I love books, and I love board games. But the reason I love board games so much more is the opportunity they present to become part of the story. Why read a story when you can play a part in it instead?

Coined as a new style of game called "an AdventureBook Game," Stuffed Fables is a new product line from Plaid Hat Games. The skinny on the new AdventureBook Game is the fact that the game board is built into a large spiral-bound book that unfolds on the tabletop. On one side is the game board and on the other side are all of the rules to play that scenario. The book contains multiple game boards with each flip of the page.

Stuffed Fables puts players in the role of stuffed animals that belong to a young girl. They are tasked with protecting her from an evil mastermind with a terrible scheme. There is a stuffed elephant, lion, doll, rabbit, bear and a pig, each with their own unique talents and abilities.

The game includes 23 detailed miniatures featuring the stuffed animals that players will represent, as well as the creatures and enemies they will meet in their many adventures. With a little paint, these miniatures will look fantastic.

Each page of the spiral-bound storybook gives a board layout and scenario to play. One scenario might require the players to fight off a group of monsters. Another scenario might require performing a series of tasks. And yet another might include racing a wagon down a hill without crashing it. The storybook has more than 100 pages.

A unique mechanic in the game has players blindly draw colored dice from a bag. The color of the die indicates what action can be performed. Actions include moving, ranged fighting, melee fighting, performing tasks and searching. So even though a player may need to perform a melee attack this turn, he or she must draw the correct die (red) in order to do it. Sometimes things don't always go as they are planned.

A single scenario can be completed by achieving the goals outlined in the storybook. But the game doesn't end there. Players will continue the story in a campaign-style adventure that builds upon itself. Items found in one scenario can be used in the next. Villains encountered in one scenario can appear again later. Successful completion of certain scenarios can improve and change the outcome of future adventures. The game world is a living, breathing environment.

It's important to note that the stuffed animal characters in this game do not die. They only get the stuffing beaten out of them. When a character loses all of its stuffing, it becomes incapacitated until it finds more stuffing. There are no blood and guts to stain the box of this board game.

With so many board games on the market today, it is refreshing to see a title with innovative new mechanics and a unique theme. The overall content of the game is ideal for children and families. The time spent with this game will create lasting memories and a great deal of satisfaction. The game receives my highest recommendation. Find out more about Stuffed Fables here.