Customer Reviews: Rory's Story Cubes
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on June 13, 2010
I can't believe no one has reviewed these yet. Rory's Story Cubes are a fantastic toy/educational activity. Roll the dice, and create a story on your own, inspired by the images. Or create a cooperative story, with everyone adding to it. Add competitive elements, time limits, or points for using the most dice in your story. There are no limits to using these dice. The more you use them, play with them, and learn from them, the more ideas you will have for their use. The dice are also very well crafted and are a good size. You can also go to storycubes dot com to read other ideas for how to use the cubes, and to read some stories others have come up with. Kids of all ages can play! Parents, too!
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This is one of those games where you say to yourself, "why in the world didn't I think of that?" It is so utterly simple: nine dice with different pictures on each face, create your own story, create your own rules. It is big on creativity yet is small enough to take anywhere. I play this with my nearly five year old, and what is great is that the dice provide just enough structure for kids to roll with (pun intended) without scripting the outcome. I am reminded of Monty Python's "Meaning of Life" when the couple sits down for dinner and is given conversation starters. But Rory's Cubes actually provide a challenge. Kids have to decide what the pictures are going to mean and then link them coherently. And they enjoy seeing what adults do with their rolls. It is a wonderful opportunity to model different narrative techniques. We use these most often when we go out to dinner (hats off to Monty Python) and the kids are impatiently waiting for their food; it is great to be able to take along a tiny game rather than a backpack full of books.

I was tipped off to Rory's Story Cubes from Jenny Williams' June 2010 review on Wired's GeekDad blog (likely the same Jenny Williams who first reviewed this for Amazon). Not long after the blog post, every on-line and brick and mortar outlet that I could find sold out of the game. If you want another very thorough review of the game, it is worth searching for her review.
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on November 28, 2010
This is a truly exceptional toy.
My wife and I "found" this at a local bookstore, and were just amazed by the simplicity of this toy/activity cubes. There are nine cubes/dice with a different image on each side. You roll all of them and depending on the nine images that come up, you create your unique story using all of the nine images. There are enough different combinations to keep you and your family occupied for months/years. The box gives other variations of playing this as a multi-player game, where you distribute the dice amongst the players and one player starts a story with the images on the dice he/she has been dealt and the second player continues the story using the dice he/she has been dealt, and so on. Promotes creativity, imagination and story-telling. And, everybody has a fun time too. I think children can start enjoying the game at 3-4 years of age. I can imagine the fun our son will have when he his old enough to play this game. He is not yet one, but my wife and I will enjoy the game with our siblings and friends until then.
This will make a great gift too. You might find it cheaper at your local book/toy store though.
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on December 30, 2010
Sad Face

Once there was a tree and a sad boy who got eaten by a sheep.
That was a 4.5 year old boy's first story after rolling 3 dice... his stories have gotten a little more elaborate since then (5 days ago) but not any less amusing.
Good for the imagination and for building verbal skills.. and for a laugh, especially when you've got a group of people (all ages) willing to participate.
Dice are as pictured.. rounded corners and measuring about .75" on all sides. The box is a sturdy cardboard box that opens like a book, with a magnetic flap on the side to keep it closed.
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on December 26, 2010
This gift was a hit with 11, 14 and 15 year old boys. They got into it. Don't know how long it could be played and still be entertaining but it the boys didn't want to quit the night they got it. It would be a good car game for long drives and an occasional game on nights you want to pull them away from video games.
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on April 24, 2012
The Basics:
o For ages 4 and up (publisher suggests 8+)
o For 1 or more players
o Variable game length

Geeks Skills:
o Active Listening & Communication
o Logical & Critical Decision Making
o Imagination

Learning Curve:
o Child - Easy
o Adult - Easy

Theme & Narrative:
o Whatever you create!

o Gamer Geek rejected!
o Parent Geek approved!
o Child Geek approved!


Roll the cubes and tell a tale! Each story will be random and there is never a wrong way to go about telling it! With each new shake, new possibilities will emerge allowing creativity and imagination to go wild! From the very young to the very old, Rory's Story Cubes will engage and inspire everyone at your gaming table!

Rory's Story Cubes is comprised of 9 six-sided cubes. On each face of the cube is a unique image (54 in total) that represents anything from an apple to a zapping lighting bolt. The cubes are heavy without being bothersome and easy for little hands and big hands to role. The images are surprisingly detailed, too, making it easy to distinguish what the image is attempting to represent. Although, what the image really represents is up to the individual to determine.

Game Set Up

Game set up is exceedingly simple. All that is needed is a central playing area in which all the cubes will be rolled. That's it! Time to play!

Lots and Lots of Ways to Play

Rory's Story Cubes does not have a single way of playing the game. In fact, the rules in the box state right up front that there are infinite ways to use the cubes to play any type of game you can think of. This includes solitary, cooperative, team, and competitive games. The cubes are meant to stimulate an individual's creativity by providing visual cues. How those cues are used are up to the individual in accordance to whatever game they might be playing. If this sounds overwhelming, Gamewright offers three different games that you might consider playing before you invent games of your own.

