Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Tell Tale

Tell Tale

Spring 2011 Games
Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Blue Orange Games
Price: $12.99

Tell-tale is a wonderful game for turning shy sharers into comfortable story tellers. The game, non-competitive by nature, consists of a set of round picture cards (conveniently kept in a compact tin) which can be shuffled and dealt out however the players see fit. Pictures are used to start and move a story along. Some recommended games include one where each player has four cards, and a story is improvised by the group round-robin style, or another in which each player has six cards and tells his her own story. Players can go through the whole stack, if they wish, and make up their own rules. The cards can be used by a single storyteller, to start a bedtime story or to break writer's block. In short, the possibilities are virtually endless.

The images are generally simple (allowing a wide flexibility in interpretation) but for the most part visually appealing and often humorous. Pictures included animals, people, and scenes from nature and the community as well as simple or complex symbols and objects and even far-fetched fantasy elements.

We played with testers aged six to eleven, whose enjoyment of the game varied according to their baseline storytelling comfort. These cards may be very useful with primary school students, as a way to help get their creative juices flowing for writing assignments. Parents may like borrowing it to as a break from some of the more cut-throat board games or long, drawn-out strategy games. Though it may take a while for players to warm up to sharing stories, this is a game with long-term potential.

Emily Crawford   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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Blue Orange Games
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