Marvelous artwork that makes the kids immediately take to the game;
Simple and easy system to understand - both for the parent DM (who doesn't have as much time to read a 200 rulebook, as he used to in his youth) and for the kids. My kid understood very quickly how to play the game;
Can be downloaded in PDF format with several versions, one of which can be easily printed on a home printer so that you can play immediately.
- Free follow-up adventures (I just got an invitation to download the new adventure: Reign of the Dragon for free). Very generous!
Incredibly simplistic system, with no leveling OR treasure to be mentioned (this may have been overturned in expansions and further adventures, but I only read the core guidebook and first adventure).
- The first adventure focuses only on combat, and is incredibly repetitive. Fight a group of rats, then another group of rats, then a third group of rats, then the rats and their king. I'm not adverse to violence (I love intriguing fights), but the system is so simple that the fights become boring very quickly on the one hand, and on the other hand: is this REALLY what RPGs are about? Kill monsters? I think we all know there are about much more than that. They are about the wonder of discovery, the relationship between characters, moral questions and problems, etc. Kids are NOT too young to deal with these issues! By focusing the adventure (and indeed, the core system) only on combat, it diminishes their potential enjoyment of the game.
This pattern of bad adventure design continues in Reign of the Dragon (the only add-on adventure I tried), in which the characters face a huge dragon that lands in their village, and demands to essentially become their ruler. Then, cultists come to capture the dragon, and demand that the kids turn him over to their keeping. For some incomprehensible reason, the author seems to think the kids should protect the dragon. Well, my kids immediately gave him over, and finished the adventure in three minutes. As they should have, too! Why not make the dragon be in trouble, instead of making it tyrranical and demanding? Why put the kids in a position in which they have to defend a bully, rather than making them feel as "righteous protectors"?? All this indicates to me that I can't rely on adventures written by the inventor of the game, and that I need to come up with my own - or to tweak the adventures to fit my kids (obviously, this may be different for your kids).
Overall, this is a recommended purchase for any parent who wants to involve his or her kids in RPGs for the first time, but be aware you'll need to do a lot of tweaking to the adventures.
[3 of 5 Stars!]