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Children of Frankenstein by Benedek Kovacs

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Children of Frankenstein

Theme: (7 out of 10) “Steampunk” tries to meet Frankenstein. Overpopulation and pollution cause the workers to revolt, causing the ruling class to clamp down on the revolution using the military. A new energy source called “green uranium” causes explosions and adds to the concerns that the country will be devastated. Acting independently to stop the devastation, some scientists and partisans use their skills to change the decaying situation. Four groups emerged from this, one supporting communism to fight for equality, another concerned only with becoming rich, a third group following the prophesies of Nostradamus, and the last group wanting to take over as dictators. All the groups were stealing raw materials and illegally using production facilities, causing the authorities to chase them down (the real reason, however, being that the authorities feared a take over and new social system put in place by these factions).

Originality: (3 out of 10) This tabletop game has some unique ideas in this regard, but falls short by using “cookie cutter” storylines in the world setting. The game’s originality has the potential to explore some different angles and possibilities based on the theme, but fails to adequately flesh out these possibilities.

Cohesiveness: (7 out of 15) The instructions need to be spell checked and proofread for accuracy and sentence structure. Grammar is also a problem. To be fair, this may be due to the author not being familiar with the English language (not personally knowing the author, it seems he may possibly be from another country). These problem areas sometimes lead to confusion when trying to read and understand a rule or a rule’s concept and/or intent. For example, in the Setting Up section it says, (quote) “Eldest player begins the game.” Does this mean the oldest (in age) adult player begins play before a teenager can begin? Another example is in The Winner of the Game section where it says, (quote) “The player who has constructed the machine monster can get rid of 10 polluting materials. If has not that many it is clear that he/she wins.” How this rule is interpreted is not easily understood. Although this game is intended to support up to 6 players, the numbers of components need to be trimmed down as well. In this respect, there are too many to be useful when playing with an average playing group of 3 to 4 players.

Components: (3 out of 5) The game components are well designed and colorful. They could have been more graphically “clear” in their depictions of what each component represents. Overall, not too bad.

Fun: (12 out of 25) As stated earlier, the game has all the makings of a unique adventure, but falls short. It can be challenging for a short time, but does not deliver in the long run, making the replay value minimal. If CofF was re-worked, it could be a good game with a compelling story that makes a player want to revisit it.

Total: 32 out of 65

(Posted on behalf of Wolf)

-Darke

[Formatting repaired]

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