Opening with a spectacular 2-page spread showing the worlds of the New Commonality of Humankind in a pseudo-3D that shows spacial relationships extremely well, this preview gives an overview of the Mindjammer RPG in its latest incarnation using the FATE core ruleset.
Chapter One provides an introduction which explains what the full corebook will contain, with 24 chapters that cover everything from explaining the history and background of the New Commonality of Humankind to generating characters and scenario ideas to get you started, before providing a whistle-stop tour of all the basics in one-tenth of the pages.
Next, Chapter Two: The Basics provides a skim-view of everything you'll need to play, from introducing what a role-playing game is anyway to running through the choices you will have to make as you create your character. Some may seem a bit confusing if you are not familiar with this setting, but it is quite easy to pick up with the explanations given, although if you want a real feel for it try the 'Mindjammer' novel by Sarah Newton (author of this game as well) - it's an excellent read, I recommend it.
Back to this work, though... and Chapter Eleven (?), which explains the Mindscape, possibly the defining element of this setting. It is a sort of Internet but one that connects direcly and permanently via the mind rather than by means of external technology (would my reviews read better if I merely had to think them rather than type?) and which allows location of obscure data or even mental control of devices. There's a whole lot more to it than that, of course... and then there's a wierd jump to what appears to be the middle of the chapter on Starships, and then another jump to World Creation - it appears that whole sections have been sampled and stuck together, rather than an overview written from scratch.
Well, there's quite a lot on world building, the factors that have to be considered and the options available; and then we find ourselves precipitated into the equally fascinating subject of Alien Life (which is Chapter 21). Again a stutter, launching us mid-sentence into an interesting discussion of Themes, Genre and Styles of Play. The setting is in some ways a mere backdrop, you can play just about any sort of game you want here - quite a delight, but almost scary in the range of possibilities this opens up. Finally, a couple of fully-developed worlds are presented.
This preview is a somewhat breathless glimpse into what the full game contains. It's not a 'quick start' but it does give a real feel for what is to come, and if it's anything to go by, I want a copy!
[5 of 5 Stars!]