Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.
Games have always been something we have enjoyed in our family, but during this winter lockdown we have been playing even more, whilst it is too cold to spend much time in the garden. So I was very pleased to be offered the chance to try out the brand new 20 Dreams game for free.
20 Dreams, a creative storytelling card game was ‘dreamt’ up by Karen Stallard, an Arts Psychotherapist. It focuses on using the more emotional side of your brain, rather than logic. Then launched as a small business venture with a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer.
Dispatch was quick and I was glad to see the care that had been taken to ensure the product was plastic free, with just a couple of paper strips to secure the cards. Every little helps to try to reduce plastic pollution. Plus a nice small box size was a bonus too, as not everyone has space to store many large games.
In fact, even the box gets used during the game as the ‘penalty box’ for incorrect guesses. Great innovative use of the box.
The game has different variants depending on how many people are playing. So there is a 2 player cooperative game, working together to collect points or a 3-6 player competitive game or a team version. So far we’ve tried playing it with 4 and 5 players, including over Zoom.
You take it in turns to tell a dream which includes the 3 picture cards and expresses the emotion on your white card. The other players then have to guess which emotion it is from their own coloured pack. Get it right and the dream teller earns points, but get it wrong and the penalties start stacking up!
The rules suggest a certain number of rounds depending on the number of players. Well son2 insisted we continue playing until all the emotion cards ran out as he was enjoying it so much, so you can adapt your own variations too.
As mentioned above, we did also try it out over Zoom. Great for mental health and wellbeing, to be able to involve those that lockdown has forced into a lonely isolated lifestyle. Ideally this would be best with a game set each or at least to have given a player pack to the person playing remotely. However we didn’t have this opportunity so our workaround was for him to write down the list of 20 emotions and cross them out once played.
I have to say son1’s emotions were impossible to guess. Every dream he told in a flat monotone, with barely any story around the 3 pictures. Very hard to work out what he was feeling so I think I wrongly guessed “calm” every time for him, until someone else played that emotion card. Meanwhile he seemed to deliberately guess almost the most opposite emotion possible for the rest of us. I’m not sure if it was tactical play on his part, but it meant all his blue cards ended up in the penalty box. And for the final scores, we all were negative, although son2 was the winner being least negative points. But everyone had great fun, even son1. We were in fits of giggles over how hilarious some of the stories were.
The dream teller is supposed to start each dream saying “Last night I had a dream” and end it by saying “and I woke up feeling …?” Well son2 even involved his bear by wearing the outer box showing those phrases.
The box indicates that this is the 2020 classic pop art edition and their online shop also says 1st edition, so looks like there will be more releases to look forward to. Any suggestions for what other versions you would like to see?
I believe that our family are all more analytical than creative, so I would be very interested to play this with a different group of people too, as I’m sure the dynamics of the game will be quite different. And the 20 Dreams website says that it can also be used as an educational tool by parents, teachers or therapists, with plenty of resources, tools and ideas detailed.
The game is aimed at age 12+ but on the website, they suggest that it can be adapted for younger or neurodiverse players by removing the more difficult emotions to make the game shorter and more accessible.
The only thing that did slightly surprise me was that the box says ‘Made in China’. I had just assumed that as a small start-up business, who had taken the effort to help protect the environment by avoiding single-use plastic, that the product would have had a lower carbon footprint and supported other local industry if made in the UK.
20 Dreams currently retails at £14.99. Great value in my opinion. I can certainly highly recommend this game, which has been very well thought out. Fun for all the family across the generations.
And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a 20 Dreams game to one lucky winner. What a fun prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.
And you may see my other giveaways here.
I’d love to hear your idea for a new game.