Review of I Went to the North Pole Once, a tabletop RPG about creating a holiday adventure!
I Went to the North Pole Once can be played with kids or adults (some reading required)
I Went to the North Pole Once can be played with kids AND adults as a fun storytelling game focused on some holiday themes. It would be great for family get-togethers, playing with kids at a holiday party, or just for having fun at home.
There’s no combat involved in this game; it is all about telling the story of an adventure across the North Pole. From meeting Santa to visiting a polar zoo to getting a present, this game is full of lighthearted prompts that are definitely OK for any age. This required no modifications to be able to play with my 4yo, and he really enjoyed it!
I Went to the North Pole Once set in a holiday wonderland
I Went to the North Pole Once is set in a wintery land full of toy workshops, holiday treats, and lots of fun Christmas and winter themed activities. Possible places you can go include Santa’s Workshop, snowy hikes, light shows, and arctic zoos. There’s 22 locations or events in total, all with a core Christmas and winter theme.
Your character in I Went to the North Pole Once
In I Went to the North Pole Once, you name your character and give a little bit of information about how they know the other characters that are telling their stories. From there, your character is all set up! You sort of create their personality through the actions in the story you are telling, and there’s no stats to track since this is primarily a story game, so it was really easy to keep track of our characters during the game.
I will also note here, because it was funny, when we played, my kid was very interested in nutcrackers, so he wanted our two characters to be nutcrackers who were decorations at a Christmas party and were telling each other stories to pass time until the humans left and Santa came to visit. So, even without a massive backstory, you can still have some pretty interesting characters.
Rules lite rolling and great prompts in I Went to the North Pole Once
Rolling for story prompts
To get your prompts in I Went to the North Pole Once, you roll a d6 to get an experience (like getting a present or having a meal) and then 2d6 to get an additional prompt. For every entry on the 2d6 table, there’s two prompts that you get to choose from, so you have some flexibility with setting your story too. As you go through the table, if you roll the same numbers too many times, then the story comes to a natural end, and that’s the game!
This set of mechanics was easy for my kid and me to follow, and having duplicates create a natural end to the story was great for being able to close the story out smoothly.
Fantastic story prompts!
I Went to the North Pole Once provided great story prompts for making a full adventure and giving variety in the tales we told. Like I said before, there’s 22 total prompts, and each one is different from the others, so there’s lots of good plot hooks to build off of.
In the game that we played, our characters had hot cocoa in a hot spring, won a gingerbread house contest, fled from escaped polar bears, and got a present from the big man, Santa himself! Each prompt was new and interesting, and they all kept my kid’s attention – he connected with and understood each one well enough to tell his own short scenario.
What did my kid think about I Went to the North Pole Once?
I asked my kid what his favorite part of the game was, and, while holding his arms out as far as he could, he said, “My favorite part was the WHOLE THING!”
He liked getting to roll dice and understand what they meant, and he enjoyed coming up with his own stories. Having it all be Christmas themed? Now, that was icing on gingerbread cookies!
Overall thoughts on I Went to the North Pole Once
I Went to the North Pole Once is a cute and engaging roleplaying game that is a great fit for a holiday gathering, class activity, keeping busy on a car ride, or just playing at home. It’s a fantastic exercise in creative storytelling with a fun setting and a great holiday theme. This game is easy to learn (it took me only 3 minutes to explain to my kid) and a lot of fun to play; I hope you get a chance to try it out too!
Find a copy of I Went to the North Pole Once
You can find I Went to the North Pole Once here on itchio, and you can find the game’s creator on the Mama Newt twitter account.
I hope you get the chance to check out and enjoy I Went to the North Pole Once too! Let me know below if you try it out and what your thoughts are!If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to the TTRPGkids monthly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest reviews, tips and tricks, game and podcast list updates, and more! Thank you for playing tabletop RPGs with your kids and sharing this awesome hobby with the next generation!
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