Monday, December 15, 2014

12 Games of X-Mas 6: "Six Planets Crashing"

Another unknown game makes it to the list with Planet Crashers.  This is a small simple game that was made during a 48 hour jam with some fun mechanics.  Players take the roles of intergalactic bounty hunters chasing down their next quarry.  This might be the shortest of all my reviews as this is such a small game, but I still think its worth while enough to deserve a spot on my list.

The Good:

  • Poker Night for RPGers
    • Planet Crashers is an interesting system in that it doesn't use any dice.  Instead it runs entirely off a normal deck of playing cards with different character types gaining bonuses from different suits.  As a player you have a pool of points to bet towards accomplishing goals with the mechanic of running out of these points also removes you from the story.  Between the gambling mechanics and the use of a hand of card PC leaves the table feeling like a game of poker that also tells an exciting RPG story.
  • Pick Up &Play
    • One of the advantages if a small concise game is that it takes almost not time to learn.  Once I was able to wrap my head around the concept of combining a hand of cards with an RPG story I was off and ready.  It shouldn't take more than about 10 Minutes for your group to pick up PC and be ready for your first adventure.  Everything is narratively controlled so as long as each player has a small note as the what bonuses they will get (A small list of only 3-4 one sentence notes.) there shouldn't be any other looking up rules during game play.
The Bad:

  • One Pump Chump
    • On of the nice things about this game is how fast it is to get up and play.  The flip side to that is just how fast the game can be over as well.  Expect a session of Planet Crashers to be done in about the same amount of time as a game of Munchkin.  Some might see this as a benefit as while get get older our free time gets smaller, but if you are looking to make a night of this game prepare 3-4 adventures for your table to handle.
  • Something Missing
    • Now I understand that this game was written in only 48 hours, however I don't think there was any polishing after that time either.  The mechanics are simple enough, but there are next to no examples of play or real advice for GMs on how to construct games for the system.  I'm as impressed as the next guy that you were able to make a game in 48 hours and its a fun little selling point, but seriously after you knew it was something worth putting ut there maybe a bit more polish and refinement wouldn't have been a bad idea.  "Based on a game made in 48 Hours" will sell jsut as much as a game entirely made in that time.
Final Thoughts:
I will be the first to say that this isn't a perfect game, but with that said if you are stuck a home on a rainy day with some gamers it's can be a fun way to kill the afternoon.  It might be useful as a way to get some friend that are ok with more conventional games into role playing and adding more to our numbers is always a good thing.  And finally the game is free so honestly there's no reason no to pick it up and give it a shot.

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