Best Storytelling Board Games: Spinning a Yarn!

When it comes to storytelling board games, you can’t beat Sleeping Gods.

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Everyone loves a good story. Even in board games. Games that let you choose your own adventure are fun for young and old. Tales of exploration, magic, and mystery captivate us and fuel our imaginations.

I’ve rounded up the best games for the storytellers among us. These storytelling games let players choose different paths and create stories that keep us coming back for more.

Ready to begin new adventures? Keep reading to find the perfect game.

Storytelling Games At a Glance

While my top pick is Sleeping Gods, there are other board games that caught my eye. Here are some more suggestions, based on what type of storytelling game you’re after.

If you’re looking for a family game, I recommend Stuffed Fables. It’s super fun with a unique premise.

Need a solo-player option? Get a copy of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. It works well as a single-player game.

For a semi-cooperative game that blends individual goals with cooperation, you might try Forgotten Waters. For board games with educational value, I recommend Rory’s Story Cubes.

Storytelling Games: Reviews

Sleeping Gods: Best Storytelling Board Game

Number of Players: 1-4

Age: 14+

Publisher: Red Ravens Games

Sleeping Gods is a cooperative game where you take on the role of Captain Sofi Odessa and her crew. This board game is designed for up to four players, with a single-player option.

You and your friends are lost. You are in 1929 on your steamship, the Manticore. Your goal is to survive, and to do that you must work together. You’ll explore exotic islands, meet interesting people, and search for the totems of the gods to help you return home.

Sleeping Gods has a flexible gaming system, so you can stop at any time and save your progress. It also allows players to jump in or out at any time.

Red Raven Games Sleeping Gods

The World Map Atlas has nine connecting maps for tons of exploration possibilities. The adventure book has well-written stories with depth and some whimsy. There is some combat, but it’s balanced and quick. And you don’t have to use dice. The rules aren’t overly complicated so you can begin playing fairly quickly.

There aren’t many board games I want to play just by looking at the box, but this was one of those. The artwork is brilliant. When you combine the artwork with the stories, it’s an incredibly immersive board game.

There are two drawbacks, however. The first is the price. This board game is more expensive, but you do get several hours of play for each campaign, and it has high replayability. In spite of the higher price tag, Sleeping Gods has good value. The second is the amount of space it requires. You’ll need a large table for all of the components.

If you want a fantastic storytelling game, Sleeping Gods is your ticket.


  • Cooperative gameplay
  • Immersive, compelling narrative
  • High replay value
  • Exceptional artwork
  • Scales for 1-4 players


  • Pricey
  • Requires a lot of table space

Rory’s Story Cubes: Best for Educational Value

Number of Players: 1+

Age: 6+

Publisher: Zygomatic

Rory’s Story Cubes are exactly what they sound like–cubes that help you tell a story. This game includes nine cubes, each with a different image on each side. Roll all the cubes simultaneously to generate nine random images. Use the images to invent a story that begins with “Once upon a time…” and uses all the elements in your story.

With a total of 54 images, there are countless combinations. That means you can play over and over again without getting repetitive.

There is a single-player option, or you can play as a party game with three or more players. You can make it an improv game, where the first player starts the story and the other players add on, picking up where the previous player left off.

Zygomatic Rory's Story Cubes Voyages | Storytelling Game for Kids and Adults | Fun Family Game | Creative Kids Game | Ages 6 and up | 1+ Players | Average Playtime 10 Minutes | Made by Zygomatic

Rory’s Story Cubes can be played by younger kids, so it’s a perfect choice for family game night. It’s also lightweight and highly portable, so you can play it on the go. It’s also perfect for the classroom. Teachers can have students roll the cubes as writing prompts.

Some customers found the colors of the images difficult to see on the dice, but that wasn’t a common problem.

There are other sets available for purchase, so when you get tired of these cubes, you can swap them out for new images.


  • Multiple ways to play
  • Single-player option
  • High replay value
  • Simple rules
  • Portable, easy to transport


  • Some found them difficult to see

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Best Single-Player Option

Number of Players: 1-8

Age: 14+

Publisher: Space Cowboys

In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders, players work together as a team of detectives to gather clues and solve mysteries.

Each player acts as a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, the ragtag group of boy detectives who help Sherlock Holmes solve crimes. You and your fellow investigators solve mysterious cases by interviewing suspects, searching newspapers, and walking the streets for clues.

This game comes with 10 epic cases to solve, all set in Victorian London. The objective is to solve the mystery in as few steps as possible. Once you think you’ve got the answer, open the envelope to see if you solved the crime as quickly as Sherlock Holmes did.

Fair warning, however. I’ve never heard of anyone beating Sherlock. The cases are challenging, so most people are happy enough to solve the crimes correctly.

