26 June, 2015

Game Chef Review 10: A Requiem for Faerie by Willow Palecek

A Requiem for Faerie

Ingredients: 7 [Dream (3), Stillness (3), +1 Bonus for Abandon]
This is a game about faeries in a world of dying magic, since fae are traditionally associated with dream, there s a connection present and this is reinforced through a specific dream power that might be possessed by certain characters, but it's not a key intrinsic aspect of the game. Stillness on the other hand is something that doesn't really start in the game but seems to gradually creep in and magic fades from (or possibly abandons) the world.

Theme: 3
This game really gives me an anime vibe. I don't know if this is just my sensibility coming to it, or if this is something intrinsic in the design. While I like it, it feels pretty safe in what it aims for, and doesn't see to really push toward a different audience beyond the possible lure of anime fans (which we can see being catered for in the Cel-style games). It's an existing niche, not really pushing the envelope much, except as a simple game that might be suitable for kids (hence a bit of a boost in score compared to similar games that are targeting existing gamer culture niches).

Would I play this?: 5
I don't know that I'd play this straight away, but it's something I'd like to try at some stage. There's an interesting built in narrative with the fading of magic occurring over three sessions. It might make a nice interlude between acts of a longer campaign in another game system, something light to take our minds off things for a couple of weeks.

Completeness: 7
Everything is basically here to run the game, even a few play examples, but there could have been a few more towards the end. Maybe the author ran out of time. I think the game probably also could have benefited from a few more play props and aids (things like character sheets, a location sheet for the place that everything is focused around, maybe some tokens or a power expenditure track...etc.). It's all basically there, it's just a bit cluttered and uneasy. Nothing too much for a gamer with a bit of experience to overcome.

Innovation: 4
I've seen most of these components before, deriving event resolution based on the consensus of the group and what might be good for the story, spending points to fuel powers, playing two sets of characters within the same narrative. Individual components from the past, assembled in an interesting way. I do think the weakening of magic through reduction of faerie magic points is a novel concept that might be brought into onto games effectively.

Output Quality: 5 [Language (3), Layout (2). Imagery (0)]
The language is generally functional and I have no problems with it. The layout is simple and generally functional, but certainly nothing spectacular. There are no images what-so-ever.

Overall: 55% Pass [21+6+5+14+4+5]
This marking system is fairly subjective but in it I try to be pretty fair and benchmark a majority of the marks against quantifiable things than than my personal qualitative tastes. I like this game, but it just didn't hit the marks that I think are necessary to good performance in this design contest. With a bit more work (and a few more examples of play, a nicer layout and some illustrations) this could be a fun and clever little game. I'd be willing to offer my services as an illustrator and layout artist to help push this game to the next level if +Willow Palecek were interested.   
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