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Game Chef 2012 review: Drone Home

posted Apr 20, 2012, 4:37 PM by Good Idea Games
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Summary: A LARP where 3 distinct groups live in the same space, competing for resources, struggling to survive, and doing all of this while trying to climb a tech tree, and become self-sufficient.

Roses: I love the tech tree. The idea that there are these tangible tech goals to work towards is something that could immediately put groups in contention. This looks like it would be an excellent camping game or dorm activity.  

Theme Inclusion: The author includes lantern as a game item, and otherwise draws inspiration from forge threads. I can see obvious inspiration, from post apocalyptic to LARP. The inclusion of the disease mechanic makes an unusual and relevant complication to survival.

Density: I think the game could have used a little more space to convey how the author sees these groups interacting, and how they might be motivated to be in contention at the beginning. I'd like to imagine a game where night cycle 1, the brutes don't eat, so lose 1 humanity, thereby activating their double damage skill. Then they raid one of the other camps, and murder everyone. Except perhaps a few scavengers who can be kept as slaves. I love the way that story would shake out, but I don't see the motivation there from the beginning. It could be as simple as one of the camps being internally self-sufficient, but with all skills available to all players, I don't think that necessarily happens.

Points of Improvement: Drone Home has a lot of errant commas and a grammar mistake here and there. In addition, the rules are laid out using very simple terms (the mystics are described as mutated. What does that mean? do you have any prop or costume ideas? Bandages holding tennis balls to the side of the face? 

Final Thoughts: This document is the foundation for a very interesting afternoon of play. I want to see some more struggle between the groups. Maybe bonuses for being warlike... Things that reward violence int eh early game, but no in the mid to late game, giving players a habit they need to learn to avoid. Spice up the text, make it more fun to read, and I think this could be a very memorable game.