Arabian Nights is another game deeply based in the storytelling mechanic, this time with the world of Scheherazade and her tales. You will encounter expected characters like paupers and royalty, as well as genies and djinns. Unlike Agents of Smersh this game is competitive with each player trying to get enough story and fate points to have a great tale to tell in Baghdad before the other players.
At the beginning of the game you are given a quest to guide you with where to go first in the adventure of your life. As you work towards satisfying that quest you will encounter a great many people, things, and creatures. Each time you encounter one of those you need to decide how you will respond. Will you lie, rob, attack, capture, or one of many other options? Once you have selected your response another player will read how that encounter goes to see what your fate. You could find treasure or you gain conditions such as Imprisoned or Respected.
Unfortunately some of the conditions cause issues with a competitive game. Some of the rarer conditions state on the card that you cannot win, and can be quite difficult to remove. The last time our group played with four people, all of us has conditions that wouldn’t let us win, and we had maxed out our story and fate points waiting for someone to be lucky enough to finally lose a condition and reach Baghdad. That experience has led us to have a house rule of ignoring those game winning restrictions to make the game more fun for everyone.
Once you have met your fate and story point goals you can head back to Baghdad to win the game. When you are playing Arabian Nights you should try to treat it more as a fun story and experience then a game where you need to win to feel vindicated. This is similar to most other storytelling games and is just to let people know who might have a problem with that type of gaming experience that this might not be your game.
If the idea of immersing yourself in the world of the Arabian nights for a fun few hours of adventure and misadventure then this might be the game for you. It is one of the first and one of the best storytelling games on the market.