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OVA - Open Versatile Anime Role-Playing Game
Publisher: Wise Turtle Publishing
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2010 03:57:32

As some reviewers have already stated, this is a good game, with one major flaw: the abilities are redundant. What I have done is to re-work them down to about 50% of the number of abilities to choose from, which makes the game simpler, without really destroying its versatility. Other than that, this game is a good buy.

I rated it a 3 because this one problem is a major flaw of the system that must be over-come if you want to play OVA; you must fix this fact, in order to make the game work well.

Why not just have one ability description, and call the ability or weakness by another name to add flavor? That way, one rule works for 2 or 3 abilities; makes a simpler, shorter rule book too.

IMHO



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
OVA - Open Versatile Anime Role-Playing Game
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Ex Machina
Publisher: Guardians of Order
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2010 02:56:09

Simply put, Ex Machina is Shadowrun for the Tri Stat system. If you already have Shadowrun, you may want to skip this one; the information is very similar in function. However, it is a good product, and the price is just right, even if you already have another cyberpunk world setting. WRITING: Excellent LAYOUT / ART: Excellent, though "ink heavy" when printed QUALITY and VALUE: Both are good



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ex Machina
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z_OLD - -U- The Game of Stories (core rulebook -revised)
Publisher: A'n'SR Entertainments
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2010 02:40:01

U want to like "U", but I couldn't get past some of the clunkiness of this game. I have said it before and I will say it again -- layout and design matter. This game might be fun to play, but the art and the layout of the book is amateur and predicable (not in a good way). U will buy this game, read it, and think, "well, I want to try it, but the layout makes it confusing, so I will wait until later, when I have some free time, to try it out." It's odd how the free time will never come.

Other than that, I think this might be an OK game to play. It has some concepts that are nifty at first, but you get over that quickly. The core mechanic is not entirely original, although they do throw a surprise in there for you ... if I reveal it, then I will spoil what little this game has going for it.

You see - I keep typing this review, so it proves I want to like it, but I just can't bring myself to. Even at its economical price tag.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
z_OLD - -U- The Game of Stories (core rulebook -revised)
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The Book of Dumb Tables
Publisher: Hex Games
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2010 02:33:26

A must-have, if you bought QAGS. For the price, there's no reason to refuse purchase: you might as well have the full set. This book is exactly what it says it is, yet the tables are not so "dumb", if you ask me. A fun game to play, and this book makes the game better.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Book of Dumb Tables
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The One Page Dungeon Codex 2009, Deluxe
Publisher: Tabletop Adventures, LLC
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2010 02:31:35

A simple book for a simple concept. The art is well-done, the presentation is quick, easy to understand, and painless. This is a winner, if you like simple dungeon crawling and you want a set of rules to guide you on how to make a quick and easy one page dungeon, for any story or game system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The One Page Dungeon Codex 2009, Deluxe
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Gear Up Issue 1
Publisher: Dream Pod 9
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2010 02:29:48

This is a good looking magazine. I hope Dream Pod 9 gives information for it's other games too, like Jovian Chronicles, Core Command, and event the Silhouette Core rules. QUALITY: Excellent VALUE: Excellent



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gear Up Issue 1
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Cartoon version Engle Matrix Game Rules
Publisher: Hamster Press
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2010 22:16:37

I know what you're asking: "why in the world would you want to rate a free game? Isn't it easy enough to download it for yourself?" Good question, one that deserves a good answer: I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

OVERVIEW: Engle Matrix is a story-telling game, simple in design and function. Most of you hard-core, crunchy RPGers won't like it; there's no meat to sink your teeth into. None the less, it is a good idea and a likeable game.

Go ahead and download it. Try it on for size. For the creatively-challenged, it's a good fit.

GAME SYSTEM PLAYABILITY: Strong

ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Fair

REPLAY VALUE: Strong

CHARACTER PROGRESSION: Weak

COMPATIBILITY: Strong



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cartoon version Engle Matrix Game Rules
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Star System (#1) - Intro & Generator
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/12/2010 23:56:08

Star System Generator is a helpful, simple, bare-bones booklet that shows you how to adopt your game system / core mechanic to a science-fiction, space fantasy setting. A detailed and dynamic story-creating chart system is included with the other basic space opera material. You get what you pay for -- and then some!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star System (#1) - Intro & Generator
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Stuperpowers Deluxe!
Publisher: Evil Twin Comics
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/12/2010 23:08:01

Stuperpowers is a spoofish rule system for comic book hero roleplaying. Oddly enough, there are a lot of unique ideas in Stuperpowers, which makes it worth the money you pay for it. However, it is also filled with mature subjects and corse language and themes. While it looks like it would be a good game to introduce to kids, it is not: it is for mature reading audiences only. I think this is a shame, because otherwise it would have been a pretty good game for potential new gamers, especially the younger ones.

INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS Good SIMPLE TO PLAY Yes, extremely SUBJECT MATTER Bad STORY AND CONCEPT Good INTERESTING GAME TO PLAY Yes



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Stuperpowers Deluxe!
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Open Core Quick
Publisher: Seraphim Guard
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/24/2010 19:51:32

Open Core Quick is a "rules-light" system that seems to be based on Open Core. You get the bare-basics of the system, with an extensive list of skills, abilities, and traits for character creation.

