Top Tale is a casual, family-friendly party game that is designed for 2-10 players, 30+ minutes, ages 10+, and takes less than two minutes to learn. Top Tale is comprised of a deck of cards (125 cards before stretch goals), where each card has a topic on it. Along with the topic, we throw in a little flavor text, which is just a quip to get a chuckle or it may help trigger an idea for a response. Each player gives their response to the topic, and after everyone has given their responses, you all vote for your favorite response. The person with the most votes wins the Top Tale for the round, and if you have a tie, you play a tiebreaker round.
Top Tale is a casual, family-friendly card game that is designed for 2-10 players, 30+ minutes, ages 10+, and takes less than two minutes to learn. The cards are all family friendly, and with adults as part of the game, kids as young as 5 can enjoy playing, however kids younger than 10 playing amongst themselves tend to lose focus on playing the game.
The concept for Top Tale started over two and a half years ago while shoveling manure. The basis of the game was simple, everyone tells tales and everyone votes on the top tale. The game has evolved to where the cards are all carefully balanced between light-hearted topics, and deeper topics. Through playing the game, players get to hear stories about the other players that they may have never heard without the prompt of the topic cards.
Telling tales used to be how knowledge was passed between humans. Before written language or ways to communicate over great distances, humans relied on telling stories. Telling a story is similar to singing a song, where you can develop a flow to the story that makes it memorable, and more likely to be retold. Just imagine early humans, squatting around a camp fire, recounting tales of great hunts, harsh winters, and fantastic beasties.
Most modern games rely on the creativity of the designer to set the stage for a game, whether it be creating a world to explore, or characters to interact with. With Top Tale, the players set the stage, they describe their world, and they get to know each other on a deeper level. While playing Top Tale, you might find yourself listening to another’s tale and putting yourself in their shoes as they recount their experience. If you have a player that can get animated and descriptive during their storytelling, you can find yourself visualizing all that is told.
Something else that may happen while telling tales for the sake of playing Top Tale, is that you may find yourself opening up more about yourself. Whether you are playing with friends, family, or strangers, something magical happens, where all the players gradually open up more and more as others open up. I’ve played games with strangers tell a story and then literally exclaim, “…I’ve never told anyone that before.” It may be that they didn’t have an opportunity to tell someone, or that they were not confident enough to tell someone. Whatever it may be, people naturally open up when others open up.
The fact that people open up so much while playing Top Tale, gives the slogan for the game, “Get to Know Your Fellow Human”. Assuming you’re playing with just humans, you are guaranteed to get to know the other players. The other primary mechanic that gets people to open up is the voting. Since you’re playing to have the top tale every round, players will strive to share a tale that they suspect might win the round. Since a new person goes first every round, the player telling the first tale doesn’t know what the others might respond to the topic with, so they may try to lead with a tale they suspect will win.
Something else that happens while playing Top Tale, is that players will find that it’s not always about the tale that’s told, but rather how the tale is told. If you can make your tale more entertaining, you can often sway people to vote for your response. This encourages some creativity with telling the tales, although players are still expected to tell the truth. When you believe others are telling the truth, you also will have a tendency to tell the truth. After all, if everyone is just lying about their tales, it wouldn’t really be about getting to know your fellow humans.
So the game in a nutshell is storytelling and voting. It’s designed to be very simple, yet still very powerful. Most of the time when people play Top Tale, they don’t end up caring who wins, or if they play to a certain card count. Many times, players are just happy to be playing, and happy to hear stories from the other players. When playing with two people, you can simply use the topic cards as prompts to tell stories and get to know each other. Playing the game with three or more will allow for voting, however playing with just three people can lead to some three-way ties. Four to ten players, is really the sweet spot.
Yub Nub Games, is bring the Top Tale series to life with the very first volume in the series, “Top Tale: The O.G. Vol 1”. The Original Game (“O.G.”) series is meant to be a family friendly series, where the topics are all designed to be everyday topics. There will be several volumes in the O.G. series if the game is as well received as it has been so far. Aside from the O.G. series, there are several other themed expansions in the series planned, such as Top Tale: Tall Tale, where players are encouraged to embellish the truth. Topics in Tall Tale will still be mostly relatable, but they will all have a twist to them that encourages you to perhaps introduce a dragon to your tale, supernatural events, or perhaps superhero-like powers. All decks in the Top Tale series will be playable together, with the same basic storytelling and voting mechanics.
There will also likely be an adult-only series, where the topics are those that kids probably won’t have experienced yet, such as dating, working, and other adulating things. Then of course there will be an obligatory Not Safe for Work (NSFW) edition, which of course will be… dirty. We are purposely not leading with that sort of product, as the Top Tale series is really intended to help humans get to know each other. That said, if you happen to get to know each other… intimately, then who are we to stop you!
Something else that many have said Top Tale is well suited for, is as an ice breaker or team building game. Not only could the O.G. be well suited for such circumstances, but we plan to one day have booster packs of Top Tale cards, where they are industry-specific topics. Imagine, a veterinary staff sharing tales about animal patients, or IT professionals telling tales about epic server crashes… okay, so maybe those aren’t the best examples. Either way, you get the point. There are many possibilities with the Top Tale series, and it will all be made available to play with either the analog game, or as a mobile app. Already, there’s a demo app available on Google Play, with plans to also offer it on iOS, and evolve the functionality over time.
If you’ve made it this far, it means that you perhaps are open to trying a game about storytelling. It’s not the sexiest of games, and there aren’t awesome 3D-printed miniatures, but there’s plenty of that out there anyway. Top Tale is truly meant to be a game well suited for just about everyone, everywhere (pending future translations and localizations). If you’re reading this between October 27th and November 21st, then act now! You can help bring the Top Tale series to life on Kickstarter!