10 October 2010

Return of Gamma World

This week the latest in a long line of editions of Gamma World has been released. I've lost count of how many editions there have been but this one might just as well be called 4e since it uses the Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition rules. In fact it is called D&D Gamma World.

The boxed set stands out in 'radioactive green' similar to the Deadlands Wasted West products. While it is a boxed set it is not in the old style flimsy boxes of the old days its in a nice sturdy box. The contents, however, don't require such a big box.

The rule book is over 150 pages... but its a 8.5" times 5.5" book instead of your standard 8.5" times 11". Of course the dimensions of the box would not allow for an 11 inch book. Next are the battle maps; while useful for the game these is only so many battles that can be fought on them before they get boring. A bunch of cardboard character and monster tokens are included as well (too bad they won't release a non-collectible miniatures set for Gamma World, that would be cool).

Finally we come to the card deck. The new Gamma World uses collectible cards for mutations and 'Omega Tech.' So for those of you not turned off by the 4th Edition rules, the collectible card aspect may have now driven you away. For those who like both collectible cards and 4e this might be the game for you.

From what I've seen online there isn't much of a campaign background in the new game. That's too bad. But at least that keeps them from creating something as horrible as the Alternity version of Gamma World (pure strain humans are actually aliens.... really?). Despite the apparent strikes this new one has against it I really didn't like the background changes they mad in the Alternity version... which is too bad because I liked the Alternity system.

If you are going to buy this one be sure to shop around. There is a wide range of pricing online. Also, you might want to hold off on the booster packs and see if the price on them goes down at all right now I think it is averaging about fifty cents per card.

Now I wonder when they'll get around to re-releasing Star Frontiers.


  1. I have said this time and again and the recent releases of both Gamma World and Dark Sun seem to prove it: Hasbro is going to continue to try and milk the TSR/WotC cow until it runs dry. They have no idea what it is they have and see role-playing games and collectible games as interchangeable; throwing MMORPGs into the mix for good measure. They have no concept of differing gaming styles or the fact that some types of games appeal to different gamers while other gamers could care less.

    This will continue until Hasbro is sick of losing money on all the Dungeons & Dragons lines. They will then, quietly fold the CCG stuff into the larger Hasbro entity and kill all the role-playing lines. After that, we may never hear of Wizards of the Coast again. In fact, we may never see a new D&D after the death of the Hasbro line as it is unlikely they would ever sell it off. Hasbro has learned that when they sell a property to another company, that company is usually able to make it embarrassingly successful.

    I give Dungeons & Dragons about three more years and then it will die and never be seen again.

    Poor Gary.

  2. It would be a shame if that happened. Luckily we have Paizo publishing Pathfinder which is an excellent game.

    While there aren't too many print books these days there are all sorts of PDFs being developed for GURPS.

    It wouldn't be the first time role-playing hit hard times and I'm sure it will recover again.


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