My first 75 reviews (of 103) can be found here
So far I've listed:
10 meh games
27 OK games
and 38 Contenders
which means I seem to be breaking them down into the top and bottom half. The distinction between OK and Contender can be blurry, though, and I think a few just budged the line one way or another. The next stage should see the scrapers delegated.
It'll be really hard to pick a top five. There's so many good games.
So many index card games.
A lot of great concepts let down by a boring central system.
A lot of games which have one or two elements that really excite you a lot even if the rest of it leaves you ambivalent.
Games that supply custom cards beat those that list them but make you do the work.
There's too many times where a game introduces one good system but kinda tells the GM "oh, you can just wing the rest". At least admit that it's an addition to a game and not a complete one of itself.
A game that looks like it's had a bit of effort put into it probably has, as a general rule.
I'm getting tired of "come up with a few traits, put a number next to them and add it to your dice roll/card total". I know simple systems are bread and butter here, but at least do something interesting.
If you're going to have different card suits have different meaning, give me a pretty reference for it.
A game with a good voice excites me a lot, but a game that maintains that interest over every page is a godsend.
What you should be looking at
- Collaborative adventures - Anonym, Automaton, Fear of the Dark, Fetch This!, Field Work, Gho5t, Imperial Measure, Magical Mystery Tour, Tales on the Weird Seas, The Clinic.
- Could be a board/card game - Aquila, At Any Cost, Forgeborn, Game of the Gods,
- Performance framework - Ad Libitum Absurdity, Last Year's Magic, Psychic Detective Agency, State Cinema
- Interplayer conflict - A Hard Goodbye, Dark Secret, Friends of the Venom Spider, If at first you don't succeed, It Is Forbidden, Mixtapes and Mistakes, Space Problems argh, The Hot Seat.
- One session set-pieces - Conspiracy and Cowards, Life As It Was, Children's Radio Hour, Millennia, Spiral Star
- Different approaches - Among Humans, Fallen Sky, House of Hades, Langer Memorial Trauma Centre, Pony Express, The Dream Palace