Sunday, 14 May 2017

200 Word RPG Challenge 2017 Reviews (Part 1: from start until K)

The following games were all entries in the 200 Word RPG Challenge 2017 and they may be found at https://200wordrpg.github.io/2017entries

The entries are listed here as they are at the above site. This is part 1. Parts 2 and 3 can be found nearby.

Thank you to David Schirduan and Marshall Miller for all your hard work and encouragement. Thanks also to all of the game designers. I wish I had more time to dedicate to every game, offering more feedback and constructive criticism, but conditions demanded I could not. My apologies if my haste caused me to treat your creation unfairly.

I rated the games in several categories as follows:
  • ·         Concept covers the setting and themes.
  • ·         System looks at game design and/or framing tools.
  • ·         Execution covers the presentation and synergy of elements.
  • ·         Verdict is the final rating of the game, and the most important.

I used a “five star” ratings scale system with my own words replacing the stars in question:
  • ·         Flawed: the game cannot be marked in this category due to a fundamental issue.
  • ·         meh: uninspiring, boring, unworkable, or derivative. 1 star.
  • ·         Ok: serviceable and not terrible, but not memorable. 2 stars.
  • ·         Good: Enjoyable with some merit. 3 stars
  • ·         Great: Exciting, polished, or inspired. 4 stars.
  • ·         Excellent: Outstanding. 5 stars.

In the end, final tallies were:
  • ·         24 Flawed games (3.5%)
  • ·         176 meh games (25.4%)
  • ·         186 Ok games (26.8%)
  • ·         167 Good games (24.1%)
  • ·         94 Great games (13.5%)
  • ·         46 Excellent games (6.6%)
  • ·          and 1 game not reviewed (due to it being my own.)

That’s 694 games, three less than I thought there were. Please let me know if I missed some entries.
The word count was 24, 989 words, averaging out to about 36 words per review (title included.)


#Resist

Simple narrative tool where smashing the state means coming into conflict with your confederates. The endgame is when everyone agrees that you’re screwed, which is refreshing.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

(Dis)Agreement

An improv exercise with a simple physical format. A respectable warm-up.
Concept: Good
System: OK
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

0. Get a Tarot Deck

Get inspiration from a tarot deck to tell a story. Some basic framework, but nothing exciting.
Concept: meh
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

1, 2, Zombie

Roll a die, add mods, beat a target. The Flaw list is nice, but this game is otherwise rather bland.
Concept: meh
System: OK
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

200 Character RPG

A micro-microgame with a scissors-paper-rock dynamic between beliefs, hopes and dreams. For 200 characters, not bad.
Concept: Ok
System: OK
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

200 Words of Real RPG

D&D with a deck of cards. Suits denote abilities and face cards act as spells. Better than it looks.
Concept: OK
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

29 Days to Spring

A storytelling framework about the lives of two soldiers on either side of the battle for Iwo Jima.
Concept: Good
System: OK
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

3d13 via cards and introducing roll choice

A task resolution mechanic allowing players to fudge “rolls.”
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

5 ways to win without fighting (a supplement)

Tactical advice for success rather than a game, but a nice concise read.
Concept: Ok
System: none
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good (but not a game nor a roleplay)

52

Yet another dungeon-hack with cards. Draw a card, beat a target number, double the card if it’s the appropriate suit.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

8525kHz

Cold War spy drama using random numbers to fill in details of a story. Appropriately, some of the rules are redacted. Cute.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Good

A 5-day walkathon

Auctioning game with a touch of storytelling where a pedometer is needed so you can tally your wealth. Could make walking fun, though the storytelling side is underdeveloped.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Great

A Day in the Life of a Mole Person

A survival game of resources, balancing personal gain against the needs of the group.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Ok.
Verdict: Ok

A Fistful of Dust

Undead Western with a coin-flipping mechanic. The fill-in-the-blanks section on magic is a highlight.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

A Game To Play When You Feel Hopeless

A therapeutic tool to help you literally overcome your demons. Some more options for enemies (dragon, shadow, and traps immediately spring to mind) would have added depth.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

A House Is Not a Home

Lovely little game about a fight between relatives. Core mechanic has you building a card house, complete with “building bridges” and actual escalation. Very nice.
Concept: Great
System: Excellent
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

A Matter of Time

A mechanic for a game where characters can see the future. Nice idea with players choosing to succeed or fail, but the GM dice system improves nothing.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

A Nice Meal (For Once)

A game about dinnertime arguments where you gain, spend and swap cutlery. But the game seems to require two types of spoons and neglects to properly distinguish between them.
Concept: Good
System: Flawed
Execution: Flawed
Verdict: Flawed

A Single Point of Reference

A two-player improv piece where an alien learns about human culture. Simple Q&A mechanic, but could be fun.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

A Small World

A closed box setting about sustaining your habitat. Standard 2d6 beat target sort of deal.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

A last drink

Improv piece about a final meeting, framed over the course of drinking a pint. Sombre, simple, and stimulating.
Concept: Good
System: Great
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Great

A tale untold

A fantastic setup, but it falls apart by the end, with a final d6 roll that does nothing for the experience. Not entirely clear what the game’s “Replacements” are.
Concept: Great
System: Flawed
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Flawed

A walk down Memory Lane

Imaginative sightseeing tour when one player talks about how things were while the other details how things changed. Sweet.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Great

A walk in the park

You play dogs at a park. Roll d6, roll under your stat, achieve your doggy goals.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

A.C.E: A Deadly Game of Espionage

Fast card-based 2-player game of limited complexity. Players narrate outcomes based on the result.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

ARG(h) an Augmented Reality Game (human)

A self-improvement exercise based on the principle of treating your real life as a larp.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

ARM-WRESTLING: THE RPG

Really simple combat mechanic with the unusual twist of dice results based not on the facing but on how long they spin. A novel mechanic in an otherwise discardable game.
Concept: meh
System: Good
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Ablative Soldiers

