Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - The Reviews Keep on Coming

And now for the next swath of Game Chef Games, in quick soundbite form!

30. Burial at Crossroads by Bryan Hansel

Thought Unlucky 13: Again, with the "Native" bit. Can we avoid this in the future? Do people not really get that this is an actual problem? *sigh*
Teenaged Thought 14:Ooooh! More maps. Seriously, I now need to make a game with a map.

The Good:I love the feel of the setting. It's got a real grit and the mechanic where you do stuff you want to get stuff you need is very clean.
The Bad: There is also this thing where the classes really are super defined. I might like a little bit of freedom in this setting because I think there are a lot of cool stories that can be told here.
The Other:Oh! Natives, really? Was that necessary? Oh, they have mysticalness! Really? I mean, if you have Natives you've gotta have mysticism! /soapbox

Would I play it?Can we just not have the Nat... no? I guess this is a no then. Or I can just hack it and play with the setting ... hmm ... setting.

31. Symbolon by Kamion

Thought 15: Pagination. Can we have a bit more on the pagination folks. It's not that hard and it makes people's lives easier.
The Good:I love the idea of the Pledge. Something that you don't even know you can lose in the course of the game. I like that kind of tragic idea.
The Bad:The this with a that gives a this bonus to the thing with the other thing against that baddie. Powers are always hard because they're exceptions and this set of powers are -- well -- no exception to that rule.
The Other:I actually am intrigued by the dice mechanic. I mean, It's really just my number beats your number except in the case where you roll a 7 combined. It might be nothing when I really look at it, but for right now the way it was described gave me pause.

Would I play it? Not really no.

32. The Doldrums by Zac Dettwyler

Thought 16: Gutters are your friends. Please make sure you use them so that your words don't run into one another causing headaches in the reader.

The Good:Whoa! Using Mancala as the mechanic? That's pretty sweet! I also like how you have people from the different areas, and how that kind of mixing it up is mandatory.
The Bad: Whoa! Using Mancala as the mechanic? That's pretty confusing. I've played Mancala and I'm a little on the confused side. Also, it might take a fair few boards to get the game going.
The Other: I love how there is an idea of hands, dealing with how many times you can call on a friendship and that the character sheet actually has hands!

Would I Play It? Yes, but only with the creator. It's really the Mancala mechanic that makes me feel I need that.

33. Last Chance USA by Tim Rodriguez

The Good:I think this is going to be one of my favourites. I love the theme, and the mechanics and how it all meshes together. I enjoyed reading it.
The Bad:The Mechanic takes a little bit of getting used to. I had to reread it three times to get it.
The Other:But when I did get it, I giggled. It's got strategy, and tactics and it's pretty simple.

Would I Play It? Well, I guess we're all here in Last Chance because we're the only hope we have to survive. (See, I'm playing with you now!)

34. What Happened Here by Rustin Simons

The Good:I like the idea of trying to make a two person RPG. It's usually hard on the GM, but if you make a game that depends on the two people asking questions, then it just might work.
The Bad:It doesn't really have much more than asking questions and trying to guess what the other person picked. I think there are party games that do that, possibly better.
The Other:It was a short read, with everything coming together quickly. I just didn't really think that it carries itself as a story game. It's like 20 questions, except you get 5.

Would I play it? No, though I do like the suggestion of going to the pub.

35. In Between by Dan Mckenna

The Good:Stuck between worlds trying to atone for sins? I love the concept and I like how the bidding system works with the dice and your power pools. It gets harder the more you accomplish because you lose power.
The Bad:Dice, lots and lots of dice. You need at least 15d6 per person. If one theme this year is maps, the other one would be dice.
The Other:I love how striking the title page is. It's simple black and white, but it really made me interested in the game.

Would I play it? Yes, several times because apparently like a cat I have nine lives.

36. Red Land Black Land by Jason Godesky

The Good:I really like the fact that you're constantly struggling between your skin and your law. The two dice competing really is something I think makes a good mechanic.
The Bad:This is nit picky, and probably not doable because of time, but having more options would be better for Visions and Burdens.
The Other:I totally thought of The Rock Dwayne Johnson as soon as I read the Scorpion King was in the game.

Would I play it? Yes, not as much as some other games, but I would totally play it.

37. Under the Sun by Anna Kreider

The Good: There is a real interconnection in the game, where how your actions are perceived will determine how the rest of the group reacts to you and if you can make it to your destination.
The Bad:Native tribe again? Can we just mark the ones that decided to go with the "tribal motif" with a big read R and move on?
The Other:I think the card game within the game will either be really good, or really get in the way. I'd need to play it to figure out which one would be which.

Would I play it? After I got through some of the others, I'd give it a try. I don't know how long it would stay in the binder though.

Currently in the Binder

1. Cosmic Journey
2. Bridge Across Eternity
3. Skin Men
4. Danger Mountain
5. Last Chance USA
6. Longshot
7. Over The Wall (It's mine, so duh)
8. Chronicles of Skin
9. The Hand of Gulliver the Man Mountain
10. Pub Crawl: take the edge off
11. In Between
12. In Skin City You Need an Edge
13. Going Home: an urban power fantasy
14. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
15. Sparks from the Fire
16. Under the Sun
17. Red Land Black Land
18. Memoir
19. My God's Bigger Than Your God
20. A Trick of the Light
21. Paths of the Resolute
22. nowhere ROAD

Current Finalists

1. Danger Mountain
2. Pub Crawl: Take the Edge Off
3. Never to Die
4. Longshot


lucek said...

Hi there ;-)

Will you be so kind and send me Bridge Across Eternity by Tamara Persikova? It's no longer on the website linked, and I've missed the chance to download it.

my address - m.sabat [here be the 'at'sign] gmail [this place is reserved for dot] com

thanx in advance ;-)

The Boulder said...

Thanks for the quick review on In Between.

You're not the first person to mention the number of dice needed. It's funny because I never considered anyone actually using that many. I just thought they'd write down the size of their pool and actually use around 5 dice. Definitely something that needs to be changed I think.

I'm trying to make the entire game more cohesive at this point and give it a bit more structure. I'll be reworking how most of it works, but I really like the way power diminishes as you progress so that will stay.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Unknown said...


Never underestimate the player who goes, "Oh, my dice pool is 15 ... I'll need 15 dice then." Because I know that I am one of those players because I find it so much cooler to watch the pile dwindle in real life than on a piece of paper.

Also, yes please on the power diminishing part. I really like that a lot.

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