Game Chef 50: Acolyte of the Dragonfly By Rook

Acolyte of the Dragonfly

Ingredients: 6 [Dream (4), Dragonfly (2)]
The notion of dream is pretty solid in this one, since it revolves around dreamers in the fiction, and involves mechanisms that describe dreams. The Dragonfly is a more tenuous link, and while many games have linked Dragonflies to dreams, they could all have easily substituted something else in for the insect.

Theme: 3
There are a number of parlour games I've played that basically follow the exact patterns of this game. So that places it directly in their niche, even if it applies a different veneer to the surface. The fact that it has a different surface coating might make it a bit more marketable to a different demographic, and that's why I haven't scored a zero here.

Would I Play This?: 4
With a few modifications I might be inclined to play this. It wouldn't take much. Some of the other points in this review describe the changes I'd make to it.

Completeness: 6
As a single page game, it's a pretty complete document. It doesn't take too many leaps to make a complete game out of it. But a knowledge of dream symbolism would really help to round it out, and the concept of guessing the dream component seems very one sided. There are a few things I'd do differently to make a more complete (and fair) game. For one, I'd give everyone a go at offering their dream items to the group, the. The highest scoring person would become the new Acolyte. Secondly, I'd apply some kind of modifier to a players score based on how well they were able to convey the meaning of their dreams to others (which I'd imagine to be a sizeable part of the Acolyte's duties). As an example... If more than 75% of players guess the item, the message was too obvious and not mysterious or surreal enough, lose a point. If 50% to 75% guess it, gain a point, the message was couched in an appropriate level of enigma. If 25% to 50% guess it, gain two points for being truly enigmatic and maintaining a degree of exclusivity to your words of dream. If less than 25% of the players get it, you lose a point for being too obscure. This makes the game more about complete communication, rather than just receptivity. An acolyte may translate dreams, but they also need to successfully impart the knowledge they have discerned.

Innovation: 4
There are some good ideas in here, but they were good ideas in other games that have been parlour entertainment for the past 40 years at least.

Output Quality: 5 [Language (3), Layout (2), Imagery (0)]
The Language is concise and adequate. The layout on a single page is a bold choice, and pushes up the level of difficulty, so I appreciate what's been attempted here. No images, so no points for that.

Overall: 49% Needs Work [18+6+4+12+4+5]
This is close, so close, but needs a little more work in mechanisms, the layout, or the integration of elements/theme. As a one page game, it's almost as good as a lot of others that I've seen over the years. I just feel the contest needs a bit more.


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