Trope Tango is a turn-based single or multiplayer board game. By fitting pieces inscribed with various storytelling tropes together onto a board, player(s) will create their own oral stories. Single players will complete the game alone, while during multiplayer sessions, participants work collaboratively.
Storytelling is fun. We share scary stories around campfires. We gossip with friends over coffee. Are these stories award winning quality pieces of fiction? Usually not. However, pleasure comes through every individual’s active participation in the story they create. It’s not the story itself that is most important, but rather the creation of it, especially when creating with others.
On one hand, very few board games exist for single players, and there is always room in the universe for a reflective, inner-directed game. On the other hand, engineering human interaction through board games is a romantic, fanciful sentiment and infinitely more exciting. Trope Tango is suitable as both.
I make games with myself as the audience, meaning that they must be tactile, that they should be accessible to many types of people, that they should not be inherently difficult, and that the player should be given immense power and agency over what they decide to do with the tools provided.
It can be very satisfying to finish something and be able to say, “I made that! It’s not perfect but it’s mine and I’m proud of it.“ This is a game and tool for non-writers to enjoy the fundamental human activity of storytelling.
Set lists of tropes per card type as well as specific themes to use as “expansion packs” such as a school themed set or a space opera themed set are in progress. If you would like to play at home, a printable pdf with instructions, a prompt booklet, a board, and a card template is available here. There is an endless amount of tropes out there to group and have fun mashing together. Get creative and make your own!