WHAT WORKS: A very professional, yet low-key, presentation, especially for the price. The art and layout aren't fancy, but they both fit the feel of the product. The system is a nice little mish-mash of various systems, but thought has actually gone into how to make the pieces fit, rather than just jamming them together. I like the Critical Failure and Success bits, as well as the corrupting influence of magic.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: I wasn't a huge fan of the city or adventure, just personal preference I guess...although I did like the cops being "incorruptible" for a change. I would probably have preferred a more generalized approach to building fantasy noir adventures instead. The author has explained the reasoning behind the lack of nonhumans on the company website, but I still would have preferred a treatment of them. There were a couple of spots where the writing could have been tighter, and frankly, calling NPCs "NCs" (Narrative characters) just bugged the crap out of me.
CONCLUSION: Minor quibbles aside, I really liked what I read. The Qualities/Aspects stuff is well defined, I dig the take on magic, there is no abstract "stress" in place of damage, and there are some cool bits like gaining advancements off of critical failures. Still, a great game packed into a small package. With a "monster" hack, it might even be a prime candidate for a worthwhile Ravenloft replacement. Highly recommended if you wanna get dirty with your next fantasy game.
For my full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.-
[5 of 5 Stars!]