There is no shortage of Disney and Disney-themed games for people to try out. The law of averages should tell you that some will be good, and some won’t. It’s a lot to sift through so hopefully, this review will help you decide on at least one of those.
Disney Princess See the Story from Funko Games is the latest addition to this Disney menagerie. It plays two to four players ages four and up.
See the Story is a game of matching picture clues to a particular Disney princess. Finding these matches fast lets players add one of the Story clues to their player board, which has pictures of twelve different princesses. Players take those acquired Story clues and cover up the matching princess on their board, trying to connect four in a row. The first player to do this, wins.
On a player’s turn, the well containing all the Story clues will be replenished from the previous turn. Then, all players will be trying to find two clues that match a Disney princess, such as Flounder or Moana’s canoe. The fastest player tosses their player coin into the well and makes their guess. If they’re right, they take one of these two Story clues and add them to their player board. If they’re wrong, other players starting from the left choose one Story clue and add it to their board. On a player’s turn, if there’s a match already present, they can choose to not refill the well and make a guess.
Sometimes there isn’t a match and, in this case, the player who replenished the well gets to choose one Story clue and add it to their board. Occasionally, the well will be replenished with an enchanted coin. When this happens and a player adds a clue to their board, they may also add this coin to their board to cover up any princess. The game allows for a gentler style of play, doing away with the race to be the first to guess. Instead, whoever refills the well gets to make a guess. Incorrect guesses allow two clues to be removed from the well to be replaced on the next turn with other clues and doesn’t give the other players coins for those mistakes.
I had a chance to play this with my six-year-old daughter. For some background, she’s seen most of the twelve movies these Disney princesses are in, save for maybe Pocahontas. My daughter recognized many of the Story clues, telling me some of their contexts in the movies, some of which I admittedly didn’t know myself. We opted to play the gentler mode because I don’t want an anxious kid, even though she’s my most competitive one. I think some older kids or if you were playing with three or four might enjoy the normal, quick reflexed mode, just to keep interest. I say this because making a successful match is truly the only interesting and exciting aspect to See the Story.
But we made our way through the game. There were a few times she couldn’t identify a match when there was one, because some clues are not obvious like familiar characters. The game includes a reference of what clues belong to which princesses, which is helpful. But unfortunately, this then forces players to have to memorize some of these pictured clues and their association, knowledge I don’t think will carry over between games for kids under seven.
I suppose if you wanted to leave this reference out, especially for younger kids, that might not be a bad house rule to make. This also showed that kids who have a deeper Disney knowledge will have an edge. Coupling that with quicker reflexes could make for an unenjoyable game if the group makeup is not on somewhat equal ground. An uninteresting game for a child means their attention will drift elsewhere.
There are a couple of things I found annoying with the game. During the unboxing, I discovered that I had to put plastic rings around all the token pieces. The pieces didn’t always go in flush and aside from giving them a softer edge, I don’t know that the rings were necessary. They might have even contributed to my second annoyance, the mechanical well and bucket. We found that, on a number of occasions, our tokens in the bucket would either get stuck and not drop out, get stuck while passing over a spot in the well, or would randomly let a token through on spots that already had a token in the well. The bucket is trying to add to the aesthetic and table presence, but if it doesn’t consistently work, it takes away from the enjoyment. I think drawing from a bag would’ve been a better option.
As I mentioned earlier, successfully matching is the most exciting aspect to See the Story. The Disney princesses are how they will get you to buy the game. But whether this combination paired with being Speed and Connect Four will be enough to keep your family interested is something you’ll have to consider. I certainly appreciated that there are different ways to modify the game based on desired play style or age group. I do think the normal rules for playing would be more interesting for older kids. But for me, I just didn’t see a lot of fun in this game. We successfully played it and it was fine. I just don’t think my daughter or anyone else in the house is going to ask to play it again. There are other Disney games that I’m sure would be more fun and worth your time and money.
Final Score: 2.5 Stars – A one-time use Disney money grab that you’ll probably find in Goodwill stores soon
• Mechanical issues with the bucket distributing coins properly
• Some clues are obscure, even for adults
• Requires Disney movie knowledge upfront
• Not interesting enough to warrant playing more than once