Crappy cyborgs automatically succeed on tasks by sacrificing body parts. Not a bad idea, but the simple d100 mechanic could be replaced with a coin flip or nothing at all.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Ace of Spades

A card-based rpg with a lot of flaws (there’s no detail on simple failures.) Highly subject to GM abuse. Endgame comes down to whether one player survives or everyone dies.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Across the Table (2-player)

Nice idea about two companies needing to work together to ultimately screw each other over. Uses a Texas Hold ‘Em mechanic, but the deal-making process central to the game isn’t explained well.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Adfectomancer

Personal counselling tool about repairing friendships, it seems, wrapped up in mystical trappings. The dice mechanic is superfluous.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Advent

A storytelling framework set over multiple weeks as a crisis affects a community. Disaster and opportunity go hand in hand as the crisis grows more threatening. Meant to be played in real time.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Adventure Story

Dungeon hack with dice and cards. Crunchier game than some others in the comp, and it seems to work okay, but it doesn’t excite.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

After the Rain

AI agents invade a human subconscious, which is a great idea, but the card based system is nothing interesting. Draw a card, beat the number, use the suit to inspire the scene.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Alien Zookeepers Go!

Funny little alternate reality game where you invent 4-dimensional animals that you’ve “discovered.” Has some Munchausen hilarity, and destroying the planet is a great meta-ending. Fun.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Great

All For One, the flipped RPG

One player, five GMs. Each GM is responsible for a different aspect of the experience. A nice idea, and many large larps could benefit from these guidelines for GMs. A useful resource.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

All Things Grow

Storytelling framework using the growth of a flower to help tell a tale about your mother. A very personal and long-term exercise, beautifully presented.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

All it takes…

Vicious little game where you select one character to die so the others can live. Establishing interesting connections at the start determines later conflict. The roles given are superfluous, sadly.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Alliteration

D6 based dungeon-hack where all stats start with the letter A. Better than some (and no use of cards, thank goodness.).
Concept: meh
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Amnesia Llamas

A cleverly silly twist on Celebrity Heads where you get to shoot each other with water pistols because you’re all famous people reincarnated as llamas (the water pistols symbolize you spitting on each other.)
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Among powerful wizards and sorceresses

Pick a physical item as your magic focus and tell a tale of how you got it. Other players award you “gems” and you compare gem totals at the end. Despite some difficult English, it kinda works.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Good

An American Workplace

A comedy game of trying to keep a poker face while the GM tries to make you laugh. The setting is reminiscent of The Office and the working week framing device is charming.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Great

An Uncertain Trial

One player secretly rolls a die to decide how guilty they are and everyone else tries to work out if they should be punished. Nice idea, but not enough depth.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

And We Are All Together

The premise is that one player becomes possessed by another and you have to work out what happened. You also have to work out the system, the end conditions, the secrets that people know… everything, basically. The intention is to enable creativity, but it doesn’t succeed.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

And then there were none

Murder mystery with no mystery; just a randomized way to select victims and the eventual murderer.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Angry Goblin Widows

Great idea about goblin families upset at the adventurers who killed their loved ones, but it uses yet another boring card deck with suits for actions and randomly drawn difficulties. Ditch.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Anonymous Correspondence

Narrative game taking the form of dictating letters in turn. Each player has a secret genre that they must adhere to. Could be a lot of fun with wittier players.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Another multiverse story

This game offers no system or setting other than saying you need to select three elements about yourself and shove them into your character. That’s all this game is about, which just happens to be the complete opposite of what many gamers need to do (should be separating player and character.)
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Anti Heroes

The fate of the galaxy lies in the hands of its worst criminals. This is simply an elevator pitch for a story; no game material supplied. Missing an evil female character, and the inclusion of Saladin might be controversial. Unfortunately can’t be considered complete.
Concept: Good
System: none
Execution: Flawed
Verdict: Flawed

Anxiety

Revolving narrative game about an ordinary person’s emotional state. A coin flip influences events arbitrarily. Could have been great, but isn’t.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Arcana

A simple boardgame using a tarot deck for conflict resolution, but it isn’t interesting, nor even balanced.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Arena of Popularity but no Death nor Magic

Simple gladiatorial combat mechanic with stats simply based on body locations. Not as crap as it first seems, and could be easily expanded. Does what it does well.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

As the Crow Flies

An intimate game about deep secrets and dark reflection. Good for the broken and damaged romantics out there.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Ashes of the Sun

A character-generation system about an old team regrouping to find their old commander. Decent character web, but offers little more for the actual storytelling.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Astrum Arcanis

Another tarot deck system with suits relating to tasks, numbers relating to difficulties, and major arcana being subject to creative whim. This one has a sci-fi theme.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Asylum

Wacky supernatural game set in a demonic asylum with a simple mechanic balancing insane magic against mundane abilities.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

At the End of the World

Improv piece detailing the last few weeks of a small group of people’s lives. Simple framework and quite emotional.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

BAD STUDENT

Improv game about a group of teachers and the students whose fates they decide. Uses a voting mechanic. Could be fun, but could also be quite dark.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Great

Backpackers

Storytelling improv about backpackers, new experiences, and friendships. Making passport props and stamps for them could be a lot of fun, but the rest of the game is disposable.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

BadyRPG

Misspelled (should be “BabyRPG.”) You play babies and interact with the imaginary things in your environment. D6 system based on Cute, Innocent, and Loud. Riiiiight…
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

Be Like Water

Obtuse one-on-one combat system. Unbalanced, with an unclear mechanic about “striking a nerve” which could have done with some explanation.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Bearing Witness

A storytelling framework about journalists in a warzone exchanging experiences. Very evocative. Not a lot of game, but a great roleplay.
Concept: Great
System: none
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Great

