ages: 8+
Rules Available Online: Yes
BGG: Untold: Adventures Await

Prelude

Our household is a huge fan of Rory’s Story Cubes. My wife and I used to run a social-communication game group which relied heavily on the dice. I remember the excitement when I saw the Kickstarter for Untold: Adventures Await last year, a game that promised an RPG-like storytelling experience using Story Cubes. I finally have the game and have been playing it with my kids, an episodic sci-fi tale of suspense and dread of their own making.

Play

Untold: Adventures Await takes the players through 5 different Scenes of a story:  A Dangerous Dilemma, The Plot Thickens, An Heroic Undertaking, The Truth Revealed, and The Final Showdown. The game starts by creating an Episode Setting where the players decide when and where the story takes place and what the players already know about the setting as well as the overall tone of the story. A Dangerous Dilemma card is then drawn and added to the board and the dice are rolled, dice being chosen to fill the recessed areas of the card to come up with the following:

“The Episode begins at [this Location], where [this Threat] [is pursuing/is attacking/is accusing /has captured] someone or something.”

At this point, players make their characters and set up their Dashboard. Characters consist of a name, job/role, compulsion for adventure, and two Specials. The players’ Dashboard has a summary of all the icon types used in the game, a space for a Play/Pause Card (used to dictate Out of Character conversation), and the following special action tokens:

  • Idea Token: Used when another player is answering a question or taking an action to add your own idea to theirs. The other player needs to be in agreement with the addition.
  • Flashback Token: Used to flesh out the story’s backstory more. Additions to the backstory must take place before the events of the Episode being played.
  • Modify Token: Used to change a single die rolled to any face of a player’s choice. This can only effect dice that have just been rolled and not ones already set into place on the board.

Untold play beings in earnest now with the player asking/answering Questions about the current Scene and taking Actions. Each Scene has a predetermined amount of Questions/Actions that can be taken and will only move to the next Scene once all the available Actions have been taken. Questions are optional. To ask a Question a player discards a Question token, asks their question, rolls the dice, and the players then answer the Question using the roll of the dice to further add to the current scene. Actions work similarly, but the player uses the dice to say “I try/want to do {action} by {action}.” An Outcome Card is then flipped over.

Untold Adventures Await Review - Play

Outcome Cards come in two colors: green and red. Green cards indicate an outcome was successful. Red indicates failure. Both color cards may also have “And” or “But” modifiers that cause players to have to add to the outcome, sometimes with a Reaction card to help set the tone of the outcome. “And”‘s are great for positive outcomes, but terrible for negative outcomes. The opposite is true for “But”‘s.

Play continues with players asking Questions and taking Actions over the course of 5 Scenes. Once the final Scene is completed the Episode is over and players record key events on the Episode sheet for the next time.

For specifics on the rules, including the mechanics of carrying dice forward between Scenes, check the full rules.

Pieces

Untold: Adventures Await’s graphic design is the first thing that stands out about the game. The limited color palette is striking creating an interesting look with a rather detailed board that manages to not get in the way of the game in way, shape, or form. The board/Scene Cards are thick cardboard with recessed areas for the Scene Cards/Story Cubes to sit in nicely. The game’s tokens and Dashboards are equally sturdy and suited to repeated play. The Story Cubes are chunky, hefty, and engraved with their icons as they’ve always been. Time tested and true.

Untold Adventures Await Review - Components

My only complaint here is the Outcome, Reaction, and Pause/Play Cards. They’re very thin and have already begun to warp in our copy of the game. While this doesn’t affect play too much, it’s a shame that such low-quality cards were included with a game where every other component is so top notch. I almost feel like buying a thicker card sleeve to house them in, or even laminating them to give them a bit more heft and ease of handling.

Perspective

Untold: Adventure Await is less of a game and more of an interactive storytelling exercise. The box contains everything you need to create fantastic adventures without bogging everything down with excessive rules or constraints. While Story Cubes are free-form, Untold adds a bit of structure to help ideas flow a bit more easily. There’s no winning or losing here, just story.

That’s perfectly fine by me. It’s exactly what I expected from the game.

Untold is also easy to modify for different players. The first two Episodes I played with my kids I ran the game more like a traditional RPG where I would lay out the story, conflicts, etc… and would have my kids react to what was going on around them. Moving forward I slowly released the reins and let them take creative control. By the 4th Episode we were playing the game laid out in the rulebook, the kids finally comfortable with taking the story in different, sometimes not-optimal, directions.

Untold: Adventure Await is an excellent product and one that any fan of Story Cubes should pick up. It’s also a fantastic introduction to RPGs and scales well with just about any age group. 90% of the game relies on iconography, so with a little help, even early readers can get in on the action. At $35 you’re not paying much more than you would for a mass market game at Target or Walmart, making it an excellent value.

A copy of Untold: Adventures Await was provided free for review by Hub Games

 

Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.

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