Like most game aficionados, when I get a new game I immediately start to categorize it. There are party games, strategy games, dexterity games and so on. Some games are like one of Ron Popeil’s inventions. They try to work well in multiple categories. It’s like those late-night infomercials screaming “you get all those and more”. Most games that try and span multiple categories are like a Popeil product. They do many things but they don’t do anything very well.
When I first looked at Griddly Games’ Chronicles of the Mind I wasn’t sure how to classify it. Was it a social activity? Was it a prop for a team building exercise?? Was it a game? I had that voice in my head yelling “And More”. I’d been down this road before and it was usually strewn with potholes. However, something was different this time. The ride was surprisingly smooth.
Chronicles of the Mind takes a simple function, telling stories, gives it a little structure and wraps game around it. It centers around a deck of 119(my deck had 2 “Craving Anything?” cards, but I think I can work with 118) category cards such as “Favorite Place”, “Secret”, “Most Memorable Holiday”. Players then tell a story involving the topic. You can play the game multiple ways:
- One person per category
- For each category every player tells a story in turn
- Players draw a category card and choose another player, who has to tell the story
- Truth of Lie?. The story teller has a choice to tell either a true story or a lie. After the story, the other players use their voting cards to show whether they think the story was true or was a lie. Players that guess correctly score points.
After a few minutes I realized this would be an excellent team-building exercise. Cards such as “Most Embarrassing Moment” could get a little personal. Revealing negative things about oneself can be a excellent part of a team-building exercise.
The box says “All ages can play”. And it’s true. My 6 month old son can play. He just whispers his story to one of the adults, who then says it out loud. It is amazing how creative they can be at such a young age.
When playing with younger players, you might want to remove some of the cards like “Freudian Slip”. Other than that it’s a great way to encourage them to be creative.
The prim and proper crowd might not appreciate the “Passing Gas Story” card. It will, however, be highly popular with some parts of my family. Also, I noticed one typo. There is a card “Favorite Foot”. The German text says “Lieblings Essen” so I think they meant “Favorite Food”. Of course a story about one’s favorite foot might be interesting.
I wish Griddly had included a few blank cards, for those of us that like to create our own topics. Of course, you don’t need cards for that, you could just make up your own topics.
A neat feature is each card has the topic in English, French, Spanish and German. You might even learn a ittle bit of a foreign langauge in the process.
Price is under 15 dollars and the box is not much larger than a deck of cards, making it easy to bring along on trips.
It will take about 20 seconds to “teach” to new players.