Jiituomas (jiituomas) wrote,
Jiituomas
jiituomas

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Dem Penguins.

At Ropecon, Juhana gave me two new tabletop rpgs, in the production of which he has been involved. One was the Finnish translation of Itras By, the awesome surrealist-noir game from Norway. The other one was his own work, Ikuisuuden Laakso, which is about penguins. Heroic penguins (and anti-heroic anti-penguins), who do what is necessary and then get neglected by their own society.

It's frankly not an awesome game, but it is rather nifty, the rules work well, and Jonna Lylykangas' art makes it look great. Juhana, known for his fascination with the Antarctic region, has poured a lot of good ideas into the design and setting: a rather unpleasant, intolerant and often racist world of creatures who are so family-oriented that they can't deal with the necessities of inevitable crises. Add to this the malevolent ice and the anti-penguins serving it, and you have a rather unique setting: An area where the game has to be extremely character- and action-oriented. On a plain of ice, it is very hard for a GM to draw things from his proverbial hat.

Compared to, say, Itras By or Stalker, it is a very simple game, almost a Forge-like one trick pony. Yet it does do its own thing really well, and it seems a very good game to start role-playing with, as long as one can get past the strange idea of playing a penguin version of Westerns' Clint Eastwood characters rather than the Western versions. It will be my son's first rpg (he was absolutely eager to try it out, once he'd read it), and with the assistance of a good friend, I will play it with him within a week or two.

I like this game, especially the potential for it being a simple-to-understand Red Box even a kid can pick up and comprehend. I prefer my games with a lot more repeatability, though, so were I to do an official review, it would say 3,5 stars (rounded up, though, if the system used only full stars).

(On a different note, I am starting to see why people like Dominion and I don't - it's like a non-collectible "M:tG light". Which, in my book, translates to "a simplified, user-friendlier version of a crappy relic that did kick things off, but should by now have been replaced by the better games on the market." The D&D of card games, made easier to buy - you only pay for it once per set. Not bad, just boring.)
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