10 July, 2015

Game Chef Review 49: Welcome to Eyeland by Tobie Abad

Welcome to Eyeland

Ingredients: 7 [Stillness (3), Abandon (2), Dragonfly (1), Dream (1)]
This is another design that manages to combine all of the ingredients into the game. The stillness and abandon are the strongest elements in the game, combined to describe an island where reality contestants believe they have been left behind, with no connection to the outside world. The dragonfly element incorporated in the form of dragonfly drone cameras is a pretty loose connection, as is the name of "dream" island, either could have been easily substituted for something else.

Theme: 6
I like the fact that there is a distinct audience in the game, and that the players play the audience, while the "onscreen characters" are separate entities. It's not necessarily a design intended for a different audience of players, but I appreciate the fact that the different audience has been integrated into the mechanisms of play.

Would I Play This?: 7
This reminds me a lot of the game "Guerilla Television" which I designed after watching the movie "Battle Royale" when it first came out. That game worked really well as a convention offering, and I could see this game doing likewise. It's a different take to the variant I developed, and looks like it's more informed by later offerings in the genre such as "Gamer" or "Hunger Games", so it would be interesting to play through someone else's interpretation of the genre.

Completeness: 8 [7 +1 bonus from character sheets and play aids]
Everything is here to play the game, but a few more play examples toward the end of the rules would have been appreciated. That's the part where the rules started getting a bit complicated, and it feels like the designer might have just run out of time when it came to descriptions of this part of play.

Innovation: 6
There are a couple of interesting and "meta" ideas about this game, most noticeably the fact that the player don't directly play the characters, instead they play audience members who are attempting to manipulate the characters/contestants seen. It feels like there could be a bit more work done here to refine the way these interactions and mechanisms work within the game, but it's almost there. The presence of play examples is a bonus here, as well as the presented characters sheets, sponsor sheet and other elements provided for play.

Output Quality: [Language (3), Layout (2), Imagery (0)]
The language is pretty consistent, appropriate and informative. The layout isn't bad, and the additional sponsor sheets and contestant details are a nice touch. No images at all.

Overall: 67% Credit [21+12+7+16+6+5]
This isn't a bad game, and as I've said, it reminds me of designs I've played with in the past. I think it could get a bit fiddly with the descriptions of scenes shared by multiple players, but on the whole it looks like a pretty solid game that could be quite elegant with a bit of playtesting.



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