Before Bedtime

Combat system for a game about kids fighting monsters. Stats for weapons and random charts to determine where the monster attacks from and its weak spot.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Birthday Equilibrium

Mean little game about office presents, getting what you want, and avoiding fallout. A simple idea done very well.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Black Mass

This is basically a choose-your-own-adventure story with one choice. Don’t pick wrong, because that ending sucks.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Blank Slate

Robots with simple programming attempt to save a space station. Limits on the GM is a fun idea. Robots improve as they fail, which is nice.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Blaze of Glory

Great setup (James Bond meets Crank) let down by a card-based mechanic with no endgame. Pointless.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Bloodfeud – Diplomacy with Vampire

Incredibly cutthroat vampiric politics game. Needs a couple more tweaks before it’s ready (traits need detailing, and it would be good to see a way to lower the Hunt) but has promise.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Bloody Hair: A Tale of Barbaric Combat

Hairy barbarians doin’ their thang. Fun read, but just another rpg.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Boasters round the table

Competitive storytelling with no real reason to reward your fellows. Doesn’t work.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

BoneRPG

Simple rpg where you play silly skeletons. Sacrifice limbs to auto-succeed, or risk them on an all-or-nothing die roll. Not bad
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Boom Boom Car Bots

A “play in the car” game with dice. Claim a car, roll a number of dice according to the first number on the license plate, highest roll wins. No roleplaying or storytelling, but better than being bored.
Concept: meh
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

Border Crossing

At best an exercise in displaying the fickle nature of privilege. A minimal system offers no choices, and disposes of roleplay. Post game sequence seems to be the best part. High ambitions, but fails to meet them.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Botany Bay

Players play botanists, drawing plant species and describing their characteristics, but the real game is in the politics of peer review. Not a lot of reason to offer Favour unless you’re hoping to bribe for it in return, it seems, but always nice to see illustration in a game.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Briefly Speaking

Another less than 200 character effort. Fast storytelling game that is quicker to play than this review.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Bring Forth The Hippocrene

This started so well, with a great setup about Greek poets and the Muses! But then it all fell apart with an ugly system which doesn’t explain half its definitions (Inspiration? Quality?) So disappointing.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Build Your Own RPG

Better than the title suggests. Two tables; the first gives you a random concept, while the second gives you a random system to use. There are six different systems here, and they are better than a lot of the games in the competition. Tries to do a hell of a lot and succeeds. Bravo!
Concept: Good
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Great

Bullets

Double-dealing, backstabbing crime drama which works well up until you realise that you don’t know how combat works. Turn order? How many bullets? Can you use nerf guns? The character work before that is great, though.
Concept: Great
System: Flawed
Execution: Good
Verdict: Flawed

Bunk Beds

Sleepover buddies have to worry about “the monster.” Sets up well, but it seems to be missing something.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

By the Book

Narrative storytelling with the length of words in a book being the randomiser. Cute, but not inspiring. The Potteresque character name of Paige Master is endearing, I’ll confess.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

CREATIO EX NIHILO

Mythic/cosmic creation process which acts as a proto-Microscope style of collaborative history-building game. Doesn’t quite get there.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

CTTS1372 VESSEL TREMAINE SYSTEMS ONLINE

Fun little space jaunt where anything could happen. Enough fun nonsense going on to keep everyone entertained. The parasitic worm rule is a laugh. Only problem is that there’s no rule about how or when to check the computer, but it can be easily winged.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Caltrops (by Jordan)

Cat and mouse chase where a robber tries to escape a guard, but there’s no real reason not to just spend as many dice as possible on killing them in scene 1. Uses d4s, of course.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Caltrops (by Eli Kurtz)

A fast and furious combat game where rival ninja clans compete unto death! Stands up fairly well, except that there’s no ref to judge the roleplaying rewards (just ditch any such rules.) Fun.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Caper

Tough little heist story using coin flips and team collaboration. Double-crossing with the use of actual sleight of Hand keeps everyone on their toes. Fun.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Captain’s Table

Adventurous captains swap stories. Kinda like Munchausen, but with a deadly brawl at the end to determine a winner.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Card Sharks

Even more backstabbing thieves, this time with cards to determine turn order and special actions. At least it doesn’t have a “beat randomly drawn card’s number” mechanic, so it gets praise for that.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Cards of Magi

Battle game using cards and a d12. Actually not too bad, but the Focus rules are unclear.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Carfax Abbey

Downton Abbey with Dracula. Just a pitch, but a decent one. Would be better if done in the mockumentary style of Jersey Gore.
Concept: Great
System: none
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Carry On

Bridge crew simulator where you’re unlikely to really get in too much trouble if you all work together (there isn’t much reason to oppose the captain’s directions.)
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Cast-a-Quadrons

Bare bones rpg system that gives the classic experience with a coin flip that can suffer advantage/disadvantage. Wounds and XP are similarly simplified. It’s making a statement about boring systems by being one. If this is the bare minimum, it sets the bar; you don’t want to be any worse than this, and anything good is better.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Good

Cat Wrangling

You wrangle cats with the “help” of unclear parameters, vague rules, and nonsensical design. A right mess.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Catalyst of Annihilation

Two people’s meeting sees the end of the world. A Q&A improv storytelling game which is fine apart from the unclear Details for the Prompts (what is meant by “touchstone?” are these just examples?) Worth trying out.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Catch the Thief

Hidden movement game hunting a thief, reminiscent of text based dungeoning. Sadly incomplete (how do you leave the village? Do you know if you are at the same location as another?)
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

Cats Herding Humans

Cat adventures with an ugly, ugly, ugly die system where you need to roll near the die’s central numbers. Worse than needing to roll low, though admittedly rather original.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Caution: Hot!

