Rory’s story cubes have been sold worldwide and winning awards for their ingenuity and simplicity. They tap into the imagination by giving hints and ideas of a world already imagined by everyone out there. It was almost a natural assimilation to the comic world where the fantasies of super heroism echo long into adulthood. Comics have always been a way of escaping reality and looking up to heroes standing up for what is good and right. Batman typified these ideals but most importantly he had no powers. A hero is not just the powers he or she possesses, this is probably why he is almost everyone’s favourite superhero, from comic aficionado to casual cartoon watcher. A perfect reason to use him as a base for the transition of these die into the world of superheroes. These are the Batman story cubes and they are here to ignite your creativity to stories you never knew you could create.
The giant Bat symbol on the box is enough to get you excited but the packaging is well designed. Seeing Batman on the left with his cape flapping behind is a perfect canvas to showcase the cubes. When you actually get to hold the cubes, it brings that sentimental feel of childhood as you feel like you are ready to roll an important turn.
In this case it is what story will you see and where can you travel to. The design of the cubes is quite impressive as they are distinct and very recognisable. You do not need to be an expert to recognise the characters and the plot locations/devices, they are all perfectly clear. I particularly like the bat weapons, but that may be more about how to tackle bad guys in my own imagination! There is also a sturdy and stylish case that houses the dice, so they can never be lost or separated.
So I decided to throw the cubes…this was the outcome:
As I imagined up a story, I started to think a little differently. There is no reason why these icons could not be used for all types of storytelling. The developers have continually proclaimed that there are no rules to the cubes. There are many ideas in how to use them and ideas on how to play with multiple people in sequence. You can imagine how much fun it would be to do a turn-by-turn story on the throw of a single die. I looked at it from a personal perspective and thought about what I would like to do. I am a reviewer and writer, so I decided to write a short story on what the icons showed me. Given my style is very analytical regarding the themes and characters of all the comics I write about, I decided upon a different angle. This is the beauty of these cubes and how you have complete freedom to create as you wish. All of sudden, at the roll of the dice, Gotham is was mine as it would be yours.
“Come on, where is he!” Alfred shuddered at the squark and slowly opens the door.
“Aaaaah there you are, come on where is he?” The piercing shrill manifested itself as a nasty poke, as Penguin lunges the point of his umbrella into Alfred’s waistcoat.
“I am afraid Master Bruce is currently away on business” A reply without hesitation or irritation, which is more than can be said for the flustered little man.
“Aaack, course he is, course he is” he shouts, his eyes circling around the ground where Alfred stands. Suddenly with a sharp turn he looks up directly into the face of the loyal butler.
“You tell him! You tell him that I know, I know!” Alfred is fully aware that his resolute expression serves more to annoy than project his lack of fear
“We had him! At the construction yard! He already destroyed the shipment, all that money gone! He was waiting for us” He starts waddling around in a small circle, only stopping momentarily to point his short stubby fingers.
“Oh we chased him. We threw everything we had, shot every bullet in the chamber. Nothing. Just bounced off. You tell me now, where does a man have that kind of protection? That kind of armour!? In this city?!” Penguin’s agitation causes him to pace more fervently.
“And as the sirens grew louder, my men chased him into a corner. There was only a vat of acid below and a skylight above. He flew! He just flew away like a bat. Disappeared into the night, like he wasn’t ever there” Oswald became quiet in contemplation. His movements slow and his gaze moves off into the distance.
This time he turns around slowly and speaks calmly, almost methodically.
“My family has been part of the foundation of this city for centuries. I know it inside out. I have kept a close watch on every business trying to take what doesn’t belong to them. There is no one, no one I don’t know about. They all know better than to try, let alone build a better Gotham because it cannot be done.”
Alfred remained steadfast in his silence.
“No, no, no. This is no one new. He has always been here; you see he understands this place. He has lived in this place. He knows the people cannot be saved. And he certainly wouldn’t dress up as a Bat if he thought they could! He has money, resources and someone looking out for him” Instead of jabbing him with his umbrella, he points it a few inches away from Alfred’s face.
“It’s only a matter of time. You tell him that. I’ll catch him and when I do I’ll kill him. Gotham is no place for heroes. Make sure you tell him!”
Penguin walks away muttering under his breath, gets into his car and squawks loudly at the driver. As the car speeds off, Alfred turns and closes the door behind him, gazes downwards and sighs. He heads towards the kitchen.
All of Rory’s Story Cubes can be seen here and purchased at their online shop! https://www.storycubes.com