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Remember Tomorrow
Publisher: BoxNinja
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/07/2011 23:26:53
If you are interested in playing a cyberpunk games that inspired by the works of Gibson, Sterling, et al, you owe it to yourself to pick up this game.
While the product description uses phrases like "quick and dirty" and "framework", know that this is a complete game that will let you play multiple sessions/adventures. What makes it quick and dirty is that it is a fast read (I devoured it in an evenng) and focuses on the stuff that is important to tell a cool story, rather than a long list of equipment, guns or cyberware.
This is a "rules light" game that focuses on character action and interaction rather than rules for everything. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is right up my alley.
Remember Tomorrow clearly draws on other cyberpunk games for inspiration, but does away with everything that is not going to drive the story forward. The turn-taking game mastering works great, keeps everyone involved and the rules give you sound mechanical reasons to present the other players with interesting antagonists and challenges.
I am not 100% sold on the Ready / Willing / Able stats, but they make goal resolution easy.
I am really impressed by this game and will be using it in the future when I want my cyberpunk fix.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Remember Tomorrow
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Image Portfolio 1.29: Random Violence
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/07/2011 23:06:05
This collection of gritty and bloody black and white images are dynamic and full of action. The subject of the images range from acts of graphic violence (such as the one on the cover), to more "typical" action scenes, to really nice pieces that tell a story. My favorite piece has a character (detective?) considering a body that has been hung from the ceiling.
I really like the use of the black shading, which creates a great contrast and makes these perfect as b&w illustrations for your product. These pictures can be colored (I have done so), but will still have a lot of black. I quite like this.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Image Portfolio 1.29: Random Violence
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TobyArt 1: War Priests
Publisher: Postmortem Studios
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/07/2011 22:47:55
These war priests are evocative, dynamic and sinister. All images are highly detailed. Each image has a real sense of character, and there is a good variety amongst them. I really like the heavily armored priest, that could just as easily be a paladin or the like. Very impressive.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
TobyArt 1: War Priests
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RPG illustrated
Publisher: Black Hand Source
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/10/2011 01:10:47
Black Hand have done it again, this time with three very cool character pieces that would find a home in any modern / post-apoc setting. Each piece comes as a fully coloured image with background and without background, as well as uncoloured line art. This set demonstrates Black Hand's usual combination of sinister/grotesque and tongue-in-cheek wackiness with a mix of characters. My favourite piece is the alien/mutant and giant creature that appear on the cover - both their faces have so much character. As always, the quality is great, the subject matter entertaining and the work worth checking out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
RPG illustrated
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World at War: Back of Beyond
Publisher: A.D.Publishing
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2011 01:06:32
This is possibly my favourite release from A.D. Publishing. As well as detailing 11 "armies" that you might field in the back of beyond (along with a brief history of each group), you also get stats for armoured cars and special characters. Special characters are a neat addition to the Battlefield Evolution rules, and something I hope to see more of. As well as more "mundane" characters such as "heroic scout" and "female adventurer", you also get fictional characters such as Alan Quartermain and Mina Murray (Harker). If both players agree, you can spend a certain number of points on these special characters. The photos of miniatures illustrating the book are (as always) gorgeous, and help you to visualise the forces that ran unchecked across the vast wilderness of Central Asia. The writing is easy to understand, and logically laid out, in line with the other A.D. Publishing books. Overall, this is great stuff for anyone interested in using the Battlefield Evolution rules to game the Back of Beyond.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World at War: Back of Beyond
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Power Pics Pulp 1- All-Round Hero
Publisher: Mesozoic Press
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2011 00:42:00
You get exactly what you expect with this one - an illustration of a rugged pulp-hero type brandishing a pistol. The character is horribly cliched, with ripped shirt and a pistol in one hand, knife in the other - which is exactly what you want in a pulp adventurer! I am not a fan of the character's face, the mouth makes me feel like he is grimacing and I would rather a sly grin - but now I am just nit-picking!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Power Pics Pulp 1- All-Round Hero
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The bard and the witch
Publisher: Black Hand Source
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/09/2011 00:34:09
I am a fan of Tamas Baranya's style and these images of a Bard and Witch are two more great examples. The Bard is a little static, and I am not sure exactly what he is doing with his left hand, but it is a neat piece, all the same. I really like the witch - it has the same crazy feel that many of the Black Hand post-apoc pieces have. My only wish is that the witch didn't have the lightning bolts (obviously, she is casting a spell) - without them, I think the piece could be used as a crazy woman in a variety of genres / pieces of work.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The bard and the witch
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Little Buck's Fantastic Visions #14
Publisher: Scaldcrow Games
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 23:32:35
This is another great piece from Scaldcrow. I am a particular fan of the black and white inked version of this character, as the face doesn't stand out quite as boldly as the green skull of the coloured version - it makes for a much more sinister (and less comic-book) figure.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Little Buck's Fantastic Visions #14
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The Ravenlands Bundle 2: Inn and Mine (1" square = 5')
Publisher: Scrying Eye Games
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 22:21:33
