Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Game Chef 2012 - Mebbe a little bit of reviews

Well, I don't have the time to really do this since there are only a bajillion game chef games out there. However, I may go through some. Why do you ask? Well, I think perhaps like every year there is a great chance to talk about what the word appropriate means.

As a refresher, let's look at what the word appropriate and appropriation mean:

appropriation - a deliberate act of acquisition of something, often without the permission of the owner

Right, ready to move on ahead! Good.

Because there are a lot of them they will be twitter like lines of review.

Anansi’s Children by Neal Stidham

The Good: I love a game that takes the idea of words and makes them a large part of the game. The fact that you have to cut and burn words in order to take damage, and the danger of lettings words free. It's kind of beautiful ...
The Bad: ... a beauty totally marred by the skin of the game. I don't think you could get more appropriative than this work right here. Let's grab Anansi, which is a west African symbol and throw it in with some First Nations symbols like Coyote. Clearly no one is going to mind, right .... right .... right? Why is everyone looking at me like that?

The Other: I got nothing. I'm still stuck on the fact that I found out in 10 minutes of searching around that maybe appropriating because you think it's cool is kind of disrespectful. Just saying.

Would I play it:  No.  See above, and then read further up if you need more info as to why.

Lantern in The Dark (+ spoiler-free player’s guide) by Kyle Willey

The Good: The setting is a lot of fun, but I like dark gothic games like this.  The kind where you have horrible people trying to redeem themselves and having to face the horrible things they did with no guarantee of coming out the other side.  I had the smile of pleasure when reading the setting.

The Bad: Mechanic was kind of meh at best.  Nothing to write home about, not that there needs to be a gloriously brilliant mechanic (Cosmic Journey which I loved you roll a d6 and want to roll high, it's not much of a mechanic) but this one just doesn't do anything for the game.  I made myself read it after I skipped it because I was sure I had it figured out, and I was right.

The Other: It's got a nice look, and an index in the back if you think it needs one.  I like how the mimic ingredient was used.

Would I play it:  Maybe, if others were really interested.  Doesn't really grab me.

Fin de Siecle: A Scientific Romance (+ plain text) by James Mullen

The Good: This is the first game that has intrigued me.  It's got a nifty little mechanic that deals with traits and obstacles, and where you might succeed and have something bad happen still.  A lovely setting dealing with mechanical inventions in a Jules Verne H.G. Wells like fashion.

The Bad: I didn't really see much in the way of the ingredients.  I could see Doctor, since you're dealing with sciency stuff, and stretching for Lantern because it's all sciency stuff but Mimic doesn't stand out and thankfully Coyote is no where to be seen.

The Other: I love the writing style, but it needed to almost be more "victorian" in act.  Look, the Victorians wrote a lot of porn and thought a lot about sex, the key thing was that it never showed up in public and I think that would have been amazing had it just been a little more prim.

Would I play it:  Let me grab my hat and monocle!

The Last Band by Kyle Willey

I think Kyle has a thing for Criminals ...

The Good: The cover has EXPLOSIONS! Also, it's a musical.  Everyone loves musical games!  Okay, fine.  I love musical games!  Musical combat! *plays Mortal Combat theme*

The Bad: This game is going to be confusing the first 10 times you play it.  Seriously I read the rules again and went, "What, huh, what?"

The Other: Who cares?  You play criminal bikers who have to guide their bikes with musical lyrics to be the last one standing ... before you die yourself from radiation.  Wait, I think Kyle has a thing for Criminals who are being killed off ... hmmmm...

Would I play it:  With my axe in my hand / I shout at the crowd / Gonna Go Real Fast! / Blow out of this town!

Keepers of the Lantern by Seth Ben-Ezra

The Good: This game is the first one I've come across that does something a little different.  It's a game in the same vein as Werewolves of Miller's Hollow where you have secret roles and you have to try to figure out who is your ally and who is against you.

The Bad: I don't really see that there's a lot of ways to find out who is on your side.  I mean, if everyone ends up hating the starting keeper and they do nothing but gossip about her or him what do they do?  I guess that's part of the fun.  Also, not a game for people with any type of back, knee, elbow, hip, or other joint problem.

The Other: It's short, I don't necessarily know if I'd call it a poem or light hearted since it's all about gossip but there you go.

Would I play it: Depends on how my joints are feeling on that day.  Probably once, and then realize how out of shape I am and then never play it again.

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