Saturday, October 30, 2010

GW Boxet Set: First Impressions

I just received the Gamma World boxed set yesterday.

My first impressions are positive. The box's contents include the Gamma World digest-sized rule book, a deck of 80 cards for Alpha Mutations and Omega Tech used in the game, two foldout double-sided battle maps, two card stock sheets of character and monster tokens, four character sheets, a bonus "booster pack" of 8 Alpha mutation/Omega Tech cards helping you or your players customize their own decks if you want to, as well as a single double-sized sheet of D&D Essentials advertisement similar to the one included with the new D&D "red box" Starter Set, which basically explains which Essentials products are intended for players and/or DMs.

If the contents of the box may seem sparse and are neatly kept in place by a huge piece of cardboard within, they all represent high production values. The 160-page rulebook is full color, with glossy and thick pages; its binding is loose and does not rely on the spinal glue to hold everything together, but instead seems to use a combination of bound pages and covers to sustain the weight and shape of it all whether it is closed or widely open (it can lay flat on the table from the get-go, which is great); the counters are thick and seem solid enough to survive quite a lot of abuse; the cards look comparable to Magic: the Gathering's, miles away and beyond the poor quality of the punch-out power cards included in the D&D Starter Set; the foldout maps are standard for WotC products.

From a purely economic standpoint, for a current price anywhere between $27 and $40 US depending on the place you get it from, I feel you get good production values. From an ergonomic and design standpoint, this seems to be an excellent game: not too many rules, a nice rulebook that seems designed to be used and abused at an actual game table, neat cards which, along with the maps and tokens, add to the "game" dimension of the whole play experience... this product looks like a winner.

Now I need to start reading, find out what Gamma World is specifically about, and how it ties all these elements together into a role playing game experience my players and I might enjoy over the course of a few one shots or a campaign.

More as I read through the rulebook.