Conversational storytelling game about a new relationship and its future. A pot of tea and the actions surrounding drinking it form the narrative framework. Charming and competent.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Celestial Bureaucrats

Angelic game with a coin flip mechanic. Not much detail, and not much game.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Charon

Scripted game with a deathly underworld setting. The use of two coins as per mythology is a cute touch, but there’s no real reason to cover your eyes with them (if there were a hidden counting/guessing mechanic, sure.)
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Chieftain

Really fun simple board game which uses my most beloved of stationery items; paperclips! Yay! The game itself looks fast and exciting, with the one problem that there’s no victory condition…
Concept: Ok
System: Great
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Children of the Con

Fans at a convention have a story happen. That’s about what it says. And if you need a game mechanic it advises you to introduce your preferred one, such as SPR, a d6 roll, or a thumb war. That thumb war idea is probably the best part of the document.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Chirognomy

Simple task-based mechanic comparing your best two d6s vs the GM’s best d12. Uses a touch of palmistry to create your character, and requires knowledge of the tarot in order to design stories.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

Chromed poets

Battle game about piloted mecha where your ability to create haikus can save the universe. A bit challenging and could be exploited easily, but could be wonderful. The offered list of words is respectable.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Close Encounters

Alien abduction narrative breakdown. Seems like decent story structure, but no tools or systems to assist.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Coin-cidence

One player is a GM, the others players. Coin flip for challenges, no modifiers.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Coloring Outside the Lines of Reality

Storytelling with tokens to veto others’ stories.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Come up with a catchy title after playtesting

The author advocates for turning combat rounds into very short “tenths” of a second, but no actual system is presented. Still in the concept stage.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Coming Close To Home – A Workshop

Roleplaying improvisation workshop, first discussing a theme, then an object, and then gives a meditative method of getting into character. Slightly obtuse, especially the middle section.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

Competitive Reality Television

A 2d6 system improved by the ability to earn d4s as “drama dice.” You can also bitch about people to strip their drama dice away. Sadly, the game needs a hook that just isn’t there.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Complication

Storytelling with cards or a coin flip. Red/Heads is a complication, black/tails is a solution. Improvise from there.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

Constitution

The players are building a society’s laws from scratch and need to work together to keep their fellow citizens happy. A simple framework that could become incredibly deep.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Cops

Simple cop drama using a d6 system. Sadly, the use of “stress dice” is poorly explained and I can’t understand how it’s meant to work.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Cosmic Trickster

A silly little game about aliens who can transform things through rhyme. I enjoy language games, and this could also work for fairytale magic.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Courrier

Mirror’s Edge: the dice game! Although there doesn’t seem to be any way for the Courrier (sic) to actually fail...
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Crafty Monsters: An RPG of battling monsters

Wizard summon monsters for pokemon duels. Fast and simple d6 mechanic combined with multiple SPR-style trumping mechanics. For what it is, not bad.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Crazy Conversation

A conversation game where you try to get people to say your codewords, but the “sanity” mechanic is clumsy. Basic idea is alright.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Crazy Greedy Hitler Puppet

Funny little game about politicians being screwed by a leader who is the absolute worst. A little vague in regards to fiat, but looks like a good laugh.
Concept: Excellent
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Crisis Ascending

A bluffing game with cards that doesn’t really inspire storytelling.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Cross the Kitchen

Simple minis obstacle race using your home and toys, but a chart or something for hazards and boons would have pushed this up an extra ranking.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Cross the Floor

A collaborative excercise about a relationship gone south, with a few secrets in the mix. It all leads to a final confrontation which all seems over a bit too quickly.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Cryptozoo

Players are trying to hunt cryptids for a zoo, spending money on research and making “conjectures,” but it all seems a bit unfocused.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Cyber Beetles

Taking its cue from an old party game (Beetle) this game has a couple slowly replacing bits of themselves with machinery until one of them is fully cybernetic. In the right hands this could be really moving.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

DOGMA

Exploration of how religious doctrine becomes twisted over time. Could be an educational tool, but it might be a bit preachy. Ironic, eh?
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

DOGQUEST 1000

Simplistic character creation followed by a revolving GM process, no mechanics. You play dogs.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

DUELLO – A Game of Magic and Politics

Wizard dueling game where you have a limited time to describe your spellcraft. You lose if you run out of ideas, it seems. Needs something like an audience to act as referee, methinks.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

DUNGEON + DEALER

Blackjack dungeon crawl which actually isn’t too bad at all. Special abilities for PCs and monsters add complexity. Not quite sure how the Cleric’s healing works, though.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Daffodils for William

Improv game about remembering the life of a person. Revolving storytellers. Mostly an imaginative social activity with little guidance.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Daily Heroes

Character creation and storytelling idea to use with your favourite system/format based around highlighting words and phrases in a newspaper. Such a simple idea, but glorious. Also includes two conflict resolution mechanics just in case.
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Dance

A game that asks when a character stopped dancing. Rather sad.
Concept: Excellent
System: Ok
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Great

Dark and Cold

Basic dungeon crawl. Roll under randomly generated stat.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Das Magikapital

Communist henchmen rise up against their overlord. What seems to be a riff on PbtA as core system, but it is presented really well for under 200 words.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Date Mates

One for the spin the bottle crowd.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Death Metal

Collaborative die-rolling game all about trying to hit one number spot on. Might work best as a solo game, actually. Rock band trappings are nice and work well, but not necessary.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Death by Chocolate

Wonka-esque nightmare using a Candyland set for resolutions. Nice try.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Deathmatch Maze

Dungeon crawl with a PvP edge. Using dominoes and dice to create a dungeon is a great idea, but the supplied system is unclear and unhelpful.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Defy. Subvert. Outwit.

