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Published by dvGiochi. Designed by Pierluca Zizzi with Artwork by Dany Orizio

The box contains 24 Playing Cards and 2 Setting Cards "B". There are also 10 Tokens for Baskets and 33 VP Tokens in different denominations.

This is another expansion to the excellent DARK TALES game and as such you need a copy of that game for this to be used.

The story of Little Red Riding Hood is one of the most well known fairy-tales and like the original narrative in the boxed set and the following SNOW WHITE expansion this latest product brings this old children's tale to the table in the best possible grim manner. 

Of the two "B" Settings cards one is randomly selected to add to the A & B cards chosen from the base game so that 3 Settings cards are used each time you play it. Then the playing cards from this expansion are added to the playing cards from the base game to form a well shuffled deck. At this point you may remove a number of different cards randomly from the deck to create a shorter, and in our opinion not so interesting, game. The rules then say to place the Basket tokens face up in the centre of the table, but these Tokens are printed the same on both sides ......

It is Night and Little Red Riding Hood begins the game in play and Little Red Riding Hood is no longer the poor innocent little girl of the original Fairy Tale.

The game then follows the base rules as laid down in the original box with the expansion cards now altering play accordingly. The Bad Wolf, for example is played to "eat" a number of female cards in play, zero, one and two being that number. The Bad Wolf scores VPs for each eaten female and 1VP if Little Red Riding Hood is one of the girls in its belly.

DARK TALES is a Draw a Card play a card style game with the option between Drawing and Playing cards of playing an item. When a card is played and the instructions and icons on it followed you may determine how many VPs it is worth; all cards played must have their text followed if possible. Cards played are discarded and items played stay in front of the player.

The game mechanics are the same no matter which scenario/expansion you play but the specific cards from the Base game, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood keep the game grimly dark and always just that little bit different and always interesting. If you think about card games like Magic the Gathering then each game you play is both the same and different. Dark Tales games are similar. There is always a similarity in the way the mechanics work in most card games but it is the addition of the special cards from the expansions in Dark Tales, or in the case of MtG, the build and theme of the deck, and the randomness of the draw, that sets each game apart from the next - the cards are the same but the shuffle, deal and draw ensure that each game is comparable to each other game but always with just enough of a twist or surprise. 

Like the aforementioned MtG, the artwork in DARK TALES is thrilling and exciting, innovative, unique in some ways and yet pleasantly familiar in others.DARK TALES doesn't make the fairy-tales as dark as the Grimm TV series, but it also isn't a jolly romp akin to a Disney movie. If you can imagine games as movies (films are always a good source of explanation) then think Snow White and the Huntsman meets Malificent and you are on the right road.

DARK TALES is for 2-4 players aged from 14 upwards. The artwork is dark and imaginative but not cruel, crude or gory, though once viewed it is entirely possible that you may never view the Wicked Queen (or Villainess) in quite the same way again. As a game it is nice and simple, easy to learn, easy to play and lots of mysterious fun. It retails in the UK for around £20.00 for the base game and £15.00 each for the expansions. To be honest I think the expansions are priced a little high for 24 cards and a few tokens when considering some of the other non-collectible-but-collectible card games that are available - FLUXX for example (being the first such game I laid eyes on as I looked around the office) has 100 cards in each box, is for 2-6 players, has unique artwork, is collectible in the same way DARK TALES is, doesn't require owning the base game and yet sells at £3.00-£4.00 less than the cost of a DARK TALES expansion. Price aside though, DARK TALES is a fun game and if you are only going to buy one expansion (£15.00) a year that isn't too much, it just seems to be a lot (£50.00) if you are buying the Base game and the 2 expansions at the same time. It is one of those enigmas where the parts on their own seem of reasonable value but when added together are possibly a little expensive. However you buy it though, if you like Fairy Tales or you want to show you friends and family said Fairy Tales in a different light then it is more than a good evening's entertainment.






© Chris Baylis 2011-2015