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Survive The Stories Of Scheherazade

Sounds like a page-turner

Here’s a quick post about a tiny game from the Public Domain Jam: The Stories of Scheherazade [itch.io link].

As you might have guessed from the title, the game is based on the Arabian Nights story. In the original (as I remember it) Scheherazade marries a king who has his wives executed the day after the wedding before they can betray him (he did not deal well with a previous romantic disappointment). In order to ensure her survival Scheherazade tells stories, always ending on a cliffhanger, so the king can’t execute her if he wants to know how the story ends.

The idea behind Taylor Swope’s game is similar in that you’re tasked with pleasing the king through storytelling, although the cliffhanger element is lost.

How the stories work is the King will put in a request, explaining how much romance, adventure and intrigue he fancies on a given night. You look at the cards you’ve been dealt and try to pick the options which best correspond with his demands. Sometimes these marry up well and sometimes it’s a case of picking the least fatal option. Fall short on too many nights and you’ll be sentenced to death.

It’s a pretty simple thing, with very basic imagery but I rather like it. As someone who has been called on to make up stories for young children while babysitting, sometimes you come up with something they love and sometimes you pick a bunch of elements and hope for the best. I also spent part of it looking at the cards I’d ended up putting together and fleshing them out into longer stories – ones I could feasibly tell my niece if she demanded it.

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Philippa Warr

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