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YMMV: Space 1889
Audience-Alienating Premise it is easy to imagine that Victorian science fiction seemed a bit silly (it isnít, though) for the average science fiction role-player in 1988. Now genre-busting role-playing and steampunk has built up steam. Also, a relatively idealistic take on Victorian adventure stories in a time when the general trand was that heroes and stories got darker and grittier.

Creator Thumbprint typical of Frank Chadwick and GDW (who have created such things as Traveller, Twilight 2000 and 2300 AD) is a well-created world, well-researched and realistic in many details even if the basic premise of the game is not realistic, science fiction with much emphasis on the military, original or unique when created inspiring others to come up with similar ideas later, tie-in with well-written boardgames but the role-playing game itself has simple and not very good rules. These rules also have similarities with other GDW role-playing games, such as a system for NPC motivation, even if Space 1889 uses two dices instead of a deck of cards.

Only the Author Can Save Them Now in Beastmen of Mars, the player characters are captured by an ancient powerful being and they have no idea how to get out at first. Fortunately the ancient is not going to kill them until he is bored with them giving them time to find a risky way to get out if things get desperate. When he is no longer interested in the player characters and decided to kill them he will warn them in advance and be surprised when they flee in the spaceship he left unlocked. Well, the guy is nuts and very absent-minded, so sort of justified. Sure sounds like a dumb deus ex machina though.

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