Most little kids love fairytales. I was an only child growing up, so always immersed myself in made up fantasy worlds. When my mom took me to the toy store, I found the board game, "Tales of the Crystals." This game was made by Milton Bradley and came out in 1993.
Game description as seen on the back of the box:
"In the blink of an eye, your backyard can become Collingwood's Whispering Forest; your bedroom the Secret Garden, or your attic the evil Castle of Dread! With your imagination and the Tales of the Crystals game you and your friends will each play a role in a unique fantasy adventure. You'll meet a beautiful fairy queen, listen to a talking tree, laugh at a mischievous sprite, ride unicorns, dance at a forest festival, and battle swamp goblins and an evil witch!"
I saw the pretty princess on the cover, and grabbed it! I wanted to be that princess and live in the enchanted Whispering Forest, and fight the evil that tried to invade it. This game basically screamed my name--haha! It's no wonder I have never totally grown up and continue to enjoy games, especially interactive one's like this, which are endearing and still fun.
An overview of the entire game (below)
There are many parts to this game. Not only is this board game now rare, but tough to find 100% complete due to smaller game parts being lost when little kids are at play.
Magic powder packets that I'm sure you won't find unless you are lucky enough to find a brand new, still sealed copy of the game!
Or the magical crystals~
I found the PDF file that includes all the scans of the parts to "Tales of the Crystals" through hasbro.com. The game included: a 60 minute audio cassette, 4 "crystal" pendants, 4 "jewel crystals", 1 "spider crystal", 1 plastic heart box, 1 plastic magic mirror, 5 location flags, 1 Wheel of Choices, 2 "Magic Crystal" powder packets, 54 fantasy cards, 6 secret message cards, 1 secret envelope, 3 label sheets, and 9 pieces of string.
The plastic heart shaped box and the Wheel of Choices
There is the journal that you must read through before starting the game. This is your guide and should be kept on your person at all times. With this book you can also record your adventure too!
My favorite piece, even though it creeps me out, the spider crystal!
Every game has a following. About a year ago I found the original cassette tape uploaded in numerous part, on YouTube. The audio had been cleaned up and when I started listening to the first part, I found myself remembering some of the character voices. I always love that rush of nostalgia- it's like a big warm embrace.
Part 1 of "Tales of the Crystals"- from here you can click on any part of the YouTube channel uploads
Some photos of the cassette (thanks to the community Tales of the Crystals Facebook page)
Even though not much can be found on the net regarding this game, there are fans out there who have created a Facebook page, scanned all the elements of the game including the rules and player cards, some fans have even created their own expansion versions for "Tales of the Crystals!" I am a major board game junkie and always seem to gravitate towards the interactive cassette or VHS games. I assume it's because they remind me of growing up, and that even though I'm now in my thirties, I still have a blast playing them. With games like this, you can be transported to a faraway place full of magic and peril. You can be something you are not or have always dreamed to be. From riding a unicorn, to playing with little elven sprites, or battling the evil at Castle Dread, "Tales of the Crystals" is enchanted fun for everyone! If you have kids and want them to get a taste of what you experienced growing up, I personally would buy them games like this. The most wonderful part of RPG (role playing games) like this one are that you can take on a different persona and be thrust into a world that you can kind of make certain rules. It's also great fun playing with friends. These days RPG games consist of fantasy-type situations, but I'd like to see more role playing games for kids...younger kids.
With games like "Tales of the Crystals" for kids or "Dungeons and Dragons" for teens to adults, I think that there is a nerd in all of us and an imagination that we have no idea that we really have until we unleash it!