Storm Hollow is a fun and family-friendly cooperative storytelling adventure game upcoming from designers Julian Leiberan-Titus and Angela Hickman Newnham funded through a Game Salute Kickstarter campaign. Game play takes a couple of hours or less, and the art and world is clever in a child-appealing way, without being adult-alienating. In other words, it’s a great game for parents who enjoy roleplaying games to enjoy with their children.
I had the opportunity to talk with Julian and Angela at GenCon and play a demo game with some friends.
I played the Lightbringer character. (Like all the characters, available in female or male rendition on alternate sides of the character board.) The character cards are well designed, using graphic elements so that even players who haven’t yet learned to read can find a lot of the information they need easily. Each character is also given an artifact (mine was a shield), a kit of helpful tools (I took the Daredevil kit) and a trait (mine was Protective). Whenever you take an action that demonstrates that trait, you are rewarded with an extra die and a greater probability of success.
In our demo adventure, we were summoned to Storm Hollow by some near-sighted gnomes who needed rescuing from a monster, and given roles and tools to help us succeed. There was a great deal of humor in the storylines (and Julian is an animated and creative storyteller). We laughed a lot as we played our way through and fought the Tyrannosaurus Plex.
I liked how the game stepped the players into using roleplaying game conventions in a way that can train future serious gamers without overwhelming a novice or child player. The art in the books and on all the cards is lavish and creative. The game mechanics were easy to understand. Setup was not excessively long. All in all, I think my family could play this at home in only a little more than the one hour play time claimed in the promotional materials.
Storm Hollow has had a stormy beginning with production delays (original delivery estimates were for June 2013), but the end product looks to be worth the wait. Current estimates put delivery to Kickstarter backers in early 2016. (GeekDad Jonathan Liu became an editor on the project after the Kickstarter campaign was over.)
Pre-orders will be available soon. Interested readers can email escapadegames at their gmail address to be notified when preorders open.