The title shows your stats. Roll under the stat to overcome obstacle. Fail four times and die.
Concept: meh
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Demon Dare

Game of demonic temptation which disappoints with a random draw mechanic, but redeems it by letting you build a house of cards with the drawn cards.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Denominator

Interesting bucket-o’-dice game where you get to claim narrative control over dice that roll your number. Nifty.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Descending from the Shoulders of Giants

Cut-scene storytelling about Ancestors teaching a Descendant through memory-visions.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Detachment 626

X Files adventures with three cool stats, but the system is a yawn (add the good d6, subtract the bad d6, apply mods.)
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Dice Mafia

Multiplayer combat elimination dice-game. No balancing suggestions are offered, which makes this game suffer. Requires too much work on the players’ behalf to make work.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Diceless Deeds

Bare-bones Minds Eye Theater, complete with SPR and retests. (Admittedly, I’d still play this before I’d ever resort to MET again.)
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dispossessions

Ghost hunting with one player remotely communicating as a researcher. Uses net tools to help tell a story. Could be really effective with the right crowd. One more inspired idea could have elevated this to perfection.
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Divine Circles: Kingdom in Decline

Angel politics with a circular trumping mechanic for dice. A bit confusing and addled.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Divine Disease

Gods witness the death of their pantheon. Without the unnecessary card mechanic, this could be great.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Divine intervention

Gm narrates a party’s adventure while the players are gods who get total power over their sphere of influence. I like it, but there seems to be no good reason to hinder the party and be really vengeful.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Do You Drink the Kool-Aid

Not really sure how the Truth/Lie system is meant to operate is meant to operate, which is a shame because I wish it worked. The dice and ratings [insert Jonestown metaphor joke.]
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dodgy Gods: A Game of Tricksters and Trouble

Collaborative myth-making with a really nice formula. Simple and elegant.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Great

Don’t lose your marbles

Sanity mechanic where you gain marbles for experiencing trauma. Once your marbles spill out of your hand/cup, you go insane. Could be a larp mechanic here somewhere..
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

Doomsday Cult

Without the cultist trappings, this is just a card game.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Doors

An otherwise boring dice-based system is made exciting by the Attributes entirely changing whenever GM duties swap. However, this is a big part of the game and is where the most guidance was needed. Game’s in the wrong spot.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Doorway

Alternative reality game where you take it in turns spending a week pretending you’re in fantasyland before telling other players a story. It’s a storytelling tool.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Double-O-Eleven: Casino Vocale

Improv game where you have to stay in-character in order to succeed. The token mechanic accompanying it is not as good as the voicework conceit, nor does it enhance the theme.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Doused Flames of Magic; Matchsticks of Power

The GM adjudicates conflicts with a coin flip. The players have a spellbook/book of matches where they can cast spells if they light a match on one strike. Cute idea, but needs to be supplementary to another system (maybe involving candles…)
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Good 

Down the Rabbit Hole

Encouragement to tell a Wonderland story, complete with “all a dream” ending.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dragon Draughts & the Mug of Wonder

“Iron-gut” drinking challenge. Use the chart to make a cocktail. Select a champion to drink it. Refreshing!
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dragon Soul

Applaus-o-meter for awesomeness means you get more dice.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dragon Tag

Find cool stuff and make a horde. Tag other dragons to steal stuff, or raid their horde, unless the colour rules get in the way. So simple that the simple will ruin the game and make you feel like a jerk for caring. Just run an Easter egg hunt.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Dragons and Dragons

I make dragon! Roll d20, beat mod, terrify kingdom! RAAR!
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Drama Crash!

Dread clone Jenga mechanic for TV Drama. My character is a sexy disabled baby, as per suggestions.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dream Eaters

Dream warriors rpg where the more points you spend the closer you are to defeat. Best way to lose is to play, it seems…
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dreamcard

Draw some wacky pictures on cards, and then tell a story with them. As long as you keep swapping between logic and nonsense, you’re all good.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dualistic Voices

Get your friends to help make your character. Then get them to help you resolve the character’s story. Game over.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Duel of Change

Shapeshifting magic battle which makes the improv core challenging by forcing you to justify why the roll helps you. Better than many similar games.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Duet

Overly-serious struggle to find a lost companion. The dice-rolling may break the mood.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Dumb Brutes

Storytelling caveman game where you have to invent a way of communicating in-play. The resulting grunting, hooting, gestures, and fingerpainting is bound to be special.
Concept: Excellent
System: Excellent
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Dungeon Black

D6s are health and disappear if they roll 1. You can reroll by lighting one of your lucky matches from the table’s candle. Thematic, but not good.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Dust Trails

D6 rpg about your cool vehicle in the post-apocalypse.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

EPYC

A “fold-the-paper, continue-the-story” format for historical mythmaking. Could be good.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Eight Facets of the City

I’m really not sure how this will work, or really what the point of it is (apart from discovering meaning in the symbols.) Maybe it will all become clear in play. (For the record, this is one of my favourite designers.)
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Encounters

Making symbols for your character is fun, I guess…
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

End of Days // Hidden Terror

Card-based rpg. High card wins, suits trump.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Endless Descent: a game of Secrets and Hope

“Secrets” mechanic gives a good framework for narrative, but the dungeon crawl theme does nothing for it.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Enna’s friend or foe?

