Michael Barnes     
7721   0

d20Pictured is a D20. It is the ultimate monster-slaying device.  CASTLE RAVENLOFT lets you throw this thing at all sorts of monsters, including Kobolds and Gravestorm the Dracolich.Screw fancy card-based combat mechanics, I'd much rather off baddies with this thing. It's how we use to do it before gamers started losing sleep over things like balance, probability, and "meaningful decisions".

Now, gamers are losing sleep over CASTLE RAVENLOFT and not due to the vampires and spooky goings-on in the game, but because they can't come to terms with the fact that not every dungeoncrawl has to be a raging, cluttered nerdathon. See, CASTLE RAVENLOFT is a dungeoncrawl for _everybody_. In a sense, it's almost a casual take on a hardcore gaming staple.

And that cheeses off hardcore gamers.  I read something somewhere recently, the source escapes me (may have been Destructoid or Kotaku) that the reason hardcore gamers freak out in nerd rage about casual games like FARMVILLE or whatever is that they represent a transition of ownership of the term "game" to a larger, less niche and more mainstream population. All of the fluster over RAVENLOFT reminds me of that. Sorry Charlie- this game ain't "ASL in a dungeon". And it was never intended to be.

I think the game is great, unreservedly and without apology.  It also represent something much truer to the Ameritrash games of the 1980s and early 1990s than anything FFG has released in the past five years, and its nothin' fancy, almost mechanics-less approach (which some folks apparently feel is "bland") is a breath of fresh air in a time when games in this genre have drifted away from simple pleaures and back-to-basics fun.

Review is in the usual spot,

CASTLE RAVENLOFT in Review There Will Be Games
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