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Tales of the Arabian Nights Five Second Review

MB Updated December 02, 2019
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There Will Be Games

So yeah, maybe you heard that Tales of the Arabian Nights got reprinted.

Zev has done an incredible job with the new edition- some have been a little miffed about some of the minor changes, but I think everything that was changed was largely for the better, and more tales and a refinement of the game's focus to the storytelling element has done nothing but position the game in the absolute top tier of games that are on the market today. It's one of the greatest board games ever published, and if you're not digging it then hand your F:AT card in. If you say you love games with theme, narrative, drama, and surprise then you've got no excuse to not fall madly in love with TotAN. There's only two other games that I can think of that match actual gameplay with conceptual theme so well. Those other two are DUNE and BSG. And yeah, this game is up there.

One thing that I'm just not thrilled about at all with the new edition is that the board is awfully bland and, um, brown compared to the boards in both the West End Games and Edition Erlkoenig printings. I miss the brighter, livelier style, like the big illustrations of the places of power. Don't get me wrong, I think as a whole Universal Head turned in some outstanding work (a little heavy on the gradients for my tastes though) and the game looks incredible. But I do feel like the board was a missed opportunity to do something really special. And there's a missing connection on it down south of India.

But that's nitpicking. The game is great. There's really not a better game on the market right now- there's only games that are at least as good as it.

Michael Barnes (He/Him)
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of and as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

Articles by Michael

Michael Barnes
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Articles by Michael

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