Game is missing a few important elements, such as how orcs are placed on the map and how exactly the 1d4 power allocation works.
Concept: Good
System: Flawed
Execution: Flawed
Verdict: Flawed

Escalation

Split personality competitive dice game. One sweet mechanic in that you can choose whether to roll lower or higher than your Humanity target rating for different consequences.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

Escape from the Drowning Tower

Great idea where you’ve killed the villain and now you’ve got to escape their crumbling tower. So play a card game to get out… If you want…
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

Eternal

Bidding game for narrative control about immortals, sadness, and seashells. Best played at twilight.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Eternal Rivals

D10 Samurai duel. Best part is that unsuccessful dice are discarded “in shame.”
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

European

A great little hidden-role crime drama sadly let down by one or two details missing, such as how murders work and when the Dealer/Buyer win. About one or two playtests away from being a Great game (or better.)
Concept: Great
System: Flawed
Execution: Great.
Verdict: Flawed

Everyone’s The Good Guy (Of Their Own Story)

One player tells the story forward, the other backward, each trying to get the other to affirm their own POV. Nice. Two different scenarios are a big plus.
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Evil Goatees

When in one dimension you beat the target number one way, but in the other dimension you beat it the other way. When will this madness end!
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Ex Libro

Characters from various novels run through the plot of another one. Flagging sentences from books as resolution methods is fun, but the sheer size of novel text makes this unwieldy.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Exceptional Bodies for Exceptional Hosts

Mash together two lifeforms and play. Make another one when bored. Repeat. Really well-written; may actually be better to read than play.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Good

Exodus -  A game of discovery for 2-6 players

Everyone offers a detail about a deserted alien craft and then combine those details to make a theory. Refreshingly, you’ll never know if you’re right…
Concept: Great.
System: Excellent
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Expedition 13

Pour four shots and grab a d20. Whenever you get hurt, drink a shot. The d20 is never explained. Have another shot, I s’pose…
Concept: Good
System: Flawed
Execution: Flawed
Verdict: Flawed

FAERY QVEST

Tarot cards determine knightly quests with a system pretty similar to many others, but it does it in so much style… Here’s how to make a boring system great.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Great

Fallen Stars

Draw card, beat target. Now with samurai… again…
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Factossimations a story rpg system

Confused little reality-warping game with a muddled trumping mechanism and some unclear framework. NB: the entry Hard Facts and Strong Possibilities is actually a supplement to clear up this game.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Fair Verona Burns: A Tragedy in Three Acts

Lovely theatrical drama about feuding families and forbidden romance which has a great narrative format, until a few d6 rolls step in and break the narrative flow. If you can make the first Act work, you’ll probably resent the intrusion of the dice in the second.
Concept: Great
System: OK
Execution: OK
Verdict: Good

Familiars RPG

Witches familiars make a potion. Goals are rolled and your random traits create the drama. Workable.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Farewell, My Love

Sensual and intimate little “bedroom roleplay” for lovers. The only real problem is remembering the different emotional stages and their order without breaking the mood, which could ruin the whole experience.
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Fated Feud

Combat game based on the three elements of bidding Breath, wondering why the GM hates you, and always Flourishing because it is better than Attacking.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: OK
Verdict: meh

Fated to Meet – The Journey of Two

Hidden movement game with a multimedia communications twist, but there are no real obstacles to the environment. Likely you’ll each just move to the centre of the board and get it over with.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Fatimah’s Busy Day

The very personal and complex relationship between a young woman and her burqa. Fascinating idea, and well executed.
Concept: Excellent
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Excellent

Fear the Conspiracy

Create a terrifying conspiracy by creating patterns between random “evidence.” The patterns determine consequences.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Feast

Yummy little edible game where you pretend food is the memories of a host. Eventually you eat all of their mind. Macabre, but amusing.
Concept: Great
System: Excellent
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Fidget Madness

Do nothing until you can’t bear it any more, whereupon the world explodes. Useful if you have a spare “torture classroom” handy, or if you ever find yourself in solitary confinement and need something to help pass the time.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Fill in the Blank RPG

Fill in cards with words, use those words to overcome obstacles if you fail to roll 7+ on a d10.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Final Enemy/A Poetry of Revenge/Samurai Haiku

Amusing little game about writing haikus based on character boasts, and an entirely thematic endgame. Really good work!
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Great

Final Testament

Filled with problems. Sorry.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Fire of the Gods

Mythological game with dice rolling. Not outstanding.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

First Datepocalypse

Jealous lover set-piece with a random die roll determining who dies at the end.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Five Cards

An interesting take on randomizer cards. Needs some assembly. Card mechanic done well.
Concept: Ok
System: Great
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Flesh of the Gods

Mythological game with a wonderful prayer mechanic which is a lovely touch. One of the better pantheon games.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Good
Verdict: Great

Flesh, And Other Inconvenient Things

Turn-based survival game. Different difficulties for time of day is nice.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Good

Flirt Party

Guidelines for flirting with consenting adults. An intimacy game.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Flirt Party Aftermath

A sequel to Flirt Party, and a bit more gut-wrenching. Better than the original.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Excellent

Footprints

Nice opening, but became fairly standard.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

For the Birds

Feed birds and tell their stories. Excellent game from a first-timer.
Concept: Excellent
System: Excellent
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Foresight

With just a couple of tweaks, I think this could be marvelous. Convince the GM that your prediction is best.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Four Cups of Tea

Tea-drinking hidden poison game with a storytelling edge. Hope it works in practice.
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Friction Engine – A Pocket-Sized RPG System

Task resolution mechanic with d6s and group resources. Lots of additional notes (including options.)
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Fusion Dance

Get stronger by fusing with another character. When fused, agree or unfuse.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

G.L.U.R.P.S.

Coin game. Modifiers grant reflips.
Concept: meh
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

GHOST//BODY: Road Warrior Repossessors

Joyriding, ghost-style. A lot of style, but not much meat.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Gambling on the River Styx

Coins and mah-jong tiles determine your past and fate. Maybe a bit too random.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Good

Game Cartridge Monsters

Pokemon battle with cards. Great ‘80s theme.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Ghost Estate

Common sayings take on a life of their own. Uninteresting main mechanic, but a fun idea.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Ghosts and Flowers

Afterlife journey with a card mechanic. Table for random events well appreciated.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Giant Monster Mayhem

Kaiju story based on a 50-50 finger throwdown.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Girls from Gilmore, Boys from the Dwarf

Character webs based on tenuous friendships and necessity.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Gladiators

Die elimination game where Caesar can overrule the dice. Don’t bet on this against strangers!
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Glass Half Full

I love the idea of a self-replicating game that spreads joy, but it needs to remove the character creation and just offer something more directed and accessible. I feel the love, though.
Concept: Excellent
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Go Home, Young Superhero

Dice and cards game of resource management.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Go North

Improv storytelling with a classic “text-based adventure” conceit for the GM. Helps pass five minutes.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Go On Without Me

Macho posturing and noble deaths. Stop others from dying so you can die first. First player to die wins.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Goblal Wars: No Dwarves Allowed!

