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Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by ar e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/05/2017 15:59:02

Truly excellent stuff. If you like the Apocalypse Engine and you like sci-fi, this game won't let you down. I love the quick yet versatile character creation; departing from the PbtA standard Playbooks to a combination of Career (what you did for most of your life) and Origin (what kind of society you came from). Kind of gives me a Mass Effect vibe, and it allows for a great deal more variety in a cast without feeling like it's artificially restricting anyone's options, so to speak.

Also love that faction creation guidelines are presented, as well as tips for playing different "scales" of universe. Playing in a universe with two distinct factions (Star Wars) is far different than playing in a game with a solid handful (Mass Effect) or a full plethora (Elite: Dangerous, if you wanna get technical), and the book gives you direction as to how. It also makes creating one or two or ten or 20 of these factions as simple as a few rolls of the D6, if you're looking for quick direction.

Most of the staples you expect to see in a sci-fi game, from starship creation and customization to speeder bikes, monetary negotiations to boarding parties, are all covered in the mechanics, and the Debt system makes your relationship with the factions of your galaxy matter whether you're independent or a proud citizen. The information is laid out nice and clean in the bookmark tree, and while the pretty art is kept to a minimum, the sizing and position of the text break up the sections nicely.

For such a simple game, mechanically speaking, I was very pleased by the number of potential options. Want a flying car? How about a walker? From a small, agile shuttle to a luxury starliner, or a heavy fighter to a capital ship, you can potentially have it all. If you fancy planetary engagements, exploration, inter-species diplomacy... That's all well and viable. If ship-to-ship combat is your thing, or smuggling runs past massive blockades, that's perfectly doable as well. Like a true PbtA game, it gives you the basic mechanics for a whole slew of potential gameplay concerns, then lets your table carry it into an adventure worth telling.

As standard for games Powered by the Apocaplyse... For those not familiar with Apocalypse World or its many offshoots, I do warn that you'll have to do some unlearning. The system expects a lot of narrative "filling in the blanks" and your actions won't always be selected from a list. Combat in particular can take some getting used to if you're coming from one of the many more rigid tabletop RPGs out there. But learning this system and giving it a chance is something I absolutely recommend, because it's extremely enjoyable once you get the hang of it. It's not that it's complex; quite the contrary. It's rather so straightforward that those used to number-crunching may have trouble making sense of it, until one's brain is trained to lead the rules rather than follow them.

For those already familiar with the engine, I reiterate that Uncharted Worlds does a superb job of bringing it to the stars. The solid presentation, the clever adaptations of tried and true Apocalypse Engine conventions, the evolution of certain familiar systems into something unique but no less intuitive, even the graphics for Origins and Careers, it's all just great. I severely doubt you'll be disappointed by this game.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Uncharted Worlds
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