Thursday, May 30, 2013

#gamechef2013 Reviews 13-16 w/ 4th French Game Chef

Double digits time come on! Let's celebrate. I'll post at least one other long review later, but for right now it's time for more small reviews! Remember, this is me just reading them and not playing them. If I had to schedule time to play I would get these done in about 10 years.

Game Chef English 2013

13. Conclave by Christopher Weeks

Twitter Pitch: Real-life crafting; light costuming; ritualized trading; role-playing?

The Good: I love how there really isn't much in the way of communicating here. You're busy trying to communicate in other ways. While I think having the finger lights is kind of tacky, I love the idea of long con play, where you have this kind of trading going on.

The Bad: The set up is something that punches me in the gut. It's not a bad part of the game, just a barrier to play if you don't think you're too crafty. Also the fact that your crafts are being judged by the other players ... well ... I guess if you make for crap pins then you get to be the savvy one or something but still.

The Other: I would love to see how the ingredients inspired this game. It's just so kind of quirky and odd that it's seeing the thought process would be awesome.

Would I play it? Yes. Wait, do I have to make my own buttons? Um ... no ... yes ... no. Gyah, so on the fence with this one.

14. Open the Pod Bay Door by Bryan

Twitter Pitch: A high-pressure, sci-fi story game that asks, can the terraformers retake their colony ship from a malfunctioning, homicidal robot.

The Good: The turn tracker blew my mind away, it's like an initiative order or a timer clock on a lot of freemium games turned to use in a pen and paper RPG ... AND CONTRIBUTES TO THE GAME TENSION! I've already been thinking on how I could use this somewhere else, it's just so very good.

The Bad: I would have liked a little more direction in regards to what the characters can do, or what was available on the Pod for me to do. I don't think it needs it, but it certainly feels like there's just a little bit more that I'd want. The space is there.

The Other: It feels a little deadly? Maybe a little too deadly? I don't know without having played it but the "doing something you aren't trained for" seems awfully, awfully harsh.

Would I play it? Orders Commander? We need to act now!

15. The Diamond-Studded Suit (And Other Lies) by Jeff R.

Twitter Pitch: The survivors of a once-great nation must traverse deep ruins to survive, and face the truth behind the lies they believe about their past.

The Good: I appreciate the attempt at the whole collaborative story element here, where you've got this group of 13 characters that you're making and their relationships with each other. I like the kind of Oracles

The Bad: You should have dropped the "your characters" and embraced fully the group play. These 13 characters are everyone's and you get the ones you draw. Don't hold back, dive right in.

The Other: This is where I'd actually say having the cards all done up in a sheet where I could print and cut.

Would I play it? Let us find out what our salvation is.

16.  As Above, So Below by Ryan Perrin

Twitter Pitch: The players take on the role of teenage witches who gained power and have the will to punish those around them for real or perceived wrongs.

The Good: The effort to make this GMless is great, and I love how there's a push to randomize how people get invovled.

The Bad: Um, I've read it like 5 times now and I still don't get how all the random stuff inside the cauldron would influence what's going on? I get that they're having their loves/hates/stuff in there too, but it's still a little fuzzy on how you would make that work for someone else's curse.

The Other: Sooooo ... it's like playing Monsterhearts but everyone is the Witch as their Darker Self and you all commiserate around the table?

Would I play it? No, we three shall not meet again.

French Game Chef 2013

4. Bureau des Affaires Spirituelles par Vivien Feasson

Twitter Pitch: Bienvenue au Bureau des Affaires Spirituelles! En temps que chef de service du Bureau, votre mission sera de faire en sorte que des esprits venus de dimensions aussi loufoques que parallèles ne sèment pas le chaos et cohabitent dans la paix. La hiérarchie a hélas eu la bonne idée d'offrir une super promotion au meilleur d'entre vous, et vous risquez d'avoir fort à faire avec les coups bas de vos adversaires, sand parler des notes de service absurdes venues d'en haut. [Welcome to the Bureau of Spiritual Affairs. Your mission is to make sure that the spirits that come from other dimensions live in peace here. However, currently those in charge felt it was a good idea to throw a promotion out into the ranks for the best one out of all of you. Now you have to deal with the backstabbing of your co-workers and the foolish orders of your superiors.]

Le Bon [The Good]: Il y a beaucoup que j'aime dans ce jeux. J'aime comment les joueurs crée les missions avec les mot entre les joueurs. J'aime la methode de resolution pour les missions. C'est très élegant. [There's so much to love about this game. I love how you create missions sharing words between players. I love the mission resolution mechanic. It's all very elegant.]

Le Mauvais [The Bad]: Le seule problème que je peux voir avec les orders est que si chaque personne à la table donne seulement un order, et il y a la possibilité que un ou deux joueurs auront pas d'ordre. Peut-être changer le un ordre minimum, et un ordre par mission à un ordre pour chaque autre jouer et pas de maximum par ordre mais si il y a un mission qui n'a pas d'ordre tous les gens vont perdre les points pour  l'employé du mois. [The only problem I can see about your orders is that each person has a minimum of one order, and there is the possibility that one or two players might not get any orders. Maybe change it so that each player gets an order, but there's no limit on the amount of people you can assign to the various missions. If no one gets assigned to a mission, everyone loses points.]

L'Autre [The Other]: Les règles supplémentaire! Non! Mettez les dans le jeux! C'est deux règles sont interessant et donne plus d'options pour les joueurs. [Extra rules! No! Put them in the game! These two rules give far more options for the players.]

Jouons [Would I play it]? Hey, Employé du mois une autre fois! C'est comme si je triche. ^_^ [Hey, Employee of the month again! It's like I'm cheating.]


Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this again.

The 'main character' distinction really only exists to make the endgame possible, but it's extremely necessary for that (and I don't like any of the 'collectively narrate the clan's fate' endgames that would work without it at all.)

I considered putting in all 13 character cards, but making them look good enough without running afoul of the access constraints would have been a bear of a task.

Jonathan said...

I can understand that, I just think this is so close to that kind of awesome group play nugget that a lot of people are aiming for in design.

Also, yes on that second one. I made my game maps going "Gyah, tagging work for me!" However, for the future!

Bryan said...

Thank you so much for reviewing Open the Pod Bay Door.

The deadly thing: I was hoping it would be very very deadly, and wanted to make sure that the characters stayed within their specialties instead of acting outside of their training, but I suspect during play the players can mold the fiction to be as deadly as they like, so it might not be deadly enough. I added a supplement on my website to help make it even more deadly...

You can snag B.I.L Homicidal Robot here:

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