Science-Fiction Review

Last night I worked on my review of Burning Empires for Sci-fi Week at RPGNet. I’m almost done with it, and I’ve asked Edmund to look at the draft. It was interesting to write because I actually didn’t enjoy the game, but I want my review to be fair and informative. I tried very hard to offer perspective and explain who this game might be a good fit for. I suppose I will please no one, but we’ll see.

When I started thinking about writing a good sci-fi review for the thematic week, I wanted to write a glowing review of some game I really loved. Then I realized I just didn’t have that many sci-fi RPGs I could gush about:

  • Cold Space, FTL Now: Awesome settings, but awful system.
  • Fading Suns, Skyrealms of Jorune: Great settings, poor systems; also almost qualify more as fantasy than sci-fi.
  • Star Wars D6: Excellent system, but already has about 2000 reviews.
  • Blue Planet: The best in the list (as version 2), but out of print.
  • Star Trek, Traveller (all versions): Nice for the nostalgia-inclined, but they weren’t very good systems 20 years ago and haven’t improved since then.
  • The Babylon Project: The first version sucked, and I haven’t tried the new Bab 5 game.
  • Shatterzone: Good system, poor and flat setting.
  • Serenity: Too little of the setting, derivative half-assed system.
  • Space 1889, High Colonies, Fringeworthy, FTL: 2448: great settings, awful systems — I’m beginning to repeat myself, aren’t I?
  • Mekton II, Cyberpunk: Nice enough settings, unsatisfying systems.
  • Terran Trade Authority: Nice pictures, hated the rest.
  • The Metabarons: Received zero support, out of print.

I guess the Great Sci-Fi Game of my dreams hasn’t landed on my desk yet. I do want to get my hands on Full Light, Full Steam soon, though.

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