Monday, February 8, 2021

Assessing Asmodee’s freebies

 In January, I went through Asmodee’s free PnP page again. 

A lot of publishers offered a lot of free PnP stuff last year since so much of the world had to live in some level of lockdown. Asmodee is interesting because a) they have bought their way to a huge catalog of games and b) they showed a fascinating variety of ways of showcasing their ways.

Their demos range from just enough to get a taste of a game to expansions to pretty much the whole game. The fact that the latter existed at all was quite a surprise to me and what interested me the most.

On the lightest end of the spectrum, the demo for Rory’s Story Cubes amounted to a few worksheets. I guess the alternative would be having the faces as chits you pull out a cup. I can see the worksheet model working in a classroom (I like how they included a origami die so kids make their own story die) and it got me to dig my own set. (There are now _38_ Rory’s Story Cube products!? There’s an RPG?!)

On the other side of the spectrum, Amsodee is offering Pandemic: Hotzone - North America in its entirety. I hadn’t actually realized there was a published version (or did that come out after the PnP version?) It also looks like they have complete scenarios for their escape room system, Unlock. Since the one-use-only aspect of escape room board games doesn’t appeal to me, that might be the only way I’d play one.

The demos in the middle range from just enough to get a handle on the mechanics to as much as I’d realistically play. While the later editions have added a lot, the demo of Citadels is pretty close to the first edition. Which may be more than I need :D On the other hand, there are demos I want to try to see if I’d want the full game. Which is kind of their whole point, isn’t it?

Now, PnP Arcade remains my biggest resource for PnP projects. After all, that’s their job and I’m their demographic. I also recommend Cheapass Games PnP catalog before Asmodee since that includes a huge chunk of their library and you get the whole game. And it is ink friendly. (But I have most of their games back from the original print run :D) HOWEVER, Amsodee’s site is still neat and it’s fun to sample stuff I’ve seen at the stores.

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