D6 wargame with goblins.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Goblins in a Trenchcoat

Voting mechanic for group action which all gets thrown out the window with a d4 mechanic deciding everything anyway.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Gods among mortals

Percentile based game of modern gods.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Godzilla Is Attacking The City

Survival word game, but no real balance to available words.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Good Morning Magicland

Troy and Abed in the Moor-nin’! Theatre sport with a reality TV frame.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Goodbye

Cancer support group simulator. Not for everyone, but beautifully done. Not for the faint of heart.
Concept: Great
System: Excellent
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Great Wallopers

Escalation drama where you can cash in victory points for more dice. Bit of a laugh.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Greedy Devils

Card game of hoarding and pile control.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Groove Crusaders

Elevator pitch for a Guitar Hero game storyline mode. Not really what the competition was after, but I like the idea.
Concept: Good
System: none
Execution: Flawed
Verdict: Flawed

Group Troop

Party game of expectations and observations. Could be educational
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Group troop

Resubmission of previous entry. See [Group Troop]
Concept: n/a
System: n/a
Execution: n/a
Verdict: Flawed

Guilty Souls

Previous sins manifest to punish the wicked. Confront your sins to banish them. Nice framework, but needs something more to help mould the narrative.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Götterdämmerung

Tell tales and give tokens until everyone is dead.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Good

HEIST!

Fun setup with everyone discussing how they can overcome the obstacles faced by others. Then a card draw determines actual success.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

HIRELINGS

Outfit yourself with hirelings, then the GM makes up adventures. Keep your hirelings alive.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Hacksaw: The Phone Call of Death

Prank phone-calling to get out of a deadly trap. Some definite ethical issues surrounding this, but I applaud the chutzpah. With the right crowd this would be a hoot, but maybe that would prove they’re really the wrong crowd to play with. Would be better if you challenged them to call random people in their own phonebook.
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Flawed
Verdict: Flawed

Happily Ever Maybe

Fairies try to give a mortal a happy life. Blind draw of dice in a bag, red or white. No rolling. Tell tale.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Hard Facts and Strong Possibilities (summary)

Supplement for Factossimations (another entry.) This effectively increases the word count of the Factossimations game, so I can’t in all fairness review it as its own game. Would have been better in the Author Comments section of the previous game.
Concept: Flawed
System: Flawed
Execution: Flawed
Verdict: Flawed

Harder, Better, Faster

Choose one thing to succeed at the cost of two other factors. Nice principle, but the implementation left me cold.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

Hasar Khan – Tiger King

Such a brilliant idea of questions and conspiracies falls into a dice-off. Ditch the dice and increase the Q&A game and this would be a winner.
Concept: Excellent
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Haunted House

PbtA in a Haunted House.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

He say you Blade Runner

D12 mechanic with random replicants. Pretty wild.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Headcannon Accepted!

Though not actually about heads with cannons in them, this is actually really quite good. The random genre generator at the start is a good tool and the gameplay looks solid and fun. Party game..
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Healthcare

Medical drama with card suits.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Heart Light

Q&A game about childhood, adulthood, and friendship. A sweet format for a sweet tale.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Great

Heisters

D6 collaborative heist drama with the twist that you can overcome obstacles by putting yourself in peril, but your mates don’t have to save you.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Heliophage

Superpowered morality tale with a Fate die.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Hello – The Game

D6 random handshake/hug mechanic to illustrate difficulties people face in greeting other people. Noble idea, but I don’t think ot quite achieves what it wants.
Concept: Good
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: Ok

Helm

Die game about maintaining an empire.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Helsing’s League

Simple coin mechanic, but the presentation is quite nice. The character sheet is designed like an employment form at first, though this conceit quickly fades. I do appreciate the clever Attribute list.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Hero Monsters

D20 game of monster vs hero fights. Requires cards not supplied with the rules, nor are instructions provided to make them.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Flawed
Verdict: Flawed

Hero’s Council

Herman’s Head for superhero play. Has a voting mechanic and a random character creation table. Decent.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Hidden Faces

Conversation game of secrets and cards. Party game.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Hidden War: PVP Base Building

Secret agent board game. Lots of random rolls and maths.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

High Arcana

Tarot deck rpg. Has the interesting twist that the GM gets the high Arcana and the players get the rest.
Concept: meh
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Highlighter Maze Runners

Recess break dungeon crawl with highlighters. Entertaining.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Hire Your Boss

Kinda like an inverted Fun-Employed. Looks alright.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

History Building with 7 Wonders Duel

A hack on 7 Wonders Duel, as per the title.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Home Sweet Home

Post-apocalyptic exploration game. The questions for character creation are great, and motivations as the core mechanic are great, but the card mechanic is a letdown. Almost there!
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Good

Homeward Going: A Rilly Wow Travel

PbtA with dogs.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

Hopeless

Kidnap horror with some really funky mechanics. The metronome and matches make this something special. Though it needs a bit of work, it’s almost there and could be amazing!
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Great

Hopes and Traumas

Adventurers come back to town and… do town stuff? System comes down to picking a number at character creation and later having to roll higher or lower than it on a d10, depending on circumstance.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Hoppers: Tales of the Hyperdimensional Police

Cute chart to determine random parallel dimensions.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Hotfix