Once Upon A Time...

The player takes all 9 of the cubes and rolls them. A single cube is selected and is the starting point of the story using the phrase, "Once upon a time.." A story is then created using the rest of the 8 cubes and told in such a way that each cube links to the next through the story's narrative.

Title First, Story Second

The player comes up with a title for a story. For example, "The Best Day Ever" or "When Dogs Fly". Then the player rolls the 9 cubes and uses the images to tell a story that relates back to the story's title.

The Cooperative Story

Divide the cubes among all the players; it's OK if one or more players have more cubes than the other players. The first player will roll their cubes and select on of the images on the cubes to use. This cube is placed in the center of the playing area and is visible to all the other players. The first player then starts a story using the cube played in the center. When they are done, they pass their turn to the next player who rolls their cubes, selecting one to place in the center of the playing area, and continues to tell the story, incorporating their story with the other player's story. This continues until all the players have rolled their cubes and the story is completed.

These are just three ways you can use the cubes to play! The cubes really do offer unlimited possibilities and the only limitations are the player's imaginations.

See the games' web site at Gamewright for more information and visit the game's official web site for more ideas on how to use the dice.


My little geeks are creative people. They are always on the floor building fantastic spaceships and robots with their LEGO blocks and coming up with imaginative play as they run around the house fighting invisible evil. I often join them and am always left feeling slightly left behind as their creative minds quickly change from one game to another. My adult logical mind is often left perplexed and wondering when exactly we "switched gears" as a group. Luckily for me, my little geeks are not bothered by their dad asking questions like "what are we playing now?" and "who are we fighting?" They are more than happy to take me by the hand and bring me up-to-speed.

Rory's Story Cubes offers my little geeks and the rest of the family a unique experience to tap into my little geeks creative and seemingly random nature. By providing a pivot point from which all the players work from, the players can be as creative as they like, but there is always a common thread that allows for easy reference back to the context of the story. This also provides a defined boundary in which the stories can take place without limiting the players creativity.

When I pitched the game to my little geeks, they were all for playing it. I told them the game would allow everyone to make a story. Of course, they wanted to know if the story could have dragons in it. Of course, I told them. How about robots? Again, certainly. How about robot dragons that fight space mice?


My little geeks were very excited by the amount of freedom and creativity the game seemed to provide the players. I made certain, however, that they understood that the stories always had to "make sense". When they asked me what that meant, I told them the story must be consistent and incorporate the other player's contribution to the story. This got me nothing more than blank looks from the little geeks at the table. Clearly, I lost them with my description, so I tried again.

"It's like this. If Liam starts talking about a cowboy, you Nyhus, cannot start a new story that has nothing to do with Liam's cowboy. You need to keep telling a story about the cowboy, but you get to decide what that cowboy does!"

This was understood by my little geeks and they were ready to play! We decided to divide the cubes up among the three of us and play the suggested Cooperative Story rules provided in the box. Before we rolled and started our story, I asked my little geeks what they thought of the game so far.

"I think I'm really going to like this." ~ Liam (age 7)

"I'm going to tell a story about ninja robots!" ~ Nyhus (age 4)

Looks like the little geeks are ready to go! Let's play the game and find out if the story we make will be epic or tragically less so.

Final Word

Two things became immediately apparent the first time we played the game.

First off, my little geeks only want to tell stories that include robots, aliens, dragons, ninjas, and the occasional Star Wars character. They corrected me a number of times when I told my part of the story that did not include any of these character types.

Second, my little geeks were holding themselves back. They looked at the images on the cubes and focused too much on using that specific image instead of determining what the image could represent. For example, one of the images is a smiley face. Instead of interpreting that as a mood, they said there was a smiley face in the story. This is not a bad thing by any means, but they did this with just about every cube. This greatly limited their story telling and the story itself became disjointed.

After we finished the first story, my little geeks were clearly not all that impressed with the game or themselves. I explained that the images on the cubes were meant to represent something that could be exactly what they see on the cube or something else. When they asked me what I meant, I used the image of a jet plane as an example. I told them the image could mean a jet plan or traveling or moving as fast as a jet plan. BOOM! My little geeks immediately understood and wanted to play again, so we gave the game another shot.

The second game was greatly improved. My little geeks used the images to help guide the story instead of being tied to them. This made all the difference, and before we knew it, we had created an exciting story together, laughing and cheering each other on as the story become more and more complex and interesting. When my oldest finally said "the end", we were not ready for the game to stop. Taking up the cubes again, we made up another story and then another, until our brains were too tired to think up anything more. We left the table creatively exhausted and exceedingly happy.

Gamer Geeks, this is not a game for you. Yes, you can create any type of game around it, but the game play itself does not allow for meaningful strategy and tactics. The games that use the cubes are all about storytelling and nothing more. The cubes are, after all, just meant to generate ideas. The creative and cooperative element will appeal to most Gamer elitists, but this is not a game you'll see on your gaming table anytime soon as there really is no "game". Roll the cubes, create a story. That's it. From a Gamer's perspective, this is just not enough to make it a worthwhile venture with a group of hardcore players.

