Thursday 24 June 2021

(Sent for review) 20 Dreams Family Card Game Review - Recognise And Express Your Emotions...

20 Dreams is a really unique card game, so when I was contacted by the developer and asked if I wanted to review, I was very excited to accept. Suitable for 2-6 players, you have to tell a story using picture cards, but also have an Emotion Card, which you keep to yourself, and have to convey through the story for the other players to guess.

Before I even played, I really liked the fact you are showing your emotions. It might sound a bit twee, but everyone is just expected to hide our emotions a lot of the time. It can be incredibly frustrating, and make it hard to actually let our feelings out when we want to. Playing 20 Dreams you are letting go and behaving freely. It's a rare thing these days. 

20 Dreams Family card game boxed. Plain dark box with large 20 in figures

20 Dreams is a card-based game, and it's entirely plastic-free (yeeay!). Everything is stored in a really neat little box with a magnetic closure. I love it when games pack away so small, because they're better for storage and ideal for visiting and travelling. You could pop 20 Dreams in any bag. 

20 Dreams game packaging design in box with magnetic closure

Inside the box are:
60 different illustrated Picture Cards - used to tell the story
7 identical sets of Emotion Cards - 6 different player colours and 1 white set

You'll need enough table space for a couple of distinct discard piles, as well as each player's own 'won' cards. 20 Dreams is designed for players aged 12+, but younger players can play - you may want to take out a couple of the heavier emotions first. This is also an excellent game for anyone who is neurodiverse - with Autism for example. Being effective at expressing and recognising emotions is a really useful skill, and it doesn't come as easily to everyone. 

2 different piles of cards laid on a table reverse side up

Before you start, each player takes their own set of Emotion Cards. As the boys are colour blind, we were really pleased to note that the differently coloured sets have the 'name' of their colour written on them. Small details can make all the difference. 

20 Dreams family game emotion cards

The White Emotion Cards and the Story Cards go in piles on the table face down - but 1 Emotion Card is always removed (without looking), so that you aren't left with a very simple choice in the final rounds! Choose a player to start and they become the Storyteller.

The Storyteller takes the top 3 Story Cards and turns them over for everyone to see - these will have to be included in their story. Then the Storyteller takes the top White Emotion Card and secretly looks at it, keeping it hidden from all other players. Their story has to express this emotion. 

20 Dreams teenagers card game review storyboard cards displayed in circle formation on table

The Story Cards are great. They feature familiar objects, scenes, animals and people, but with varied colours and little detail, so your imagination can easily run riot. It makes it actually a much funnier game, because you all interpret the images slightly differently. A lady saying "shhh" to one person, is '1980's pop star Kim Wilde pondering what to do next' for another person. 

Players earn Emotion Cards for getting the emotion correct, and they are placed in their winnings piles. As you play through the game it becomes easier to 'guess' the emotion, because you can look at what you have left. That actually works very well to give a late boost to anyone who is losing attention or felt they did badly earlier in the game - although even when you only have 2 possible options, you aren't guaranteed to pick the correct one! 

20 Dreams family game layout on table

We've played a few times now, and my 11 year old has also played more than once with his friend. 20 Dreams is a really good game. It's lots of fun pretending to be angry or worried, and creating a story that has excitement and a bit of passion to it, even if it might be utterly absurd in the real world. The creator, Karen Stallard, has done an excellent job - and it's all wrapped up really neatly in a very user-friendly package. 

20 Dreams is obviously ideal for anyone working with children or young people to help them learn to understand, express or control emotions in a safe way. Ms Stallard is an Integrative Arts Psychotherapist, and she really has used her professional understanding and experience here, but in a way that becomes something everyone can find useful - and lots of fun! This is a 'professional toolbox item' that is just as good on any family game shelf. Nicely done. 

You can buy 20 Dreams directly from the Play 20 Dreams website, and it is incredibly reasonably priced, at £17.99 with free UK delivery. 

We were sent our copy of 20Dreams for review

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