Monday, October 4, 2010

Game Chef 2010 - Around the last bend ...

I think I was being smart by avoiding the really long ones. I think this is going to haunt me now.

38. After the Fall by Pat Gamblin

Though something or other, I think 17: TOC, Pagination ... not that hard folks.

The Good:Making up Ports of Call in a ship game is awesome. It's making your map again, just in a more abstract way.
The Bad: Roles? With preset piles of stuff. I mean, I guess that's cool and ... Oh! Ranger! I wanna be the Fighter! Wait, wrong game?
The Other: I like the ideas behind it, but then you get to the rules and it goes "and if this exception says that you add six instead of rolling a die" and my eyes glazed over.

Would I play it? You know, if it wasn't for the fact that there are a bunch of awesome games I'd say yes. But with 20 in the binder and a limited amount of time I'm not going to. Nothing really strikes me about it.

39. The Fall of Granada by Travis Lindquist

The Good: Okay, folks. If you're going to do something where you are using a group of people other than your own, this is how you do it. Protagonists, the Christian Hoards are the Barbarians. No otherly mysticism, no super magicks and the like. It gets a level 1 pass (meaning that since I don't belong to said group being used I can't actually give people passes on stuff).
The Bad: Again, with the dice pools. Large quantities of dice needed. Also, I don't think the game pushes the inter PC conflict as much as the writer would wish. I mean it could happen but it doesn't really seem like it would.
The other Very well skinned, the ingredients don't seem forced and it's the names of the pool are great. Hate, Hope and Revenge.

Would I play it? Totally, it looks like it's got a good game or two out of it. Don't know how it replays though.

40. A City by Tad Kelson

A thought 18: Can we do away with the "My Game is much more complex, so much that a new player won't get it" crap? If someone can't pick up your game and play it then you fail, end of sentence.
A though 19: Seriously. I'm still fuming about that. Quick, show how elitist and awesome you are by saying someone just won't get it. It's like you're channeling Jared or something. ^_^

The Good:I like how the game tries to allow you to make up the sections of the city and allow you to define it with a map (ha, see totally the sub-theme this year)
The Bad:If you need to include rules for what happens if you get a weird roll, which can happen, why don't you just say 11, 7 and 3 rather than have people roll dice. I don't like the character creation rules at all, at all.
The Other:I just also doesn't do the map thing well either. It feel too regimented and too, I don't know. Inorganic a process.

Would I play it?No, and I really wouldn't recommend even spending the time reading it. Super amounts of work needed on this game before it's palatable. Oh, and I've been playing games for 15 years "advanced roleplayers needed" game.

41. A Sojourn in Alexandria by Jason Pitre

Thought 20:I know I'm not the only one who read that the Ingredients are there to help, but if they get in the way to ditch them. Why then do so many people try to force them in there?
Thought 21: Suggested time frames are okay, but telling me you're going to end 25 minutes before your suggested time frame makes me wonder if you should have just calculated that in the game time frame.

The Good:I like that you have to pick your virtues and that there is a chance that they're going to move on you depending on the situation to the ends of their spectrum. I saw it and went, "Oooh."
The Bad:The dice seem to be a little weird to me. They probably work well in practice but I didn't really get why one wins on numbers and then why you roll them afterwards.
The Other:I like how it's a journey, but it isn't defined. The section at the back really help with the whole what you can do with it.

Would I play it? Totally. You can pick a different journey every single time too. I like it.

42. City in Darkness by Dave Michael

The Good:It's got a good system in place to create and manage rivals. Nothing makes a GM happier than a good list of enemies to draw on.
The Bad:The whole resolution mechanic makes me go, "What?" It uses Dominoes, which is cool but then doesn't really do anything else but make you hope that you get good ones.
The Other: Very, very clearly a draft. I think it gets self referential at one point in time, like talking about itself in the third person. The game does. Also, the whole schools being called city, desert and edge almost made me drop the pages and flush them down the toilet.

Would I play it? No, the mechanic needs to not be there, or at least refined a lot better before I'd look at it again.

43. Broken Dream by Jason Petrasko

The Good:The game has a great feel and was constantly dragging me into it's space. The map is pretty and makes me want to play the game.
The Bad:And hope that it will allow me to understand how the map works. It's kind of confusing on the first read and the second read didn't help much. I think it will be awesome once it can be explained for someone who isn't the creator.
The Other:I like the super SF theme that doesn't feel like a super SF theme. Extra points there!

Would I play it? Yes, this far down the game you'd think I'd be inured to these wily maps, but this one was awesome.

44. A Journey by Alex Fradera

The Good:I was interested three lines in. Hear me out. Read the description and see if you want to read it. Go on, I'll wait. Surprising, eh? Maybe it's just because I'm a bit of a political hound that I was interested but still.
The Bad:I still don't really know how things are resolved when you can't resolve something narratively. There's a mechanic between the Leader and the Party, but not really with the Opposition.
The Other:I like it, I like it a lot still. It makes me want to see if I can make prominent politicians and play them out. I mean, I'd talk like Jean Chretien for like a couple of hours at least.

Would I play it? Yes, but after a round or two of polish. Then I'd be there like a Parliament Hill reporter at the beginning of Question Period.

Currently in the Binder Note, these aren't those I think should be finalists, but more like those I think I'd like to keep around personally

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. A Sojourn in Alexandria
15. Chaos Lords and the Desert of Death
16. Sparks from the Fire
17. The Fall of Granada
18. Broken Dream
19. Under the Sun
20. Red Land Black Land
21. Memoir
22. My God's Bigger Than Your God
23. A Trick of the Light
24. Paths of the Resolute
25. nowhere ROAD
26. A Journey

Current Finalists

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


TKimWrSvc said...

Thank you for the review of my game. While I will not agree with all your statements and conclusions, the first one I can certainly agree with. Thank you for taking the time to review them all and I bid adieu.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your review of "A Sojourn in Alexandria". What I had been intending on saying is that:
1) There is no fixed period of play.
2) The last 25 minutes should be spent on the conclusion of the game and tying up loose ends.

I am very grateful for your review and that my game made it in your binder. :)

Unknown said...

Hey Jonathan, thanks for your enthusiasm for A Journey! It definitely needs a few rounds of polish, but your feedback helps push me forward to get that done. I'll keep you posted!

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