A great piece of fun and madness, with some slight caveats for those going in unprepared:
- The game is advertized as an RPG, but I'd say it#s more of a middle-ground between a RPG and a cooperative skirmish game (and you could use it as a full skirmish game with little issue). Then again one might argue that many RPG sessions eventually turn into a cooperative skirmish game, so what do I know. Just don't expect a "traditional" RPG.
- The art is certainly unconventional, but I'd say it fits the game perfectly. It's like a child's fever dream involving action figures and way too much power metal
- I hope you're not prone to option paralysis when creating characters. This is the most front-loaded RPG games I've ever seen. The actual rules take up just a handful of pages. Pretty much everything else is character options, and all the supplements add even more stuff on top of it.
Now, if you wanna make a gonzo gladiator teeming up with fellow weirdoes to blast the crap out of robots, monsters and mutants for fun and profit, this might just be the game for you. As mentioned above the game has a lot of character options. Some are simple weapons or stat boosters, while others are so elaborate you could build several character concepts around them. The game really encourages you to come up with crazy concepts and see how much havoc they can cause.
A neat thing about building characters is that it is very easy - and heavily encouraged - to write down the "recipe" for the character, listing all the options and modifications chosen to build the character. This additional bit of transparency makes it a lot easier to understand how the whole process works, and the vast majority of premade characters in both this book and the supplement come with their recipe.
Another cool thing is how easy it is to convert characters to one of the two power levels: PC (for not just the player characters, but also major opponents and of course bosses) and NPC (for most antagonists and the occasional minions a PC might've purchased). The difference is mostly that NPCs have lower base stats, and it is once again encouraged (and usually also practiced with the example characters) to write down two stat lines for both the PC and NPC version of a character. Though the math is easiy enough to convert this on the fly, it's pretty convenient to be able to use any character for both power levels, making every grunt a potential PC, or every PC build you've made or found into an opponent.
The default way of play is geared more towards one-off sessions, where the players fight their way through a gauntlet of multiple waves of opponents, culminating in a boss fight. This structure of play kinda reminds me of Japanese tabletop RPGs (particularly Double Cross), minus the mandatory investigation and roleplay bits between the set piece battles.
You can of course run a campaign around multiple gauntlets. Character advancement can be handled pretty flexible in this case. Maybe there is no advancement at all. Maybe completing a gauntlet grants everyone more points to slap even more options onto their characters. Or maybe you're running a troupe style play, where every character has a roster of different characters which may or may not have different point values (or multiple versions of the same character).
The game can also be run in a player versus player mode, essentially turning it into a skirmish game. You could easily convert your favorite arena shooter.
Fluff is pretty light, but the general implied setting is that of a gonzo sci-fi universe where professional asskickers compete in televised gauntlets for fame and fortune. It's a bit like professional wrestling meets Takeshi's Castle - except there is no kayfabe, and all the "obstacles" are critters that want to kick your ass.
[5 of 5 Stars!]