Bluebeard's Castle: The Wretched Fairytale offers you the chance to step inside one of the most famously dark fairytales and take your chances escaping unscathed. Through the use of a deck of playing cards, some tokens, prompt lists, and a journaling method, you will tell your own version of this gruesome tale through roleplaying your character.
Each edition offers a decorated and (print-friendly) plaintext version of the pdf for your convenience. Both editions of the game will offer you entirely different prompts and slightly different play styles and rules. If you're not sure which version of the game to start with, a summary of the editions is below.
➳ The Wretched and Alone Edition uses the Wretched & Alone engine with minor modifications to tell a tale of desperation, doubt, and fear. This version touches on the fairytale's themes of murder, domestic and psychological abuse, and isolation. Your chances of surviving this version of the game are slim.
The Wretched and Alone Edition highly encourages the use of a wooden block tower or one of the suggested alternatives so that the player can have a way to enter The Eleventh Hour - your last chance at rescue.
Play this version if you're interested in grim explorations, trying to beat the odds, and are in a safe headspace to enjoy the experience. The game does not intend to pursue any of these themes in a confronting way, but please assess your sensitivity to the content.
➳ The Fairytale Edition takes inspiration from the W&A engine and alters the rules to make them much more favorable to the player. The tone is somewhat less dark and more hopeful - though it still follows the general shape of the Bluebeard story. Although this edition gives you better odds than the other edition, you are not guaranteed success by any means. Fantastical, perhaps supernatural, elements are more prevalent and players are given more options for taking control of their own destiny.
Play this version if you're interested in exploring the dark fairytale with the nightlight on and safety rails up. You understand that the threat of Bluebeard is present and you may lose, but you have many ways to confront the threat and hopefully come out on top.