25 June, 2015

Game Chef Review 8: Good Night Fairy Theatre by Emily Griggs

Good Night Fairy Theatre

Ingredients: [Dream (4), Stillness (2)]
Dream is a pretty clear part of this design, it's a game about fairies competing to work their magic over a child's dream. The second ingredient, Stillness, occurs as one of the dream options. So, while the second ingredient exists, it's not really integral at all.

Theme: 7
The idea of a game for kids (arguably focused toward young girls) is novel, there has been a bit of it in this contest. Outside of the contest though, most of the roleplaying games focused toward kids seem to have been games about kids having adult adventures (fighting monsters, exploring the world, defending their homes) but with lower stakes than might be found in the typical adult versions of these stories. Instead this has been written as a game of the style that might appeal to young girls.

Would I play this?: 8
I have a young niece who would love this game. She might be a bit young for it at this stage, but I'm definitely going to give it a try in a couple of years. I like the idea of the randomly rolled magical energies, they keep things simple but there is a twist in the way the magical energies interact with one another. I might make a few tweaks to the way interaction occurs between the narration and the dreamer, but it actually seems pretty elegant as is (I wouldn't make any changes until playtesting it a few times first).  

Completeness: 8
Pretty much everything is here for the game, it doesn't need character sheets, but I would have liked to see some pre written cards to get quickly into play the first couple of times. The game is targeted at a young audience and I could see the inconvenience of writing up dreams being a speed bump in that first session.

Innovation: 7 (6 +1 for innovative presentation)
The way the energy is determined by rolling dice, and the rock-paper-scissors interaction of the energy types aren't necessarily new ideas but they way they are implemented here are definitely innovative. It's an incremental evolution. The presentation a form reminiscent of a children's book n a nice change of pace and that's where I'm offering bonus points.

Output Quality: 10 [Language (3), Layout (3), Imagery (3), +1 Bonus for good overall presentation]
I can't fault this at all. The layout is beautiful and perfectly tailored to the intended audience for the game, there are illustrations through the text that add to the atmosphere.

Overall: 76% [21+14+8+16+7+10]
From first glances I would have thought this could have been a winner. The biggest thing to have let the design down was the lack of strong presence from two ingredients. This is another game I'd lay money down on if a hard copy became available.
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