Friday, June 12, 2009

The End

You don't actually want me to talk about video games, do you? Good, because I won't. I'll take about tabletop games instead.

I've been reading card game rules for a while now, trying to find the intricacies of the game mechanics. The best ones always have that one ingenious thing about them, stuff like Lord of The Rings' Free Peoples/Shadow concept, or Doomtown's poker hand decisions, or even Shadowfist's general chaotic atmosphere. You don't necessarily need a great innovative mechanic to make your game good, but it does mean games of the 'Russian fist fighting' variety need to really try hard to be interesting. And some have: I mean, Magic did it, and Raw Deal did it. And for the unpretentious, there have been a few successful bare-bones games, like Pokemon. But the challenge is trying to make it seem like a game of its own, and not just a rehash of another game, or even worse, a game you could easily make just using a deck of playing cards.

As an example: one of the newer games on the block (and one with an innovative distribution method, something for game publishers to consider in modern times), Decipher's Fight Klub falls into RFF. How does it fair? It does have some interesting elements to it (some of them borrowed from Decipher's other games, even the names), and it is obviously going for the Raw Deal style. I can't say its the greatest game ever (or that it really lends itself to new ideas being implemented), but it should be enjoyable for those who pick it up, and I guess it works well with the new sale model it's trying. My only other complaint would be that the cards look like a photoshopped mess at times...a real shame considering the high quality of Decipher's card design in the past.

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