Parent Geeks, this is a fantastic game that promotes vocabulary growth and creativity. The cubes can be used in many different ways allowing you to play the game with your little geeks to help them learn new vocabulary words. Later, you can use the cubes with your older geeks when you want a fun and creative family experience around the table. Being highly portable (the entire game comes in a very small box), you can take it with you on trips or pull out the game the next time you are waiting with your little geeks at the doctor's office, at a restaurant table, or anytime you want to be creative and entertained. Educators should be very pleased with this game as it can provide many fun activities in the classroom while promoting vocabulary, speech, and creative writing.

Child Geeks, this is a wonderful game that will allow you to be as creative as you want and tell amazing stories about far off and imaginative places or as close as your backyard. There is no wrong way to play the games and you'll be crafting tales that will make all the players want to chip in! Tell stories about robots and dragons or spaceships and swords! Mix and match your favorite TV shows into your stories with your favorite characters in the books you read. There are simply no limits.

Rory's Story Cubes provides the players an opportunity to create a story and that's where it stops. The majority of the responsibility to provide the fun and game rules is placed on the shoulders of the individuals playing the game. Play the game with individuals who choose not to be creative or get into the spirit of the game, and your experience will most likely be less than satisfactory. This can be said, to a point, for all games as the individuals you play with help determine your overall game play experience. Since Rory's Story Cubes is a game that requires a great deal of social interaction, not having any will cause the game to fall flat on its face.

Do not let this scare you off, however, as Rory's Story Cubes does offer the truly creative and social individuals a wonderful time. Sharing in a story is not only great with your kids, but also your friends and everyone in your family. Through the story you get to learn something about everyone at the table. For example, I had no idea that my oldest son knew the word "fluorescent". Turns out he read a book about fish deep in the ocean where the word was introduced.

My family and friends whom I have played the game with have enjoyed the experience immensely. It works best with groups but can also be played solo. If you want to play it alone, try rolling the cubes and then write a story using all the images. As a group experience, everyone can play, from the little geeks to big geek game elitists who begrudgingly admit they had a good time playing the game.

Fun and creative, Rory's Story Cubes is an excellent addition to your growing family's game library. A useful tool for when your little geeks are learning words and a simple game to play and share around the table when they get older. The game will never go out of style and will also provide something new each time it is played, providing unlimited replay and learning experiences. For being a game comprised of no more than 9 cubes, it really packs a lot of fun.

Respectfully submitted by Father Geek
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on September 11, 2011
My six year old grandson is very creative. He loves to read books, and he loves illustrating and writing stories, too. We were attracted to the Story Cubes because we needed a fun toy that we could stick in our carry-on bags. We read the directions and practiced with them a bit. Then used the story cubes with my grandson for about an hour to create three or four stories. After that, we were more or less done using the cubes. They work very much as advertised. The symbols on the cubes give players a little flexibility to adjust the story line. For example, a picture of a bee could suggest an icky bug or delicious honey or even hard work. The stories end up being a bit stilted, much like what you might find in a game of Madlibs. You could duplicate a similar experience with cards or spinners or in a number of other ways. I'm afraid I let my expectations rise too high for this product. It's a good product and does what it purports to do.
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on November 14, 2011
This is such a simple little gift that it can be underestimated. I bought it as a stocking stuffer and, to be honest, it's the only game my son has used all year long in a variety of situations. It's so small, it's great for travel. My son is 12 and he even brought it with us to a restaurant last week when we were meeting some friends from out of town. He knew the adults would want to talk for a while, so he and their two sons sat at an adjacent table and had a blast playing this game. I'd much rather see kids connecting on that level instead of mindlessly looking at TV screens that are so often on walls of restaurants these days. My 5 year old niece LOVES this game and the beauty of it is that a broad range of ages can play this game since no reading is required. Basically, you toss the dice and create your own story based on the pictures that land face up after your toss. I'm not a game person, so most games are lost on me. What I love about this game is there are no complicated rules. They have an outline of recommended use of the dice, but my son has created his own game with them. The price is well worth it and the game is well made and will last for years.
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on March 25, 2011
I bought these because I thought they would be great to carry in my purse. I was right. These are a lot of fun for the whole family. We told stories in the round using these a the dinner table last night. I am always looking for small games to carry in my purse for waiting at restaurants or appts. This was a great find. Just 9 dice to carry no pencil or paper needed. They are a quality product in a nice small box. I liked the variety of pictures. I suggest you purchase a set to carry with you.
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on January 20, 2011
I had seen these cubes in the last issue of Instructor magazine and I knew that my 5th graders would love to use these during creative writing time. It was shipped out quickly and I was very pleased with the overall service. The students did love these cubes and I had them in five different groups and each student in the group got to roll one of the dice. From there they were to write three sentences then give the paper to another student in their group and they would do this until each student had a turn. The stories that they submitted to me I must admit were quite humorous. I plan to order a few more soon that way this could be a center as well. We've done this activity four times already and I've never had the same story twice. I love how creative the students can get and allow their imagination to run wild!
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