The Shady Forest Part 2 - Abandoned Tracks is a 44 page pdf product and the second part of the Shady Forest set of 2D terrain tiles. The Forge Studios are well known for their fantastic art work, and their work has recently continued into the area of 1" scale, 2D tiles with quite a prolific release rate for their products. The Shady Forest is one of 3 current sets of 2D terrain tiles, each so far consisting of 2 parts, and all released within about a month. If you're a fan of 2D terrain tiles, and love building great scenery for your RPG games, then this is a welcome and excellent addition to your arsenal.
This product includes 40 full-colour 1" scale tiles, each tile being 6 by 6 squares in size. The product includes useful covers, a brief list of credits, and then a very useful sample map illustrating the use of the tiles and how they can be assembled together. I find this feature extremely useful, and I wish other publishers of similar products would do the same. It gives one the opportunity to get a feel for all the tiles involved, how they can be assembled, etc. without needing to actually print all of them at once to experiment and play with. It also gives you a good impression of the capabilities of the set, which is really useful.
As the product tile suggests, the 2D terrain tiles in the product take you off the beaten path into the more abandoned routes and places. The set includes various worn cart tracks, various trees and forest bits, rivers with bridges (broken and in tact), various carts with horses, and numerous more generic tiles for grass, embankments, shrubs and the like. There's a very good variety to the product, and all the tiles look very useful. Two bonus tiles are includes that have no connection with this set, but are still useful in general.
The Forge Studios have done a great job of providing a variety on interesting, high quality and useful tiles, all done with good artwork and thought. Looking at the overview map, I wish there were a few more tiles that could be used to build larger forests or larger clumps of shrubs and trees. As is, it's easy to build a rather repetitive looking map, simply because most of the tiles are individual tiles and not meant to be used as part of a group. Allowing groups of tiles means you generally get more unique looking structures since you have more tile configurations at your disposal. Using individual tiles gets the same job done, but on the overall picture doesn't look as good and generally appears 'pixelated' rather than flowing terrain. That doesn't take away from what is a great set of mixed tiles that can be used in pretty much any RPG game without any trouble.
The Forge Studios have done a grand job with this product, and with their whole new line of 2D terrain tiles in general. With a new product in the series coming out almost every week, there's a lot to look forward to. Shady Forest: Abandoned Tracks is a very useful, high quality set of tiles, and while there are some minor issues with repetitiveness, I think at the price and the quantity of tiles, this is a set well worth looking at.