Review: Winter Tales

Review: Winter Tales

We love stories here at SU&SD, and if there’s one thing we like better than telling stories to our parents or the police, it’s storytelling games! Enter Winter Tales, stage right. A game where players control familiar fairytale characters viewed through a dark, oil-streaked lens.

In this video we also find the time for a quick peek at gaming institution Once Upon a Time, which just recently received a gorgeous 3rd edition!

Which will win? The classic, or the newcomer? Or NEITHER? Or both! Such terrible tension! We’d click play and find out as soon as possible, if we were you.

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RPG Review: The Quiet Year

RPG Review: The Quiet Year

Leigh: Hi, Shut Up & Sit Down-ers (the Silenced & Seated?)! Thank you for having me back again as your ongoing indie RPG correspondent. Quinns, I think something might have gone off in your fridge, though. What is that?

Quinns: My flat has an Abundance of Rare Meats, but a Scarcity of Hygiene.

Leigh: A reference to the game mechanics, how clever!

So, The Quiet Year. I’m accustomed to roleplaying games that give me the chance to tell a story about a character, through interaction with other characters, but this game is different: Two to four players collaborate over a map to tell the story of a place, and the narrative that unspools itself is about the challenges a community faces following a long war, given one year to prepare for the advent of the mysterious Frost Shepherds.

What are the Frost Shepherds? Who knows! What is this place? Well, that’s what you play to discover. The designer, Avery Mcdaldno, calls it the world’s first cartography RPG.

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RPG Review: Monsterhearts

RPG Review: Monsterhearts

Quinns: Welcome to the second of our indie RPG reviews! Last time we looked at Shooting the Moon, a lovely game of love. So what could be more suitable for our second game than Monsterhearts, the darkest game Shut Up & Sit Down has ever looked at.

Monsterhearts is a game of “the messy lives of teenage monsters,” where 2-4 players play a coterie of youthsome witches, vampires, fairies and so forth, who go to the same school. A final player’s job is simply to “make their lives interesting.” Which, as we found out, is the easiest job in gaming.

Leigh: Saying we “play as” monsters is only part of the story, isn’t it? The monster identity of each teenage character is as much allegorical as anything else. Or, rather, the particular traits, strengths, failings of these creatures as they’re prescribed by folklore have quite a lot in common with the stuff of growing-up drama. The Ghost who lurks at the edges, feeling invisible. The Werewolf afraid of the power in her dark side, the Vampire who can’t stop using others.

Quinns: Yes. It’s a metaphor! Except it’s… not?

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RPG Review: Shooting the Moon

RPG Review: Shooting the Moon

Leigh: When you first asked me to do pen and paper roleplaying with you, my first thought was of mans sitting around the table doing spreadsheets about their spaceships. Even though you told me Shooting the Moon was about falling in love, I have to admit I was a little skeptical, you know? Like, “okay, rolling for my stats now, Strength, Intelligence and Hotness”.

When we talked about Tease, we both seemed to feel that that systems, stats, and — all right, I’ll say it, nerdery — bear the odour of un-romance. Yet this isn’t like that.

Quinns: No. Who knew? Shooting the Moon is a game that lets 2 or 3 players coax an honest-to-god love story out of the ether. But then, it’s not really a game about falling in love, is it? It’s a game about falling through the cracks of love. A game of struggle, of heartbreak, and – as the front of the book teases – finding out what you’ll do for love.

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RPG Review: Fiasco

RPG Review: Fiasco

Quinns: Listen up, ladies. Fiasco: A Game of Powerful Ambition & Poor Impulse Control (which you can buy from that same link) is very much outside the realm of what we usually cover. It’s a two hour table game, but it has no cards, cardboard, winners or losers. It has almost no rules. But despite that, it’s perhaps the best game you’ve never even conceived of.

All you’re paying for here is a very thin, very affordable book. And with this book, you and some of your friends are going to roleplay your evening away. And you’ll laugh like garbage disposal units doing it.

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