Unfortunately, you can’t replay the cases. But since nothing is destroyed during play, many people choose to give the game to a friend after solving all the cases.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective - The Thames Murders & Other Cases Board Game - Captivating Mystery Game for Kids and Adults, Ages 14+, 1-8 Players, 90 Minute Playtime, Made by Space Cowboys

The cooperative game is perfect for game nights with friends or family. It requires attention to detail, strategy, and your best deduction skills. Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective also works well as a solo player game.

Multiple reviewers recommended a writing pad to keep track of the clues and the places you visit. The map and booklets are high-quality and add a Victorian feel to the game experience.

There is a lot of reading during gameplay, which might be a good thing or a drawback, depending on the person. There are no game pieces, either. Just the booklets, map, and solution envelopes.

I recommend this board game to anyone who enjoys reading tales, sifting through clues, and solving difficult puzzles.


  • Plays well solo or in groups
  • Includes 10 epic cases
  • Challenging gameplay
  • High-quality map and books
  • Good player interaction


  • No replayability
  • Heavy on reading

Stories of the Three Coins: Best for Kids

Number of Players: 2-5

Age: 6+

Average Play Time: 20 minutes

Publisher: Peaceable Kingdom

Stories of the Three Coins is published by Peaceable Kingdom, a game maker that specializes in cooperative board games. This game offers a “choose your own adventure” experience that’s fun for all ages.

This storytelling adventure takes place in the fantasy land of Storia. A traveler has found three magic coins that could bring great happiness if used wisely. Players win if they can bring the traveler a happy ending before the inkwell runs out of ink.

Players choose a card to be the Traveler, and the first player begins telling the story. As they tell the tale, they flip over three cards and use the three magic coins to mark which card they think should be in the story next. The other players guess which card they think the storyteller chose. A wrong guess takes ink out of the inkwell.

The story quill records the journey as players continue the tale. As each player tells the story, they roll the booster dice to add elements that they must work into the story.

There is no reading required, so Stories of the Three Coins is perfect for families with younger kids. Several teachers and homeschooling parents found this game to be suited for creative writing prompts. The cards have no text, so you can create the backstory, setting, and even the names of characters.

Peaceable Kingdom Stories of The Three Coins – Cooperative Storytelling Game – Use Teamwork to Win! – Great for Families with Kids Ages 6 & up – Fun Classroom Game

The game box is shaped like a storybook, which adds a fun touch. The cards and components are colorful and of solid quality, and it doesn’t take up too much room on the table.

Some customers weren’t big fans of the guessing mechanic. Children might struggle to guess which card another player thinks should be the next in the story. Fortunately, it’s nothing a house rule can’t solve. You can remove the penalty for incorrectly guessing which card the previous player chose.

If you want a board game that’s relatively quick to play, easy to learn, and fun for the family, Stories of the Three Coins is an excellent choice.


  • Fully cooperative
  • Great for families
  • Easy to learn
  • High replayability
  • Quick playing time


  • Guessing mechanic is unpopular

Forgotten Waters: Best Semi-Cooperative Game

Number of Players: 3-7

Age: 14+

Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

If you like pirates and seafaring adventures, you might like Forgotten Waters, a Crossroads game set in a fantasy world with some strong “Treasure Island” vibes. From the creators of Dead of Winter, Forgotten Waters is a game of survival, but with pirates instead of zombies.

Players take on the role of pirates sailing together on a ship. They must face obstacles as they fight to survive. Players work together to reach a common goal, but each pirate has their own objective. They are pirates, after all!

The gameplay is app-driven, which can scare away some people. However, this free app runs smoothly and adds a lot to the game. It has sound effects and ambient sounds, and it guides you through the story. It’s easy to use and navigate so you can have a seamless game experience.

Forgotten Waters Board/ Pirate Adventure/ Cooperative Strategy Game for Adults and Teens | Ages 14+ | 3-7 Players | Average Playtime 2-4 Hours | Made by Plaid Hat Games

There are five unique scenarios that offer you a “choose your own adventure” type of experience. You can play them over and over again. The player sheets allow you to create your pirate’s backstory and unlock special events as you grow in skill.

Bury treasure, plunder loot, and Track infamy, hunger, ship supplies, and the crew’s discontent. Avoid mutiny by treating your crew well!

The creators put a lot of thought and attention into the details of this game. The artwork, the quality, and the setup are excellent. If you enjoy semi-cooperative games, you’ll like Forgotten Waters.


  • Cooperative strategy game
  • Story-driven
  • Beautiful artwork
  • The app adds a lot to the game
  • High replay value


  • Lengthy setup and play time

Robin Hood: Best for Beginners

Number of Players: 2-4

Age: 10+

Publisher: Thames & Kosmos

Battle the evil Prince John throughout Sherwood Forest in Robin Hood. This board game is one that will take you back to childhood, hearing tales of the noble outlaw and his Merry Men.

Players take on the roles of Robin Hood, Little John, Maid Marian, and Will Scarlet to free the people of Nottingham County from Prince John and his henchmen. This game is designed for two to four players and can be played in approximately an hour.

Robin Hood is designed and illustrated by Michael Menzel, the award-winning creator of the Legends of Andor game series. It’s perfect for families and mixed-age groups and is fully cooperative.

The beautiful, interactive game board changes as the game progresses, while the faux leather-bound storybook guides the story and advances the gameplay. Because there are permanent changes as you play, it’s best if the same gaming group plays this one all the way through.

The Adventures of Robin Hood | A Kosmos Game | Family-Friendly, Cooperative, Role-Player, Story-Driven Game for 2 to 4 Players, Ages 10 and up

Robin Hood has quality game components, with colored wooden tokens to represent the characters. The cardboard flaps on the game board might wear over time, however.

The engaging storylines and simple rules make it easy to set up and play in little time. The double-sided insert can get you started in a matter of minutes. However, there is a limit to the replayability. This probably isn’t a game that will make it to the tabletop after the first play-through.

But if you’re a fan of cooperative tabletop games and adventures in Sherwood Forest, you should try Robin Hood.


  • Cooperative gameplay
  • Family-friendly game
  • Straightforward rules
  • Engaging storyline
  • Beautiful interactive game board


  • Limited replay value
  • Cardboard flaps may not last long

Stuffed Fables: Best for Families

Number of Players: 2-4

Age: 7+

Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Stuffed Fables centers around brave stuffed animals sworn to protect a little girl from the evil Master of Nightmares. This is one of those games that falls under several categories. It’s a whimsical RPG, dungeon crawler, and cooperative storytelling game, all wrapped up in one adorable package.

The gameplay happens in the setting of a storybook, driven by player choices. On their turn, each player selects dice from a bag. These dice determine which actions they can take. Weave your way through an Adventure Book with an exciting storyline.

Stuffed Fables is easy to learn and only takes a few minutes to set up. You might have to consult the manual a couple of times, but it’s fairly straightforward.

Stuffed Fables Board Game | Storybook Adventure,Strategy Game | Fun Family Game for Adults and Kids | Ages 7+ | 2-4 Players | Average Playtime 60-90 Minutes | Made by Plaid Hat Games

Buyers loved the game concept and the interactive story experience. This game plays in about an hour, but it’s paced to keep the attention of most kids.

The artwork is beautiful and imaginative. Some customers wished they could save their progress. I would recommend using a bookmarking system if you don’t wish to play through the entire game the first time.

If you want something full of storytelling fun, Stuffed Fables is an excellent choice.


  • Beautifully vivid illustrations
  • Easy to learn
  • Quick set up
  • High replay value


  • Would benefit from a “save” system

Once Upon a Time (3rd Edition): Best Card Game

Number of Players: 2-6

Age: 8+

Publisher: Atlas Games

Once Upon a Time might be an older game than some other titles on the list, but it’s one that’s held up to the test of time. It even has storytelling game in the title! It’s full of wicked queens, talking cauldrons, and lucky boys who happen to stumble upon magic objects. But in this version, you get to control the story.

In Once Upon a Time, one player takes on the role of Storyteller and guides the story to their chosen ending using the cards in their hand. Everyone must use their own cards to interrupt the Storyteller and steer the tale. The first player to empty their hand with their Happily Ever After card wins.

This is not highly competitive, and it’s easy to learn. Set up is quick, and it’s suitable for anyone who can spin a good yarn.

If you’re a fan of card games and fairy tales, you might enjoy Once Upon a Time.

Atlas Once Upon A Time 3rd Ed, Multi-Colored


  • Quick gameplay
  • Easy to learn
  • Light, casual feel
  • Fairy tale themed


  • Needs storage for cards

Storytelling Game Buying Guide

A storytelling game immerses players in narrative-driven gameplay. Players must make decisions, and the story evolves as the game progresses. The exact type of story can vary from game to game, and the objectives might change, as well.

Storytelling games are great because they typically have a high replay value. You can play them several times without repeating stories.

If you’re looking for a storytelling board game, it’s important to choose one that has plenty of meaningful choices. Board games that require players to navigate a fantasy world, grow their characters, and deal with plot twists all make for a more compelling narrative.

Best Storytelling Board Game: Choose Your Own Adventure!

Want the best board game for telling stories? I recommend Sleeping Gods. The narrative-driven adventure, high replay value, stunning artwork, and interesting characters make this one a must-have.

Visit my in-depth article to learn more about cooperative board games.