Pre-Review thoughts on Gamma World

Nostalgia covers FTW.

OK, I got my copies of Gamma World and Famine in Far-Go today. Much like the game-setting itself, Gamma World is a bizarre cross-dimensional smashing together of ideas from all over the gaming spectrum into a single, unified product. Again, like the game itself, this makes it a bizarre, gonzo mash-up. In the case of the game production we end up with an alien-hybrid with some sensibilities coming from indie games, some from board games, some from CCGs, some from the Old School Renaissance and probably some other stuff that I’ve missed.

As an introductory product this is a good way to go I think. The box, the cards, the counters, all very tactile and graspable. The book is ‘indie size’ and so isn’t as intimidating as RPG books can be sometimes. This does mean that there’s sacrifices and omissions but all things considered I reckon this is a great entry-level product for people. Better than any incarnation of D&D at the moment, including Essentials, which it’s clearly come from at least a little.

What else is interesting is something I haven’t seen so much in previous companies with multiple game lines, it brands itself with ‘D&D’ more prominently than it does with being a Wizards’ product.

Random, quick character generation along with other random nonsense, along with kiboshing that to make you good at what you need to be good at, also helps the accessibility I think but is a definite nod to the OSR.

For such a good attempt at an intro product I’m left with a few questions as to why they didn’t go the whole hog… why aren’t there dice in this box? Why so few character sheets? Why not a cheap-arse pen? Why are the cards so bloody bland looking?

It’s 90% of the way to being spot on but, of course, to work, the thing needs to get to the kind of stores where it’ll be picked up. With book shops going ‘foom’ I guess that means toy shops these days. What are the chances of that?

I can see myself doing a lot of fan stuff for this, maybe some stuff for a British campaign setting/organisations/baddies. We’ll see…