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Firefly: The Game
Board Games 4151
Quit It with the Hat Joke Already
Rating 
 
4.0
tl;dr — Don't know from the show, but as a storytelling/adventure game this works great.

This is a "story game" first and foremost—it provides, via cards and mechanics, a series of dots that you and your friends can connect to spin an engaging yarn of your time out in the black. In that regard it has far more in common with Runebound (and the like*) than Merchant of Venus. As it stands, this is a pretty middle of the road pick-up-and-deliver game—but it is an awesome story game.

*This is firmly in the "pull a card, roll some dice, have crap happen" family.

I suppose I should admit that I am not a Firefly fan—I never got past the first couple episodes of the TV series (especially when they were pandering so obviously to segments of fandom that I am not a member of**), though I did enjoy Serenity. This is important to know as my flaccid interest in the license in no way detracts from this fine game.

**Genius move to connect with your core audience, but semi-alienating for the rest of us.

As a licensed product this one transcends—to an amazing degree—the usually poor treatment such things get. The bits are all gorgeous and high-quality, especially the money (and I loves me some paper money†). The game is mechanically sound, works, and provides an interesting storytelling engine. Instead of phoning it in the designers and producers definitely heaped some love and skill on this.

†If you're the kind who would replace the beautiful, evocative, and thematic paper money in this game with [shudder] poker chips then straight up this game ain't for you.

Speaking prematurely and from the hip I get the impression that the sweet spot for this will be 3p—I fear that with 4 there will be just too much "story" flying around as well as too much downtime waiting to get back to yours. But we shall see...

Sagrilarus sez: "Firefly comes with about a dozen scenarios to play but after 20 sessions amongst our group we’ve come to the conclusion that the best approach is to just play for cash. Find a job, keep flying. One of the scenarios does just this, and the nice part is that you can adjust the length of the game by the amount of money needed to win. We opted for a $25,000 game, which is pretty steep, but moved the finish line to $15,000 because, well, it’s Firefly."
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