Collaborative game of engineers trying to stay alive. Sadly, the d6 system lets down the other cool mechanics.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Human Or Not, Here I Am

Started off with a cracker of an idea and format (Blade Runner party game,) but it ended up a bit unclear.
Concept: Excellent
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Human-Zombie Fulfillment Symposium

Rather civilized bartering between humans and ex-humans who want their brains. The human demands and the zombie possessions probably requires some more than independently making them up in order to work. One revision away from greatness.
Concept: Great
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Ok

Hyper Flying Death Bunnies from Mars

Draw cards, highest wins.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

I Am You As You Are Me

Puppeteering party game where you players vocally control each other’s movements. Could be a lot of fun.
Concept: Ok
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

I Feel Fine

End of the world simulator chronicling the last hour of your life. Could be a sobering study, especially if multiple players debrief together. Can be played solo.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Great

IN THE PIT

Conversational game conflicts and common goals. Each round has a major vote. Requires a good moderator who can introduce powerful and interesting choices.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

In Need

Pawn shop improv piece. Simple and effective.
Concept: Great
System: Great
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

In the Cards

Card draws, revolving GM, collaborative rpg. Seen a lot of these.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Incandescent Wars

Take it in turns to shapeshift into something which counters your opponent’s shapeshifted form. Purely narrative and subject to subjectivity.
Concept: meh
System: Ok
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Indivisible: an empathic game for two

A therapeutic roleplay which may be a bit personal, awkward, or creepy for some. I don’t know if using electronic messaging is really the most appropriate way to play a game that wants to increase human connection.
Concept: Good
System: OK
Execution: OK
Verdict: OK

Intel

Communication chain leading to a d6 roll.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Intergalactic Bake-Off!

Lovely little game about cosmic recipes and culinary sabotage. The game encourages you to try to sabotage other recipes, which is fantastic, but the random d6 roll should be replaced with an improv or voting mechanic.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Into Balance

Method to use a blind draw bag full of beads instead of dice for PbtA.
Concept: Ok
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Intrigue in Hobbiton

Hobbit politics. Not entirely sure how many scraps are required, and the “goals” mechanic needs some parameters.
Concept: Good
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

Inventory Quest!

Play a Paladin’s items and get them through a dungeon. Some simple “use once and cross off” mechanics. Could be expanded to something greater. The index cards forming a dungeon is pretty nifty, too.
Concept: Great
System: Goo
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Investigator200

2d6 rpg. Fairly complete, but unoriginal.
Concept: meh
System: Ok
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

It is meant to be

3d6, roll under stat, tell a love story.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

It’s simple RPG

2d6+level, beat target number. It certainly is simple.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Jack the Ripper

Anagram game where you rearrange lines from Lewis Carroll’s books to implicate him for the Ripper murders. For a certain kind of crowd, but glorious!
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Janitors, Night Shift and It

Nice idea, but the roles soon become superfluous and the thumb-wrestling resolution method can be abused.
Concept: Great
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Jersey Gore

Reality TV hyperdrama with a hilarious little system about social dynamics, fallout, and getting “wrecked.” A throwaway line about vampires brings the needed twist. Love the narrative voice.
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Joy Wizards

Oh bless! Wizards are trying to collect joy-power to fuel their spells, so go out and create joy. This game is incredibly amusing and a wonderful way to pass some time. I laughed all the way through it.
Concept: Excellent
System: Excellent
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Jumble Rumble

Random monster arena fight with d6 charts. Roll up your monster, compare against opponent, gain victory points.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: meh

Jump!

Space-based salvage and exploration with a d10 and a pack of cards. Functional, but uninspiring.
Concept: OK
System: OK
Execution: Good
Verdict: OK

Junkyard Pack: Far Out 70’s Urban Canines

You play dogs doing dog stuff. Might work better with Fate dice, or coins. Why do none of these dog games operate with a system of fetching sticks?
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: Ok

Jury Duty

Jury simulator with a court case developed through play. Ditch the dice and this could be great.
Concept: Excellent
System: Good
Execution: Great
Verdict: Great

Just Survive

Survival game where you can pool your d6s to collaborate on overcoming obstacles. Unfortunately, there is no real incentive NOT to collaborate.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Just one wish away…

Genie and master haggle over a wish. Could be fun in the right hands.
Concept: Good
System: OK
Execution: Ok
Verdict: OK

Justice Court TV

Debate a court case while performing voice-overs of a muted movie or TV show. You’d probably have to be very selective with your choice of viewing.
Concept: Good
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

K’s Massive Combat Rules

Simple chessboard wargame with dice as armies. Terrain and flanking rules add some complexity.
Concept: OK
System: OK
Execution: Ok
Verdict: OK

Kaiju Glory: a narrative citystomp

Storytelling with Bocce/Boules balls acting as the randomizer.
Concept: OK
System: OK
Execution: Ok
Verdict: OK

Kataware Doki

Intimate roleplay of walking a mile in your fellow player’s shoes. Insisting on one particular song may turn some people off, but it is pretty. So much sincerity!
Concept: Great
System: Good
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

Kazooki Theatre

Improv game with the wonderful inclusion that if you get stuck you can play along with musical instruments. A simple fix for a common improv problem.
Concept: Excellent
System: Great
Execution: Excellent
Verdict: Excellent

Keep the Gnome Fires Burning

Survive 12 turns of random rolls.
Concept: meh
System: meh
Execution: meh
Verdict: meh

Kharon’s Obol

Storytelling about regrets. The two coins are naturally very thematic.
Concept: OK
System: Ok
Execution: Good
Verdict: Good

King’s Dice

Die-based gambling game about trying to hit a target number dead-on.
Concept: Ok
System: meh
Execution: Ok
Verdict: OK

Knock

Improv piece developing characters through a classic joke format.
Concept: OK
System: OK
Execution: meh
Verdict: OK

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