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Hard Wired Island
Publisher: Weird Age Games
by Arnd K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2021 10:06:22

one of several 'new (synth)wave' cyberpunk games, hard wired island offers a clever, insightful alternative to the traditional neon-lit guns and trenchcoat game. It should provide ample inspiration for anyone looking to play a game about people trying to exist on the margins of a dystopian society, emphasising the human element over the technological.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hard Wired Island
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BLACKOUT - A Game of Civil Defence
Publisher: Newstand Press
by Arnd K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2019 08:12:05

It's a very interesting concept for a game, and seems very well researched. The only thing that let us down somewhat was that sometimes the game stalled a little in the early phases; if the first bomb site isn't very big, the game recommends "set up a small, personal scene. It could be humorous, like an old couple calling in a single incendiary landing in their garden and requesting your help saving their flowers, or tragic, like a single casualty surrounded by friends and family. These are small fry; the players might just decide not to even address it!" which means that after that problem is resolved, it is up to the GM to "always make things worse" but it wasnt clear exactly how, without creating a new bomb site outside of the mechanical framework for those. Besides the text, the book is absolutely gorgeous and full of evocative posters and photos. I dont think my group is very likely to play this game again, but thats okay, I think, and I would recommend picking it up.

as a sidenote, if youre interested in running this game, I found it interesting to use some original newsreel footage; I start the session with 'London's Biggest Blitz (1941)' and end with 'Hamburg Hammered (1943)' both by British Pathé.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BLACKOUT - A Game of Civil Defence
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Red Markets Quickstart Guide
Publisher: Hebanon Games
by Arnd K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2018 10:50:04

Okay, either I am missing something, or the quickstart very poorly explains everything. First off, it kinda just... starts, I dont expect it to explain what an RPG is, but itd be nice to have it explain 'hey, this is what makes this game different' in a nice, concise way. It finally gets into a reading order on page 10. It should have started with that.

Later still it lists 'game night prep', including the order in which you want to walk people through the explanation. This order makes sense, so why the document itself hasnt followed it is beyond me.

Besides that, the game throws out all sorts of terms it doesnt explain. It uses the term 'the market' for the GM, but nowhere explicitly states this (the very first mention of this is, regarding checks, 'ties go to the market' which I found rather confusing) It uses a whole bunch of statisctical terms as well; theres a creature that has a 'murder modifier', and characters can be 'latent' or 'immune'; by ommission I assume these mean the character is incapable of getting infected.

My final issue with the quickstart is that it looks like the sample characters are not all that useable; when I hear 'sample character' I assume I can just hand it out and play; but in this case the game calls them archetypes? and they seem to be missing some critical stuff, like hit locations. The 'game night prep' section, which for some reason is on page 13 instead of 1 or 2, says you want to print out character sheets, which I assumed referred to the sample characters provided but apparently doesnt. It also mentions having 'quick start printouts: 1 per player plus you', which I assume referes to the entire document? it then also says 'comforts: an extra rules printout or two' but if I do the former wouldnt I already have this?

Ultimately, the game itself still sounds pretty interesting, and I look forward to playing it tonight. It just does a rather poor job of explaining itself, it feels like they have never ran this by anyone that has never played the game before.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Red Markets Quickstart Guide
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