I was on the fence about getting this, but I’m glad I did. For me, the map and dice were worth the purchase price, and that’s not even talking about the included adventure.
The map included is fairly well sized and full color. Each side contains information for one of the two Loops mentioned in the rules: one being in Sweden, the other in Nevada. Also included are 10 custom d6 for use during play.
The 32 page rulebook gives all the basics to play save character creation, but 5 pre-gen characters are included to use for the included adventure, called The Recycled Boy. The basics of the adventure are that there’s a new student at school who goes missing after acting a little strange, and it’s up to the PC’s to locate him and bring him back safely. Along the way they discover there is more to the new student than meets the eye.
The Recycled Boy actual play: https://www.youtube.com/live/FwVat6XjkgA?si=IpjvuO6mvlvlJP3q
“Save character creation”? Isn’t that kinda important?
Normally, yes. In this case, I think the intention was more “give new players the basics of the game” and included 5 characters ready to play (negating the need for character creation section). The shortened rulebook explains all the basics needed to play the game, and I think assumes the GM is familiar with Tales From the Loop, or one of the other games Free League put out, as they’re all the same rules across the board, with maybe minor modifications based on subject matter (have watched actual plays of many games of the line, but only own this game from them) to the general rules.
I would be leery of a game that didn’t have character creation unless it was clearly marked as a supplement to an earlier core game.
What I only get five characters? What if we have six in the group?
They do mention the core rulebook in the starter rules booklet. “This boxed set is designed to be an introduction to Tales from the Loop. After having played The Recycled Boy, we recommend you check out the full rulebook. The core book contains comprehensive rules for creating your own characters to play… Beyond the core rulebook, there are several modules for this game with even more…tools.” - From the starter rulebook.
As far as 6 in the group, not sure. I guess if there is already familiarity with the game, have person 6 roll up a character provided you have the full rulebook and character sheets. They don’t go into the rhyme or reason of why they only included 5 characters, only that it was designed to be played with 5 total, though they state you can play with less than 5 without issue. Would assume one could play with 6 allowing creation of a character, or even all original characters (as is my intention and part of the reason I got it, to throw in a campaign as an adventure using original characters).
So we are talking the typical group of Scoobies. Two boys, two girls and a talking dog.
For this particular scenario, yes, more or less. Love the analogy. The whole setting could be used that way. It’s the 80’s with robots being common, living in a city with a particle accelerator (what the Loop is, in actuality) underground. Per the rulebook, the vibe is adults won’t listen to you (you’re a kid 10 - 15 years old) so you have to figure shtuff out on your own, with adults either taking credit for your success (like police or the appropriate adult figure), and you mainly do kid stuff, but you go on adventures and figure out mysteries, which the adults in the world just explain away as nonsense, even though many would have been kids in the 60’s when the Loop first started. The trope that we lose our “wide-eyed-ness” as we grow up is in effect here, and I don’t think it’s totally wrong in game terms and reality. There’s even a mention in the rules that once your character hits the big 1 - 6, it’s time to retire them and create a new one as they are “too old” to be doing stuff like this. Probably all stuff I could have put in the original review (I don’t think I did, but too lazy to look). Sometimes, I think “at a glance” doesn’t do the games justice. Or maybe in certain cases I just need to dive a little deeper in my “reviews.” And Tales From the Loop may be one of those cases.
I am also an ancient game master and player, so I think in these terms. I will rip a game apart to make a better game.
Nice you finally mentioned what “The Loop” was.