I wrote a three part blog post series about BFRPG which is too long to insert it here.
Here's a summary:
Basic Fantasy has quite a bland name which doesn't reflect the refined ruleset it presents. Perhaps it is a fitting name as the system is a complete one yet it is basic enough to understand and to build upon with supplements.
As the author states:
"The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game is a rules-light game system modeled on the classic RPG rules of the early 1980's. Though based loosely on the d20 SRD v3.5, Basic Fantasy RPG has been written largely from scratch to replicate the look, feel, and mechanics of the early RPG game systems. It is suitable for those who are fans of "old-school" game mechanics. Basic Fantasy RPG is simple enough for children in perhaps second or third grade to play, yet still has enough depth for adults as well."
I can attest to the fact that the game takes the spirit of the Basic/Expert Set from the 1980's but doesn't shy away from making some changes to suit players with slightly more modern sensibilites. That being said, it still is a straight D&D game that oozes an old-school-flair. It is not a modern reimagining like games as Adventure Fantasy Game or Old School Hack.
BFRPG succeeds at creating an OSR ruleset from scratch that evokes the feel of the original game it was modeled after.
The rules are somewhat lightweight. It comes down to what you call rules-lite. I personally think of systems like Risus or Wushu as lightweight and that leaves Basic Fantasy more in the spectrum between rules-lite and medium. Be that as it may, it is certainly lighter than D&D 3e, 4e or Pathfinder.
BFRPG limits itself to the core material, for instance the 4 core classes, but is still complete in its own right. Yet it really shines when the (free) supplements come in. There are many optional rules, classes etc. and they are completely modular. That means, you can tailor the game to your needs.
Next to the stuff I would have expected (Druids, Paladins, Rangers, more spells and options for Magic-Users and Clerics, more races...) I found some interesting material which I haven't seen before, i.e. the Tiny Hitpoint Companion which lets you exchange damage points for maneuvers.
The community is really a great thing. Its output is amazing as you can see from the sheer amount of additional resources that are available.
Generally, I can see Basic Fantasy as a product for several generations if you like old school roleplaying. Like the original game it can be grasped by young teenagers but will also suffice the gaming needs of adults. The prize is also a selling point especially for a younger target audience which might not have that much cash at hand.
What I like: While old school at its core BFRPG makes some clever rule changes which I as a gamer of a "newer generation" really like and which makes transitioning easier. The rules are clearly laid out and have matured over several iterations.
The look is charmingly retro and the artwork is pretty good and especially useful in the bestiary chapter.
The author took newer players and Game Masters into consideration and adds advice for them. I like how he doesn't assume that only veteran players with a nostalgic feeling towards old school games will play this game.
Basic Fantasy is easily fitted to your needs with tons of additional material.
What's more, I welcome the open-source idea and the embrace of the community-driven approach.
Best of all, the electronic versions (PDF and .odt format) are free and the print products can be bought cheaply at different sources.
What I would have liked to see/Things that don't work for me: While Chris Gonnerman takes the trouble to be inclusive of novices I am missing concrete advice for how to play the game. Like the original he mostly sticks to the pure mechanics. I would have liked to see an actual play example with advice for a fledgling GM and more. I'd also like some help on converting material from other OSR games.
Granted, experienced players won't need this "beginner material" but here I find the the intention of the book a bit at odds.
Actually, the resource I'm refering to has already been written and by exactly the same author: RPG Primer and Old School Playbook. I think at least its part about converting material could be useful in Basic Fantasy itself.
Finally, a small nitpick: While it's a good thing that the product line of BFRPG is under constant revision it may be a bit annoying to update all downloads every now and then.
While the retro old school look may be a plus factor for some it might discourage others.