Although it’s a complete game (with this edition), you won't feel that you have the complete game, unless you get the Open Core Rules also. This seems to be the “bare bones” of what Open Core has to offer, but it definitely works as it is. (I have yet to buy the Open Core rules so far - March 2010 - but, I have a feeling that OCQ is the "appetizer", while Open Core is the "main course".

It is a multi-genre, versatile, cinematic game system; it even has a scale function - something that seems to be lacking with most cinematic story RPGs. While most story RPGs imbed the scale with the skills and traits (ie: if you have Flame Power, you can fry the entire group of minions), OCQ scales the traits with a numerical function - and it seems to work well for what it is.

The text is easy to read and straight-forward, but there are some spelling errors and information inconsistencies. You may need to examine your copy closely and make some necessary, yet simple corrections to the information. (For example, there are 6 derived scores, not 5 derived scores.) I don’t mind a few errors here and there, but if you are fussy about perfection, then this game book may get on your nerves somewhat.

The art is simple and sketchy - and, for the price, that’s fine. Some of the art is pretty good, some seems a little rushed or sub-standard, but you get what you pay for. The cover is pretty good, especially the drawn figures.

Some things I would have liked to see is a little more “meat” in the text, some genre specific rules, or other information to help flesh out the game. Not a big problem, since I like to play “standard games with a twist” - for example, fantasy genre with a twist of cartoony action. OCG can handle that type of thing.

Since this is the “quick” version, everything in the book is needed to play. There is no waste of space. All things considered, it is a good system, solid and predictable. Actually, it copies some ideas I have been using for years, but that’s OK - I am glad to see good concepts in simple games.

All in all, worth the money you pay for it. If you like to build robust rules from framework systems, you will like this game. If you are looking for a heavy, crunchy game, then you may want to skip OCQ and get Open Core instead. (I liked the cover, so even if I have to get Open Core later, I think I made a good purchase.)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Open Core Quick
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Bust: Explosive Roleplaying
Publisher: Cold Blooded Games
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/05/2010 02:04:44

The name says it all: it's a BUST. (I would leave it at that, but I have to type 50 characters for DTRPG to list my review.)



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Bust: Explosive Roleplaying
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POW! Core Rules
Publisher: aethereal FORGE
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/05/2010 02:02:57

POW core rules / March 2010: OVERVIEW -- A workable system with some great ideas. The art is pretty good for the price, and there are some surprises and concepts worth having. It has a serious flaw: no support for expansion. If you like to tweak things and create your own worlds, this system would work OK for you. It's hard to see how it will play, without a sample of how to create a game. This is where it lacks. There are some mentioned game world books, but Ican't seem to easily find them, plus the subject worlds are unique in nature. POW needs a standard world to compare itself to other game systems. For the price, it is definately worth it.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
POW! Core Rules
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QAGS Second Edition
Publisher: Hex Games
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/27/2009 20:43:08

QAGS (kwags) is likable and easy to learn. The cartoony artwork fits the friendly style of the text; it's as if one of your buddys is explaining the game to you, rather than reading dry text.

The downside of this product is the language. The warning is for "mature" readers only, as if people who think profanity is unnecessary are "immature". On the contrary, I cannot introduce this game to kids because the game has curse words in the text.

This is a shame, because otherwise this would be a good introductory game for beginners.

RATINGS: x out of 5

GAME PLAY: 4 BOOK LAYOUT: 4 CONTENT: 1 / without curse words? 5



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
QAGS Second Edition
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Bones: Customizable Dice RPG
Publisher: Precis Intermedia
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/17/2009 20:14:58

Bones is a great concept that is either under-developed as a story, or it is crushed under the weight of it's own concept. Now, the concept of making the dice themselves your character "sheet" is a novel approach, and that keeps the game from being a "1". The rules are tedious at times, but they are easily understood. That makes the game better than a 2 out of 5. However, that's where it ends. Maybe this is a good time to say, that if you really like the idea of dice characters and you are REALLY creative with your RPGs, then this game would deserve a 4 or a 5. Unfortunately, I like this game (dice: good, rules: basic yet tedious, art: OK) and that's why I am giving it the rating it gets here. I just don't have time to "upgrade" it with my own style of rules and mechanics. If you do, then for the price at under $5, it is a good buy. If you enjoy other games, then this game may not be a good choice for you. It needs tender love and care; if you have that to give, it is an OK game to get. Your call.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Bones: Customizable Dice RPG
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. I've been meaning to update and simplify Bones since we took over publishing, but more pressing projects always keep me busy. Feel free to post your suggestions to the Precis Intermedia message boards or send us an email (see our website for contact info). Thanks again.
Michael T. Desing's Army Ants RPG Third Edition
Publisher: Splintered Realms Publishing
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/17/2009 20:07:58

Sometimes, there are 2 ways to look at games like MTD's Army Ants. One way is that the CONCEPT is an interesting and unique take on role-playing, pitting insects versus other insects (or aliens or robots or whatever). I really am impressed with the concept of this game, and that's what I bought it for. The game system is OK; nothing you haven't seen before and some math is necessary, though nothing an 8th grader can't handle. It is a detailed system; I think the weapons and some of the ranks are too detailed, but that is according to my tastes (I enjoy a more-ambiguous game system). However, if you are either new to RPGs or you are an experienced Game Master (or you have been playing RPGs a long time) - you will enjoy this game when you play it, if you can really grasp it's concept and embrace it's system of play. For the price, this is a top-notch game - get the supplements, too. All in all, a good game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Michael T. Desing's Army Ants RPG Third Edition
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