The Creativity Hub, the Irish firm responsible for publishing Rory’s Story Cubes and The Extraordinaires Design Studio is shifting focus from the educational market exclusively to tabletop games. With that comes a new name, Hub Games.

What the company will keep doing, however, is producing products with a unique sensibility.

Hub Games aims to publish games that foster discussion between players at the table and beyond; games with heart. By encouraging self-expression through play and having gamers reflect on the choices they make, Hub Games looks to push past the idea of games being simple entertainment.

Its two latest releases are Blank and Untold: Adventures Await. Blank is a card game reminiscent of Uno, except that the cards and game rules are modified by the players with each play. Thus, over time each card deck becomes a reflection of the people who’ve played with it. Untold: Adventures Await is a storytelling game, a kind-of cooperative RPG in which participants describe a series of adventures using Rory’s Story Cubes in a structure of scenes, episodes, and seasons.

The rights to Rory’s Story Cubes were sold by the company last year to Asmodee.

  • Comments Off on Original Publisher of Rory’s Story Cubes Transitions to Hub Games

Rory’s Story Cubes Sold to Asmodee

Asmodee Group has acquired Rory’s Story Cubes from The Creativity Hub. Already the distributor for Rory’s Story Cubes in several countries, Asmodee with this deal ups its stake to “worldwide publishing and brand rights.” Other existing distribution arrangements will remain in place through their current terms, such as with Gamewright through 2018 in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The deal also has The Creativity Hub working as consultants to Asmodee for a 3 year period, allowing for the smooth transition of manufacturing, distribution, and product development. Discussing the transaction with Purple Pawn, company co-founder Rory O’Connor expressed confidence in Asmodee’s commitment to the product as both a game and a resource for promoting creativity. Asmodee, he said, will better be able to expand the reach of Rory’s Story Cubes to a wider audience and additional global markets. Don’t expect any sudden changes to the product line, though, or a major expansion in licensed versions of Story Cubes.

At the same time, Rory added, the sale will allow The Creativity Hub to focus more time and resources on new products. Among those it has in development are Blank, a card game that evolves from play to play, and Untold, a cooperative roleplaying game incorporating Story Cubes and currently funding on Kickstarter. Regarding the Untold, Rory said in jest:

Looking back at it, it’s almost like Untold is the base game and we released all the expansions already.

  • Comments Off on Rory’s Story Cubes Sold to Asmodee

Rory’s Story Cubes, those symbol-covered dice meant to inspire creative storytelling are set to become the basis for a new cooperative roleplaying game. The company behind the Story Cubes, Belfast-based The Creativity Hub, launched this morning on Kickstarter Untold: Adventure Awaits, a game meant to offer a “deeper level of storytelling while also being accessible to as wide an audience as possible.”

The game has players creating individual characters and building a story in five scene stages—danger, intrigue, confrontation, revelation, and showdown—which together comprise an “episode”. At each stage, a scene tile will provide the overall structure. For example, the chosen danger tile might indicate that someone is being attacked, with fill-in space for where and with what. Then players roll the Story Cubes to fill in the details.

Also part of the game are reaction cards and toolkit cards. Reaction cards are used for resolving character actions. The toolkit cards allow players to take special actions in developing the story. For example, a flashback card allows a player to incorporate elements from a previous episode and an “and” card gives a player the ability to superimpose their idea on to another player’s concept.

The base game, available for a £20 ($26) pledge, includes one set of nine Rory’s Story Cubes, an episode board, six alternative scene tiles for each stage, reaction cards, toolkit cards, player aids, an adventure journal, and hero sheets. For a £28 ($36) pledge, backers get, in addition to the base game, one set of licensed cubes (Doctor Who, Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo, Moomin, or Adventure Time). Or for £160 ($206), backers get everything. That is, every Rory’s Story Cube ever released, including the 3-cube Mix Sets that were not previously sold in the United States.

Assuming The Creativity Hub hits its funding goal of £10,000 (around $13,000) for the Untold project—a pretty safe bet—the company plans to deliver games to backers in October of this year, followed by a formal launch at Essen Spiel. Of course, the project also has stretch goals. The first, at £12,000 ($16,000), would add a set of Batman Story Cubes to the base game.

  • Comments Off on Untold: The Rory’s Story Cubes Adventure Roleplaying Game

Toy Fair 2017—Gamewright

One of of the larger booths I visited at Toy Fair was Gamewright. Several small games were on display as were some games that are about to return to your game store’s shelves.

In the Port-A-Party line of small games, they had Think ‘n Sync and PDQ, both available in March for $10. PDQ, which we’ve discussed before, has been out of print for five years and returns in a box sized to fit in the Port-A-Party line. In that game, three letter cards are placed in a row and players race to create a word using those letters either left-to-right or right-to-left. Think ‘n Sync is a game that reminded me a bit of Family Feud, except everyone shouts out their answer. Matches gain points.

Rory’s Story Cubes, Fantasia edition, is on its way for a summer release ($8). Fantasia contains three Enchanted dice, three Myth dice, and three Medieval dice.

Cha-Cha Chiahuahua (summer, $16) comes with a bunch of little doggie figures and several disco dance floors for kids 4 and up. Do activities and place your dancing pups on the color-coded dance floor.

