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Maschine Zeit $29.99 $10.00
Publisher: Machine Age Productions
by Joseph M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2011 19:23:54

I just finished reading Maschine Zeit a horror / scifi rpg by machine age produciton. I'll give a brief review of what I liked (a lot!) and what I didn't like (very little).

Pros: First off, the writing and production quality are top notch. This is easily the best written and best laid out book I've read in the past year. The background is creative, the voices of the characters / narrators are believable, and the game is presented as a cohesive, well thought out whole. It's also a beautiful book, with art and graphic work that accentuates the text without distracting from it. Second, the system is innovative and really has a great deal of potential. I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but it truly looks like it will be able to allow players and game masters to share creative control of the game, something which other systems have tried but not always succeeded in. Third, the system fits the genre. It's tailored to produce results similar to the cinematic examples it's based on and allows action to move forward when it needs to, while glossing over the points that really aren't important to the plot.

Cons: Anti - corporate and Anti - government sentiment has long been an established fact of the horror / scifi genre. Without government conspiracy and corporate greed, there wouldn't be much to the plot of movies like Aliens or TV shows like the X files. Even the seminal scifi film Metropolis had these overtones. However, Maschine Zeit takes anti - capitalist liberal agenda to new, never before seen heights. By page 30 of the introductory fiction in the beginning of the book, I was convinced that the ghost of Howard Zinn was one of the primary authors. By page 70 I felt like the ghost of Howard Zinn was taking a cheese grater to my brain. It does not help that the only conservative voices in the introductory fiction are presented as either being corrupt or moronic. A quick note to the authors: please, for the love all that is Holy, tone the rhetoric down a little in your future works! You've produced a great game here, but the politics are so over the top that it distracts from the overall work that you've produced. This may be a minor point at best, but it was significant enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.

Conclusions: Maschine Zeit is an excellent rpg. It is a first rate, high quality work that is true to its genre and is highly innovative in its systems. The background fiction is well written and works in the context of the game. If you can overlook the politics, this game is excellent. If you can't overlook the politics, it's still excellent, but the introductory fiction can get a little annoying. Gamers who are fans of horror / scifi movies and TV should definitely pick up a copy.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Maschine Zeit
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