Thursday, March 3, 2011

Movie Mashup 2011 - Djinnbusters

Since I'm involved in a contest that doesn't end until June 1st, 2011, I figured that I would do what I did with Game Chef and do reviews for people who have put forth entries into the Movie Mashup 24 hour RPG competition. I put my game up already, but since I'm not really going to review my own stuff, I'd rather get feedback from other people, I turn my attention to those the other contestants.

I'm doing this because I know that feedback is important, and that it is rather notoriously hard to get. I offer free copies of a book to people who will do a review of the PDF and I still haven't gotten any reviews that fit the contest (though Ed at Robot Viking did one, which is always appreciated).

Anyway, I'll be doing this review using most of the criteria put out by the contest. Copying from the thread here are the criteria for judgement.

Poor you! Our panel of monkeys will be judging you on:
Must include an NPC called Keeton
Proximity: How close to the two films is it?
Complete: Is it complete? Could you run it?
Attractive: Is it attractive to look at?
Professional: How much effort went into layout and style?
Extras: Did they include actual cover, index, character sheet or any other cool things you get in a proper RPG?

Don't worry too much about the Keeton part. That's a running joke on the site.

Next on the docket - Djinnbusters by Jens Thuresson (aka Groffa)

Djinnbusters is a game that takes Disney's Aladdin and Ghostbusters and combines them to have the players be ghost hunters in an Aladdin like setting. Now I will admit that I was both interested and cringing slightly when I heard this mash up. I was excited because I wanted to see the outcome and cringing because I still hadn't recovered fully from the Game Chef Fist Full of Native Use series from November. However, I think it does a pretty good job says me without really any background other than Arabian Nights (and by that I mean the book, honestly.)

Proximity: The game is a pretty good mash-up. You've got the setting from one, and a rather iconic object from the film in the lamp, and puts the Ghostbusters spin on it. I know this might sound like I'm going against what I said, with the previous review of A Fistfull of Dollars and Dark City, but there it didn't really give me the same kind of grit that I expected. Here we've got two comedies and a game that is actually pretty serious. You get jobs from Iago, which I will never hear any GM do without hearing Gilbert Godfrey's voice in my head, where you then go to try and find ways to weaken the ghosts that you encounter. It's got the magic carpet, with a personality, which I think is really important to me because the carpet was perhaps the best character in Aladdin.

Complete: It's a great little game. It uses the Good at / Bad at / Impossible at kind of mechanic and a very simple die roll. This is good because what really makes the game shine is the example where you're busy trying to figure out what makes the ghosts weak. I would totally make the players actually do what they thought they had to do in order to defeat the ghost. Sing songs, warm up those pipes folks. If it's dance, you'd better get ready to get up. If you had to throw things, you might want to start balling something up to throw. I might draw the line at like feeding it grapes, but just barely.

Attractive/Professional: It's nothing particularly special to look at. The art is all hand drawn and rather cute actually. It doesn't really convey the kind of seriousness the game has. I mean, as serious as any game that will get the players dancing to try to defeat ghosts can get. It would have been nice to get a couple more images in there that might have helped, but that's a small quibble.

It's a very functional document and does what it should do. That's really all you can ask from a book done in 24 hours. I blame Dr. Lang and his "how to layout a free rpg" guide.

Extras: It's got the character sheet, and a title page and a GM section which is always appreciated. It even has the "Don't enter here" page to help make sure the players really want to know how the thing works. I say that because the players knowing how the ghosts mostly work doesn't really impede the process.

Would I play it? Hell yeah. I would run it just to have my players dancing about. I think this one is my current favourite (sorry Alone in the Woods) so far but there's been a burst of new ones and we'll see how it goes.

1 comment:

Jensan said...

Thanks for the review! /Groffa

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