The Monday group took FreeMarket for a spin tonight. It certainly delivered the gameplay promised by the text - I certainly had great fun and everyone else seemed to as well.
The initial round of running a pretend challenge seemed to confuse everyone as much as it enlightened them. Then we got into the basic character generation stuff, which was all fine.
MRCZ creation was a little tougher, as everyone tried to come up with something that their disparate skillsets could work together for. In the end they didn't really manage, but everyone was enthusiastic about "My Little Special Friend" MRCZ, who create customized and weaponized pets. So far they printed up a dayglo stripy cat to pay someone's gambling debt and have got themselves a request for a weaponized cat, too. They acquired the raw materials for it but we ran out of time before they got to build it.
The situation generation was effective and fun. Every character has some memories written on their sheet, and you go and grab elements from each of these to make up things that can happen - so one guy from this character's memory wants an item from another person's memory to blow up a statue that's in a third character's memory. This sounds confusing, but it worked really well. I tied them into the whole custom pet theme of the MRCZ and we just went from there.
Filling up the station with oddball types is fun too. Just finding out about their neighbours was quite fun (a metal band on one side, a mobber with tentacles on the other). I quite enjoyed a courier who delivered them a couple of things. There's going to be more to him than they have yet realised, I think.
The challenge mechanics are pretty fun, although the card draws distract a little from remembering to narrate what you are doing. It's one of those games where I'm going to have to keep reminding myself & others to narrate what happens. The card draws give you a lot to work with, though! Just things like drawing a geneline and hazard give you something to work with (i.e. your narration should incorporate your natural talents but have something go not quite right as well).
Looking forward to playing more! The next session for My Special Little Friend should be epic - they have to build their weaponized cat to give to one guy's Dad. Nobody asked him what for yet... but hey, I guess they don't need to know. What could possibly go wrong with arming a cat with a miniature flechette cannon?