Go Nuts for Donuts (summer, $15) is a Sushi Go-like game with bidding instead of drafting. Donut cards are laid out and you select which one to add to your collection; if others are also going for your choice, you all lose out. Each type of donut has different abilities, such as a point reward for having the fewest cards, ability to steal donuts from the discard pile, or a significant number of points for having a large collection of one type.

Imagine (now, $15) is charades with clear cards. Transparent cards with symbols printed on them are layered atop one another to create images others have to guess. A clever way to use see-through cards. Can you tell what’s on the center of the box above?

Tiki Topple (summer, $20) is a reprint of a ten year old game. This new Mensa Select edition has players trying to assemble a totem pole with certain tiki heads nearest the top. Cards that reorder and remove some sections of the pole are used to move your sections up and opponents’ down. But can you tell which tiki heads your opponents are trying to get to the top? It’s a quick game that I really enjoyed playing a demo of — it reminded me a bit of Abandon Ship, but with simpler and shorter gameplay.

This summer, two new entries into the CardVentures line, Vanished and Time Raiders (each $10), will be released. These choose-your-own-adventure-like games join last year’s Stowaway 52 and Jump Ship!. The single-player game is played with oversized cards with story elements, allowing you to jump to additional cards based on your choices to tell a story.

  • Comments Off on Toy Fair 2017—Gamewright

Storing Story Cubes

Two new storage options for Rory’s Story Cubes will be available this week at Spiel Essen: the orderly Collector’s Box and the easy Collector’s Bag.




At first one might think The Extraordinaires a STEM education game (and certainly there was a lot of talk about STEM at Toy Fair). But really this new product from the inventors of Rory’s Story Cubes is meant to encourage imagination and exercise empathy.

The Extraordinaires Design Studio Deluxe comes in a plastic portfolio case with character cards, job cards, and a drawing pad. Players are supposed to design products that satisfy the need described on a selected job card, specifically for the person specified on a selected character card. For example, with one randomly chosen card of each type, the goal might be to design a source of light for a pirate.

Exercising empathy is made part of the task because with each character comes a bit of background information in the form of images of their life. The images convey something more of that character’s unique personality, as well as at least one limitation. For example, it turns out that the ninja is in a band and the pirate has only one hand.

The Extraordinaires Design Studio Deluxe is available now and comes with 225 design challenges for $40. An Inventions set has 36 challenges (18 new) but no and a smaller drawing pad for $20. The Buildings set also has no the smaller pad and is also $20 but does feature 36 entirely new challenges.

The Extraordinaires Design Studio

corrected 2/20/2015

Batman Story Cubes

Coming in September are two licensed versions of Rory’s Story Cubes: Batman Story Cubes and Moomin Story Cubes.

Rory's Story Cubes Batman and Moomin

  • Comments Off on Batman Story Cubes

Toy Fair 2014—Gamewright

Toy-Fair-2014-logo-150wideFirst up on my tour of Gamewright’s booth was Pryramix ($24), a game played in three dimensions. The board—if you care to call it that—is formed by stacking cubes in the shape of a pyramid. On his turn, a player may pull any cube exposed on at least two sides. Obviously, if the cube taken is not from the top, the one’s above it will slide down. An ankh cube is worth one point, a crane two points, and an eye three points. However, when only one cube remains in each stack, the game is over and the player with the most ankhs of each color scores a bonus equal to all the cubes that remain on the board with the matching color.

Next up was Qwixx ($11), a European dice game that Gamewright is bringing to the U.S. market. Qwixx is a fast-play game, where the players roll dice of various colors and mark off matches on a score sheet. The more spaces marked off, the more points a player scores. The trick is that once a player has marked off a space, he can’t go back to any space further left.

After Qwixx was another push-your-luck dice game, but one where the goal is to be the player with the fewest points. Dodge Dice ($11) features dice with colored faces; a penalty die, which indicates the number of points scored for matching colors; and an action die, which includes a face that forces the player to stop rolling and take points, a face that converts points to negative, and a face that allows the player to pass the points to someone else. Also, all players start the game with three skip chips, which allow them to bypass taking points for a turn.

Over Under ($10) is part of Gamewright’s Port-a-Party line. It’s a number trivia game where the reader of the question guesses whether everyone’s answers are either more than or less than the correct number.

Sushi Go! ($12), another title being republished by Gamewright, has players passing cards around the table, while keeping those they hope will give them the most maki or a full set of sashimi. In other words, it’s a game of card drafting.

After these new games, I got a look at two extra-large reprints being planned by Gamewright, Rory’s Story Cubes Max ($20) and Super Slamwich ($16).

And finally, from the company’s Brainwright line, I looked at two challenge puzzles, Orbis ($17) and Collide-o-Cube ($20). The former sets up a board with several white marbles, one yellow marble, and an orange pawn. The goal is to push the yellow marble in to the center of the board using the orange pawn. The pawn, however, can only move when and in a direction that it is pushing a white marble.

Collide-o-Cube is one of those three-dimensional puzzles that challenges one to match certain shapes and patterns. What makes this one particularly difficult, though, is that the pieces of this puzzle are magnetic, and therefore attract and repel each other in ways that aren’t apparent until placed close together.

  • Comments Off on Toy Fair 2014—Gamewright