Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de




No. of Players:
2 - 5



During one of my days at the SPIEL '14 convention I visited the booth of NORIS-SPIELE, and there I found a quite unusual new playing concept. The artwork at the booth made me curious because this publisher normally focuses on children's games, and so I approached the press representative to ask what kind of games would be available here.

The announcement on the poster could not have been more fitting. The line of Mini Story games is small enough to fit into a trouser's pocket, and this amazed me even more because I couldn't possibly imagine what kind of game could be hidden in such a tiny box which is available at a price of 3 Euros.


Each of the games features a set of 36 cards, with usually six cards showing characters, some cards with inter-character relations and some more cards with secret goals for each player. About the other half of the deck are items and locations, and all these cards will be used to play a story in roleplaying fashion.

For this story each player around the table is assigned a character card, and between each player and each of his neighbours a random relation-card is placed so that it is known what kind of relation is shared by the players (a common secret, in love etc.) Each character has a small background story, and in addition each player receives a secret goal card which he must try to reach.

I felt like opening up a box of Zombia because it seemed to fit with the recurring theme of Zombie-related games which was chosen for quite a few games in 2014, and the game includes a rules sheet which gives some general instructions how the game will proceed over several story acts. Zombies appear, the player characters come together, they find equipment and try to fight the menace. They can use the equipment cards they are assigned and some basic rules for the elimination of Zombies are included, but everything else will be left to the imagination of the players. They need to roleplay and communicate, trying to convince other players to team up with them, to give them equipment or even to step in when the Zombies attack - most of this is left to the creativity of the players.


From my point of view this playing concept is as unusual as it innovative, but it's certainly also a challenge to convince an RPG-unexperienced round of people to start more or less spontaneous roleplaying. The first Mini Story Atlantic City had been released in 2013 (I must have overlooked this - no wonder considering its size), and I was told by a NORIS-representative that people had been asking quite frequently to get more such stories. It is of course an experiment because it's hard to predict what will happen when such a game is presented to an unsuspecting gaming group, but for the price of a soft drink the risk is absolutely negligible!

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Copyright & copy; 2014 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany