November 23rd, 2015: One ‘Ell of a Story

Crew Members: Zevvy, Roman, David, Neta

What a provocative title! It will all become clear soon enough. As clear as the herbal tea which filled our glasses, provided by  one of my illustrious roommates. We also had beer-battered peantus (קבוקים) and an assortment of chocolates.

Story Cubes

Zevvy: Alien Abduction, Serial Killer

Roman: Innocent Escapee, Depressed Russian

Neta: Old-Man-Turned-Adventurer, Illiterate Visitor to Africa

David: Stupid Prince, Fish-Turned-Sheep-Turned-Man

We began with a game brought by a new member, Neta. Story Cubes is an improv/imagination game. There are 9 cubes with various images and many ways to play. We took a suggestion from the instructions, rolling 3 cubes at a time and telling part of a story. We were enchanted by the tales of the stupid prince, the abducted sleepwalker, and the illiterate traveller. We felt the sorrow of the innocent escapee who was killed by a wayward arrow, and the fish-turned-sheep-turned human who discovered the meaning of life just before death. We were horrified by the deeds of a baby serial killer, and discovered the true cause of the Russian plane crash: a depressed Russian returning from Egypt whom, having the batteries die on his $200 Tetris device, angered a fellow passenger to the point of strangling the pilot. [That was a very long sentence].

All in all it was very entertaining. A repeating image which caused confusion throughout was the cube with an ‘L’ on it, variously interpreted as the rural ‘Ell’ inn, a door in the back of a cave, and a Tetris piece. Little did we know its true meaning would be revealed in the next game…

Forbidden Island

Roman – Pilot, Neta – Engineer, David – Explorer, Zevvy – Navigator

Same designer as Pandemic, but simpler mechanics. Players are adventurers working together to steal the four treasures of the Elements and escape the Island before it floods!

The game began well enough. Neta started with a Water Card and immediately drew two more, receiving a fourth from David. By her next turn she had claimed The Ocean’s Chalice. Roman protected the Fool’s Landing from sinking while David and I funneled our Fire Cards to Neta who claimed The Crystal of Fire after being helicoptered to the Cave of Shadows. But the Island was beginning to flood faster…

David had collected several Earth Cards, which he gave to Roman who claimed The Earth Stone. We needed to keep the Howling Garden from sinking, and maintain a connection to Fool’s Landing for our escape. Racing against the pace of the flooding, I managed to collect four Air Cards and acquire The Statue of the Wind. But we were forced to use our last helicopter, which would require us to draw another one with which to escape the Island after a reshuffle. With the Water Meter one tick away from Doom, we maneuvered everyone but Roman onto the Howling Garden and used a Helicopter to fly us all to Fool’s Landing. We now needed to draw a Helicopter before drawing another Water’s Rise, or game over. The odds of drawing either were 1:6.

The first card…was a Helicopter! As long as we made it to Roman’s turn, he could fly to Fool’s Landing and we could Helicopter away! The second card….was Water’s Rise! The Flood Level maxed out and we were left to our doom…

But look at the formation of land on which we made our final stand! What could it possibly mean?


As it happens, Neta lives literally across the hall from me. And she has been part of this group all along, though with a different name on Facebook. A happy surprise for us all. Technically, her door is across and slightly to the side…kind of like a ‘Γ‘…