Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Game Chef 2012 - Submissions 26 - 30

I might start to get a little harsher with the would I play it bits.  Don't take it personally, I'm just going to take a little longer in thinking about if I would actually play the game as is.  If I'm going to want to mod your game I'll say so, but the answer is going to be no.

To Put Things Right by Antti Lax

The Good: I like the way the influence mechanic works in this game.  I like how the theme was really focused on, and the structure of the game which makes it sound entertaining but really is something you're only going to play once.  Also like the movement from memory to memory parts.

The Bad: I know the ingredients are to be interpreted as loosely as possible, but this feels like they were ignored and tacked on at the end. "This is what I called them, they happen to be the ingredient names but you can change them to fit your story."  This isn't using the ingredients in even the loosest of fashions.  Part of the fun of Game Chef is the constraints put on by the ingredients, and what comes out of them.

The Other: Can we not have the women in the refrigerator stuff here?  We've got a woman in a game, CLEARLY SHE IS THE TROPHY OR GOING TO DIE! It is the only two functions she has after all.  Christ.

Would I Play It? Not really no.  It would require moving a few things in and out, like maybe the death scene.

Therapy by Charles Boucher

The Good: I like the whole, "You've got your own threads" and while it would be done over IRC, I think a forum would be a lot better for this.  Secret and separate threads rather than rooms would be easier.  The twist was somewhat unexpected so kudos for that.

The Bad: I'm always leery of a game that uses theraputic stuff to play, especially without mentioning that.  It's kind of tongue in cheek, but not enough to have there not be the potential for a lot of emotional clean up afterwards.

The Other: The twist is a nifty little thing, it really did surprise me.

Would I Play It? Not really.  I'd be too nervous about eventually touching on something too personal.

Coyote Won’t Talk by Morgan Stinson

The Good: Masks!  This game has masks!  I want to cut them up and put them on right now!  Anyone have scissors!?  Also, the suggestions on what to do in the back of the document are priceless.  "What if Fox won't end the story?  Stare at Fox until they realize they need to end it." [paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to cut and paste, go read it yourself]

The Bad: It can be a little intimidating for people who aren't comfortable telling stories to play this game.  However, they can totally just hide behind their awesome masks!

The Other: Did I mention this game has masks?  I was sold on that principle alone!  However the intro story stuff was really kind of spot on.

Would I Play It? *looks up from cutting masks* What do you think I'm doing?

Beacon of Hope by Shari Corey

The Good: This probably the example that people want to use for a Secret Character in a game.  It's always changing, and you really won't know who it is because its all done by secret ballot.  Not that you need to copy it, but this is the best "secret character" mechanic I've come across so far in 30 reviews.

The Bad: Can we put a stop on "loosely" basing anything First Nations?  Look, you want to make a game go for it.  You want to make a game that deals with another person's culture, okay ... fine.  Maybe a game where you only have 9 days to do any research is not the platform for it.  Just going to float that out there.

The Other: I do think the system is really well thought out for something that you want to have narrated more than "played."  However, I wonder why I would ever do something with my personal pool if only the final roll determined anything.

Would I Play It? Yes, but without the game skin.  I mean, yay flavour and yay a thank you the bottom of the notes but it's still appropriation.  "Quick, let me use this bit of their culture and now all my examples are all from other histories ... yeah, that's fine."

Getting There in Time by Dan Maruschak

The Good: Hee, a game where you play a Time Lor Chronomaster with a companion!  I like the fact that everyone has a turn before anyone can get a second turn.  Also, the three act structure is a great way to keep the game contained.

The Bad: My eyes started to blur a little bit at all the rules.  Adding things here and taking things there.  This may bode poorly for other reviews because it may just be that this is number 30 in the list and my eyes are starting to cross.  It just seemed a little overly complicated in what you can spend and all the points you can get.  I'd like that to be a little more streamlined.

The Other: Hey, any game where you can be a Time Chronomaster with a companion is a good time.

Would I Play It? Except for me.  I'm not actually that big a Dr. Who fan and the confusing mechanics are confusing for me.  Maybe I'll try it later when I'm not 30 in, but right now it's not doing it for me.

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