Release Date: 2023Players: 2-4
Designer: Brigette Indelicato, Mike Callahan, Thomas RochelleLength: 15-45 minutes
Artist: Brigette Indelicato, Kwanchai MoriyaAge: 10+
Publisher: Bright Eye GamesComplexity: 1.5 / 5
Plastic (by weight): < 1%Air (by volume): 30%

Space – the final frontier. These are the adventures of space pirate Oliver, who is on a mission to catch bounty hunter Boba on the star Alpha Centauri. Bob knows where their towel is – at all times. Meanwhile, in an underwater base, crime lord Jabba has built their shrink ray using the data chip that Boba had stolen. And so, The Plot Thickens: Sci-Fi Edition by Mike Callahan, Brigette Indelicato and Thomas Rochelle from Bright Eye Games.

Words Make Stories

I know, it’s a bit of an odd introduction, but it gives you a good idea of how this story-telling game works. Now, like any game, The Plot Thickens needs to be played with the right group. Making up a story based on prompt cards and incorporating words other players have played while trying to keep all the threads going, is definitely not for everyone – but play it with the right group of people and you’re onto a real winner.

I decided to try the science-fiction edition of The Plot Thickens, because this genre’s tropes are more familiar to me. That’s why it’s no surprise that during my first game, I heavily drew on Star Trek, Star Wars and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. However, there are also romance and detective editions, if you prefer either of those.

Let me come out with it straight away. Even though I love writing, especially creative writing, I just didn’t get on with The Plot Thickens. It’s a lot harder for me to come up with ideas on the spot and verbally, even when I work from prompt cards, than it is for me to write them down. I was really surprised by that, but I felt that you have to have a certain skill for telling stories out loud that I don’t seem to have.

However, that doesn’t mean The Plot Thickens is a bad game. I played it with someone who loves the stories games tell. They are very good at narrating what’s happening and creating a rich tapestry of threads and tales. Even the most abstract games give them enough inspiration to come up with mad ideas that are funny and entertaining to listen to. It’s these kinds of players that this game is perfect for.

Connect The Threads

So when we played The Plot Thickens with them, they groaned at my feeble attempt to use well-known science-fiction tropes and quote almost verbatim from 1980s science-fiction TV series and films. Mind you, if you can’t think of anything new, then falling back on what you know is fair. However, when it was their turn, they played their prompt cards with aplomb and spun a yarn that could have been the basis for the next science-fiction feature film. Not only were they really getting into the game, they also drew us in as well. They showed how well The Plot Thickens works.

They took it to the next level when in chapter two of the game they seamlessly incorporated words played by the other people around the table to weave the various storylines together. In their telling, our characters met each other, helped each other and generally behaved as you would imagine them to behave in a science-fiction setting. It was truly infectious.

Not wanting to be outdone, everyone else tried to follow suit. We were becoming inspired and started to put our self-consciousness aside. The story was becoming more and more complex. New locations and items entered the stage and created new twists and turns, culminating in chapter three which became a little chaotic, but still a lot of fun.

So, yes, if you have enough people with the right attitude in the group, The Plot Thickens is a lot of fun. The creativity we all have in us comes out, even if it can sometimes feel a little awkward. I reckon losing our inhibitions is what the game tries to encourage and it does happen when you’re with the right people.

players draw new cards and can choose between places, things and characters
players draw new cards and can choose between places, things and characters

Everybody Wins

Apart from the way the game encourages storytelling, what I love even more about it is that there is no winner. The game ends after a pre-agreed number of rounds, which the game calls chapters. Everyone plays as many of their cards as they want and then passes to the next person. They can then draw up to five cards again when it’s their turn. There is enough variety and the words are well-known for their genre that it shouldn’t be too hard to make up a story.

When the game ends, the so-called “main character” has the role of completing the story and tying up loose ends. Another player, the so-called “author”, then chooses a suitable title. These two players are selected depending on how many of the other players’ words were used. You could say that these two players are the winner and runner-up, but the rulebook never declares that. So while The Plot Thickens is technically competitive, it’s really cooperative. It’s more about encouraging everyone to try and weave a rich tapestry of plot lines. It’s not there to decide who played the game best.

So if you love story-telling and are the one who narrates what happens in the board games you play with your friends or family, then The Plot Thickens will be up your street. You can decide to do three quick rounds, just to ease people in, or you can write more chapters to create a long novel. The choice is yours. Either way, make sure you are ready to play cards and remember what’s going on to create the next blockbuster hit.

Useful Links


Transparency Facts

I feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.
  • I was sent a free review copy of this game by the publisher.
  • At the time of writing, neither the designers, nor the publisher, nor anyone linked to the game supported me financially or by payment in kind.

Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (

License code: SUI7NKUQ7PK6VGGO


These are the songs I listened to while I was writing this review:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *