24 March 2006

Game Chef review: Crime & Punishment

So, this year all game chef contestants are peer-reviewing the other entries. My first one to do was Crime & Punishment by Moyra Turkington.

This is a great game, ready to go as is, and it's hard to believe that she wrote it in one week. It has art and fancy (cool) layout and everything.

Anyhow, the game is about procedural dramas, that is your CSI/Law and Order style shows. It's played in two hours, encompassing one episode of a show. This two hour limit was a restriction for the game chef contest, there seems to be no reason why you couldn't play a series using these rules if you wanted.

Gameplay is divided into two halves.

The first hour is spent as the show's writing team, establishing what elements will be present in the show and organising the key scenes. You earn currency for your suggestions that end up being used in the show here. The brainstorming system looks good, enough structure that you won't get stumped but leaving things pretty open in general. You also set how much the show emphasizes personal issues of the investigators and/or political ramifications of the case.

Then you bid for characters. The characters are Steele (the captain/boss and kind of GM role) and one or two pairs of investigators. So you can't play it with four, just three or five. In any case, the investigators are then picked. There's a list of them to choose from, each with a short description and a special ability. They are all really cool.

Finally, you sit down to play the episode out. Scenes are played as set up by the writers, except that you can bid your earned currency to take over narration if you want to.

Lastly, if you run out of time, the person playing Steele gets to just end the episode with a dramatic conclusion.

All very cool. Despite not being a fan of these sorts of shows (not recently, anyhow) I will try and play this game.
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Bradley "Brand" Robins said...

Hey Mike,

Out of curiosity (it killed my cat just this morning), what was the final score you gave C&P in your review?


The Gamester At Large said...

Well, I'm at work right now and thus missing the exact figure. I think it was 48 or 49.

Bradley "Brand" Robins said...


Thanks for the info!

The Gamester At Large said...

Now at home, I see I was not quite that generous after all. I gave it a 44.