This set of maps details a mine and near-by inn, in 1" maps. I was really impressed with this set of maps. There is a great level of detail, and you are able to see individual leaves on trees and tools on worktables. You get both exterior and interior maps. You also get single page maps so you can see the whole location at a glance, which is really handy. Instructions, like all of Scrying Eye's map products, are straightforward and clear. If you are in need of a generic mine and/or tavern, with detailed maps that really help to evoke a sense of place, you would be hard pressed to find a better set than this.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Ravenlands Bundle 2: Inn and Mine (1" square = 5')
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Tall Ships 4: Explorer's Ship
Publisher: Scrying Eye Games
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 22:10:25
Another in the line of Scrying Eye Games' "Tall Ships". This time round we have six pages that form the map of the top deck of a sailing ship, and a seventh page of open water. The deck is cluttered with barrels and crates, and has a number of cannons and swivel guns. The art is once again very nice, and the sails are transparent so you can see/use the deck below them. There are no plans for below deck, and I would have liked a single page map of the ship to use as a GM reference or for when I don't want to use miniatures. Overall, a good resource for your nautical adventures.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tall Ships 4: Explorer's Ship
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Tall Ships 1: Pirate Ship
Publisher: Scrying Eye Games
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 22:04:07
This is exactly what it says on the packet - a set of maps (in 1" squares) for a pirate ship. There are six pages that make up the map of the ship, and a seventh page of water. The art is good and the sails have a transparent quality that allows you to see/use the deck below them. It is only of the top deck, nothing of below deck. The instructions are clear and straightforward. I would have liked a one-page map of the ship, too, either to use as GM's reference, or for those occasions when I don't want to crack out the miniatures.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tall Ships 1: Pirate Ship
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The Ancible Magazine Issue 8
Publisher: AKR Productions Limited
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 21:53:31
Another great issue from the Ancible crew, with a broad range of articles. As a fan of 15mm wargaming this issue had plenty to interest me. The overview of GruntZ was particularly good. Why they chose not to put a "proper" picture on the cover, I don't know - they aren't trying to hide anything. Be aware, though that the majority of this issue is on 15mm or smaller scale games. This magazine is going from strength to strength and I look forward to future issues.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Ancible Magazine Issue 8
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Parsely #1: Action Castle
Publisher: Memento Mori Theatricks
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 21:49:35
What an awesome game. This brought back all my memories of text-based adventure games, and really captured the spirit of those games. One person takes the role of the program / computer and waits for commands from the "player", which can be one or more people. The player makes simple commands, such as "open door" or "pick up _object_" and the program responds with simple statements such as "you have picked up _object_". The fun comes from the players trying to puzzle out both the correct commands to get things done, as well as work out what they are meant to be doing and "solve" the mystery of Action Castle. Each time a player gives a command that cannot be completed the program player must respond with a simple "You cannot do that", or possibly something more humorous, in the same way the original computer programs might. The program player is encouraged to misinterpret (or literally interpret) the commands and take advantage of any mis-speaking a player might do. This is a quick game to learn and play and my friends and I had a blast with it. I would recommend picking it up, and all the other games in the Parsley series.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Parsely #1: Action Castle
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Voyages Extraordinaires
Publisher: Wessex Games
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 21:42:16
Voyages Extraordinaires is a neat miniature battle game that captures the feel of Victorian fiction – whether your particular fancy is H. Rider Haggard, Jules Verne, or Arthur Conan Doyle. The mechanics are simple to grasp, flexible and intuitive (the rules take up a mere 8 pages). The rules are intended for “narrative” games, where all players are working together to tell an entertaining story, rather than beat the daylights out of each other. There is a suggestion that you might use an umpire or referee to either moderate the game or run the bad guys, though there are no rules to guide you. Players take control of one or more characters and each character is defined by their Archetype, movement and Wounds. The important bit is the Archetype, and each character can be a Hero, Stalwart, Soldier or Rabble. The Archetype will determine how easily you can attack other characters, and how easily they can attack you, using a simple matrix.
The majority of the book is taken up with example characters, broken into European Humans, Native Humans, Other Humanoids, Wild Creatures, Prehistoric Creatures, Mythical Creatures and Alien Creatures – some 22 pages in total! As well as their Archetype, Movement and Wounds, many of the characters have special rules that help evoke the right flavour, and were really entertaining.
This is a great, rules light wargame. The variety of characters and creatures described make it a felxible system and a good option, whether you want to play out a Holmes versus Moriarty mystery, a big game hunt in the Lost World, or the exploits of John Carter!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Voyages Extraordinaires
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War of the Bard
Publisher: Cobweb Games
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 21:39:46
This add-on (or "Frame") for Hell For Leather presents a gritty fantasy story where the characters have completed their mission and must now escape with their hard-won knowledge. I really like how the characters have already had their butt's kicked and are all suffering from horrible wounds and injuries - it is both a challenge for you to play and an interesting twist. The layout is neat and easy to read, and the page design helps set the tone - blood splotches and smears are all over the place and give you a straightforward warning of what characters are about to be plunged into. The neatest feature of this product, though, is the audio commentary. Clicking a button on the last page lets you hear the author pronounce the names of the characters (they are mostly celtic in origin and may be difficult for some to pronounce), and gives the listener a heads-up on a few of the important features of the story (like the fact the characters begin injured). More games should take advantage of the PDF medium and do stuff like this. Overall, a great addition to the Hell For Leather line.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
War of the Bard
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