Tell Tale

Tell Tale is a story-building game using a deck of 60, two-sided, circular cards. There’s a different, evocative drawing on each side of each card.

To play Tell Tale, you use some or all of the deck, turning cards over one at a time, weaving each image into something like a story, or a dream, or maybe a myth or a fable, or a joke or riddle, or a stream-of-conscious dadaist work of near art.

You can play by yourself, you can play together, you can play with kids as young as five, you can play with as many as eight, and maybe even more.

There are two things that contribute to making this game so much fun. OK, maybe three.

First, the art. Hervé Gourdet’s drawings are clear and easy to interpret, and, whenever possible, humorous; but the colors are often dreamlike, conveying a hint of emotion.

Then there’s the two-sidedness. Some cards have related, but opposite images on each side (a heart on one, a broken heart on the other); some are just related (a rainstorm on one, lightning on the other). And then there’s one side of one card that simply says “the end.”  This not only gives you twice as many images, but also everlasting surprise. All of the games that you play (there are four of them described in the rules) involve turning cards over one at a time, so you have no idea what image you’re going to get until you get it.

Then there’s the roundness of the cards and the wonderfully colorful tin they can be so easily carried around in, which have nothing to do with the game play, but help make the whole thing more endearing, more like something you want to carry around with you everywhere.

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