Review: In Frankenstein’s Wake

In Short…

In Frankenstein’s Wake is Eric Boyd’s game of the race for Dr. Frankestein’s students and hangers-on to accomplish the Promethian task of creating life, in the wake of the Doctors disappearance. The game incorporates boardgame elements into a rotating competitive scene structure, reminding me heavily of The Shab-Al-Hiri Roach (which Eric notes as in inspiration in the design notes). I found this game well-written, conducive to it’s stated goals of pick-up-and-play-in-one-night, and just well-done overall.

Incorporation of Images

While the cover image certainly shows the inspiration behind the game, I found the rest of the images to be less interesting. They’re placed throughout the text to break it up and further illustrate the theme, but I didn’t find them particularly remarkable. I enjoyed the character portraits, tho they weren’t part of the image set – I’ll be making a note of Eric’s reference for them as well!

Playability

The rules text was remarkably complete, from a full intro and “what is this game about” section, to well-explained rules and useful examples, to a number of reference charts and visual aids. Not to mention the Materials deck. The game is written to be almost pick-up-and-play, and between the pre-gen characters, the reference aids, and the clear rules text, I feel like I really could run this game at the drop of a hat.

My only quibble is that I feel like there may be a problem with violations of the “Czege Principle” – that is, that it is almost always more fun/interesting/meaningful for someone other than you to be providing adversity for your character. How the game currently works, I can definitely see a good amount of scenes that you frame for your character, and then that you win, and you win narration for it. I feel like these scenes would be flat compared to the scenes with a mix of people framing, winning, and narrating.

Overall

This game is very strong out of the gate, and I definitely want to play it. My only concern (other than that of adversity not being potentially strong enough, as mentioned above) is that the dice differentiation may need to be either stronger or weaker. As is, the only reason to use high dice is to win narration, which may or may not really be worth having so many kinds of dice. It’s one of those cases that it may be worth streamlining the system down to one kind of dice (probably d6) and figuring a different thing for determining narration, or expanding the things that can happen with high (or low) numbers. It’s one of those playtesting things, and depends on how much more or less complex Eric wants the game to be.

But I certainly hope this one gets more development!

-N

Advertisements
Published in: on March 18, 2007 at 3:33 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://rpgchallenge.wordpress.com/2007/03/18/review-in-frankensteins-wake/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: