Best of 2004, Part 4: Games

Well, here’s the last of my year-end “best of” listings, devoted to games, because Hey– who’s gonna know better than a guy who works in the biz, right?

Aye, there’s the rub. Y’see, I pulled further and further away from the printed end of the gaming world this year (which is not to say that I still didn’t have work released in print–I did, in several products), and that meant less swag traded with my fellow ink-slaves. Less swag pretty much means less exposure to the new & nifties for the year. That said, here are some RPG-industry offerings that I felt were pretty damn cool (and some of which I even *gasp!* paid money for):

Pirates of the Spanish Main: Dude, come on…it’s PIRATES, fer fuck’s sake. Like it wouldn’t be on my list. A nifty game that combines the joys of naval combat in the Age of Piracy with the joys of snapping together tiny little models of ships….and also manages to create an entirely new category of collectable game. Brilliant.

Wyrd is Bond: Alright, this might be cheating, since it’s one of the products that came out this year with my name in it, but I do think it’s really good. Hip-hop street culture meets Hermetic magick….wicked concept, and well executed (a tricky bit of work, considering that RPGs are one of the most crackerific “white boy” hobbies out there, and producing something credible in this genre without venturing into parody was deftly handled, IMO).

Sidewinder: Recoiled: Another one that might not technically be elligible, since it’s an update of an older product (Sidewinder), re-envisioning the system from standard d20 to the d20 Modern rules set. Plus, it’s not one that I actually own—I own the original, and I’ve read a friends copy of Recoiled, but it was still solid enough (and I’m enough of a Western goob) to rank it as one of the best products I’ve seen this year. Right now, the only reason I don’t already own a copy is because I doubt that I could find any interested players (Western being a somewhat rare interest among gamers).

There’s a bunch more stuff that I’m sure will end up on this list, once I actually get around to reading a copy (or, god forbid, owning one)…such as The Black Company campaign setting, Egyptian Adventures: Hamunaptra, Mutants & Masterminds: NOIR and The Red Star campaign setting (all from Green Ronin, coincidentally enough….or not).

I could also go on about various PDF releases, but I’d end up plugging more of my stuff there (*ahem*cough* Adamant’s product page at RPGNow *cough*ahem*), or raving about various products from some of my competition–the last thing I want is for folks reading this to make them MORE money. :)

So, there ya have it.

New Year’s Resolutions tomorrow.

One Reply to “Best of 2004, Part 4: Games”

  1. Wyrd is Bond

    Wyrd is Bond was one my favourite RPGs of the year and probably the RPG that I enjoyed reviewing the most. Just a pity that it took so long for the review to be published, but somethings like that remain outside of my control. I am seriously thinking of trying it out on my players, though knowing how parochial they can be…

    I have all of the Green Ronin titles you mention to hand — one of the advantages of being a reviewer of games. Red Star I have read and liked ( I just wish that I could find the comic books), and Noir I have reviewed… Nicely succinct coverage of the Film Genre, but to my mind suffers a little from a lack of Mutants & Masterminds.

    In the mean time, I look forward to seeing if Thrilling Tales becomes the definitive d20 System Pulp RPG.

    Hope so. Nobody else has managed it.

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