Enter a fantastical world of magic and take the role of a wizard's familiars, on your quest to restore a kingdom.
Familiar Tales is a narrative driven adventure game, in the vein of Descent or Gloomhaven. It is fully cooperative with 1-4 people controlling the four familiars of a great wizard. You'll play through an adventure book with different paths you can take, along side a companion app with a lovely voice cast to narrate the adventure. The app also serves to help you learn the game, and informs you when to activate the enemies.
The gameplay is fairly straight forward, spending the cards in your hand to move and take actions. In the event you are attacked, you will also spend these cards to defend yourself to mitigate or prevent damage. This does mean that on your turn you may be performing less actions, especially since many enemies hit VERY hard.
Fortunately, getting knocked out during an adventure isn't the end and you will return, albeit with some detriments, on your next turn.
Without going too far and spoiling the story, the familiars are tasked by their master to safeguard a princess who has been displaced from her kingdom. You'll proceed through three stages of the princess' life, infancy, childhood, and her teens, ultimately trying to return her to her throne.
The many dangers you encounter along the way can take a number of forms, from bandits, to little imps, and much more. Each map features story elements you can interact with that can cause different events to change the course of the map and story, as well as points for resources or other interactions.
Now that I've told you what the game is, I should maybe give my experience!
My fiance have at this point played through most of the first era, and are finally enjoying it! I say finally because we were getting some rules wrong, and that was causing us to have a not so great time. But, now that we're doing things correctly, it's a very fun experience. The voicing for the story really adds a lot and makes the narrative of on map events feel good to do. There are lots of story beats to pick up as you go that help you get familiar with the familiars.
I'd recommend playing with 2 or 4 players, as that spreads the control of the characters and turns out nicely, and have yet to try playing solo but I doubt I will as this is a game for us both to enjoy together.
There's potential to experience the game differently on further playthroughs by going through different locations as you progress the story, or making different choices.
If you enjoy these types of games I would highly recommend this one, especially if you have younger players as the colourful characters and family friendly story will be great for them to enjoy.
Until next time, Blair.