Home > Game Chef, Game Reviews, RPGs > Game Review – Beacon of Hope by Shari Corey

Game Review – Beacon of Hope by Shari Corey

As mentioned in a previous blogpost, I will be reviewing some games as a part of the Game Chef 2012 contest. This is the second review.

Introduction

Beacon of Hope is a roleplaying game about people chosen to travel through space and time to prove that mankind is ready to move on to the Fourth World, after our world ends in December 2012. The Coyote has sabotaged the Beacon of Hope, and it is up to the player characters to fix the damage and confront Coyote to convince him of the worth of mankind. The game has been written for 3-6 players and a GM, who serves as the narrator for the story and comes up with the ideas about how Coyote has tempered with events of past.

First Impressions

End of the world and time travel fit nicely to the theme of Last Chance, even if the concept is nothing new or special. The setting of the game, taking ideas from Native American folklore is a nice twist, and ties well to the ending of Mayan calendar in December 2012.

What really makes this game though is the idea of having one player represent the Coyote in each scene. This quarantees that there is some opposition (or unforeseen aid) during each scene when the Coyote interferes with the actions of the characters.

Pros

The defining feature of the game, Coyote, is nicely implemented and gives the game a sort of an meta-game where the players have to not only think of their characters actions but also about the game as a whole, especially when playing the role of the Coyote. While this can be a turn-off for some play groups, I personally think that this kind of meta-game element gives the game some extra depth.

Another thing I liked was the  idea of players coming up with the events, while GM being responsible for the changes that have occured. This allows everyone to contribute to the story, rather than being invented by the GM.

Cons

Even if the past events might provide nice scenes and consequently lead to a good story, they don’t have anything to do with the end result. Maybe tying them to the final conflict in a manner of bonus dice or something similiar would help them matter more in the convincing of Coyote. The dice mechanics seem also a bit unpolished, especially since the players have really high dicepools, but there is not a good guideline for the amount of successes needed for typical actions. A GM running this game for the first time would probably need to test them first to see what kind of a requirement provides a good amount of challenge without being too difficult.

Conclusion

The premise of the game is not very unusual, but the game manages to bring forth some new ideas. It is definetely playable as it is written, but probably would need some more information to truly shine.

If you’re interested in the game, it can be found over here.

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  1. April 23, 2012 at 5:05 am

    Thank you very much for the thoughtul and insightful feedback. I agree that I need to polish the dicepool mechanics, and I did leave out how coyote gets selected for each scene. You might wish to post a link to this blog on the reviews page.

    Thanks again

    Shari Corey

    • April 23, 2012 at 10:05 am

      No problem, just doing my job as a reviewer. If you intend to continue on this project later on, I can give you some feedback later as well.

      I will post the links to the reviews page as soon as I’m done with all four of my reviews. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it today.

      Thanks for your participation!
      – Antti Lax

  1. April 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

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