Truth & Daring about Aliens

This week we played Truth & Daring by Tim & Kristin Devine of Dice Up Games as an alien-obsessed all-girl club called the Little Green Meenies whose clubhouse is an old shack at the entrance to an abandoned mine outside a small desert town in the American Southwest of the 1980s. We are Marley Davis, a tomboyish bookworm seeking to top the local library’s summer reading board; Janie Stone, the new kid who just wants to be helpful and make friends; Dena Gertler, an explorer with various home-made gadgets who wants to use this summer to finish mapping the abandoned mine; and Flair Cooper, who sneakily collects samples of hair from everyone she can for use in making Victorian hair art.

Victorian Hair Wreath photo found on National Geographic.

Our story begins with Janie’s arrival in town, with all the neighborhood children coming by to see the new family and help out with unloading, but we quickly get distracted by Janie’s comic books. After much discussion, Janie agrees to let Flair take a sample of her hair to prove that she’s not an alien so she can join the club. A few weeks later, we’re all hanging out at the clubhouse when Marley comes in breathless, having overheard a group of men in the library discussing smuggling alien tech from the military base through our mine, and the group agrees to search the North fork that run closest to the base. In the tunnel, we spend a lot of time talking about our fears (the dark? spiders? lobsters?) until we come across the criminals discussing their plans in more detail, taking uniforms and ID cards from their inside contact, and the plan to move “the stones” through the mine until they can configure them to open the portal.

Back at Janie’s house, we marvel at how awesome her room is with a mini-fridge, tons of comics, a television and VCR; she must be well-loved, probably because she was sick when younger, leading her parents to indulge her. After abandoning trying to collapse or flood the mines, we realize the only way we can stop the criminals is by getting the police involved, but know they’ll need more than our word for it. We return to the North fork and Flair slips out to take a hair sample from one of the criminals but is caught by them carrying one of our walkie-talkies with the mic taped open. The rest of us run to the police to tell them about Flair being kidnapped and use the sounds coming from the walkie-talkie to convince them this isn’t a prank. We lead the police into the mine tunnels and catch up with the criminals returning with the stolen “stones” and Flair tied up in the corner. The police make the necessary arrests and we see the military arrive to take over the investigation as we’re driven away by one of the deputies.

In epilogue, we see Flair getting a job at the local beauty salon cleaning up, which aids her in her collection activity. Marley easily wins the library’s contest as she spends the rest of the summer researching the alien “stones” and takes home a big alien poster as her prize. Janie gets a new game system and she and Flair get close after Flair uses her salon money to buy some fun games and spends lots of time over at Janie’s house. Dena spends most of the summer taking long hikes on the mesas outside of town since the mines are off-limits as a crime scene.