Quick Look: Before There Were Stars

February 27, 2019 by cassn

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Before There Were Stars is a 2018 narrative driven dice-rolling game in which players retell the creation of their civilization by casting their eyes to the heavens. Produced by Smirk & Laughter Games, Before There Were Stars is a truly beautiful, emotive game about the creation of folklore through storytelling.


Designed by artist Lisa Falzon, the cover art for Before There Were Stars has a mystical, meditative quality, yet still maintains a dynamism through the movement of the etherial fox figure. Below the humans sit around a fire, ready to tell the story of how their people came to exist.


There are minimal components to Before There Were Stars, but they are beautifully created. I love the star dice, and every card has its own unique constellation and individual artwork.

Players are awarded 'stars' by other players to place into their offering bags, symbolising appreciation for a particularly beautiful moment in each person's story. Before There Were Stars does not simply focus on storytelling ingenuity, but appreciation for oral narratives, and that love of folklore and fables is reflected in the serene aesthetic of the game design.


It is no secret I am in love with any game remotely star-related, but I genuinely cannot recommend Before There Were Stars enough. You do not have to be a great storyteller to enjoy this game. Instead, it is about falling in love again with the art of oral storytelling, the beauty of the fable, and the inherently human ability to read the stars, only to find our souls staring back through the darkness.

When is the last time you stargazed?

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