Archive | November, 2012

XP: Metrofinal Transantiago

15 Nov

Metrofinal by Jonathan Walton is one of those odd games that don’t neatly classify. It is just different enough that you can’t bring any assumptions in with you.


The primary way in which you interact with the game is by describing this surreal world as it comes to a close. This usually involves two players, one playing a bodhisattva and one playing the situation at a given station. The license to go all out on weird trippy narration is very freeing. It’s a very neat experience to explore this unfamiliar turf. The result is a strangely Jungian spiritual journey through a landscape you can only barely understand, while in pursuit of a goal that is only metaphorically possible. This certainly captivates the subject matter of the game quite well.

Constructing the subway system is interesting. There is very little about it that influences the game play directly. Only once did this influence game play when two players were cautiously trying to position themselves in order to unlock the fourth event at a station. Otherwise, it was only a minor inconvenience at most to go to any station you wanted to go. It makes me question whether or not the rail system adds anything other than color. Which is fine if that’s all, but maybe there is something more (or less) that can be done here.


I have two concerns about Metrofinal.

First of all, it takes a long time to play, and requires a lot of players. You easily need eight hours for a whole game. In a little more than five hours of play we still had quite a ways to go to finish all of the stations.

With a lot of players, and largely having one on one narration, those other players are going to sit there for quite a while.

Lastly, there is some concern about character agency. Some scenes filled the surreal conditions before the acting player did much of anything. Perhaps a second condition about what the bodhisattvas ought to accomplish or change could be added into the scene structure.

Overall I really enjoy Metrofinal. It is bizarre and refreshing. I think we could use more “spiritual” games like these. If you have seven like minded friends and an afternoon and evening to kill then you owe it to yourself to try this game from beyond the edge.


Session 32: Don’t Rest Your Head, Slammin’/Keep It Sunny, Perfect Unrevised

7 Nov

6pm – 10pm
Tuesday, November 20
Guardian Games
303 SE 3rd Ave at Pine St

Don’t Rest Your Head:
You can’t sleep. It started like that for all of us, back when we were garden variety insomniacs. Maybe you had nightmares (God knows we all do now), or maybe you just had problems that wouldn’t let you sleep. Hell, maybe you were just over-caffeinated. But then something clicked.

That was when you took a long walk down the streets of the Mad City, stopped being a Sleeper, and started being Awake. But that click you heard wasn’t from the secret world snapping into place. It was the sound of the Nightmares flicking off the safety and pointing a gun at your head.

They can smell you. The Paper Boys are closing in, and you’d better pray you don’t become a headline. You’re chum in the water, my friend, and it’s time you got ready for it… before the clock chimes thirteen again. Now that you’re one of us, there’s just one simple rule left that must dominate your life.

Stay Awake. Don’t Rest Your Head.

Don’t Rest Your Head is a sleek, dangerous little game, where your players are all insomniac protagonists with superpowers, fighting — and using — exhaustion and madness to stay alive, and awake for just one more night, in a reality gone way wrong called the Mad City. It features its own system, and is contained entirely within one book.

Dare to look?

This is a ridiculous hipster sex comedy dice / story / party game. You don’t know how to play? I’ve known for a while now, like, since before it was cool. It’s a turn based monologuing players-roll-dice-against-one-another and add-to-their-character’s-appearance-and-hobbies-while-describing-what-they-did-today kinda game. No biggie.

You’ll like it if you like making fun of hipsters, things that hipsters like, joking about sex, talking about sex, rolling dice and making up weirdly specific things.

Can you dig?

Keep It Sunny:
Keep It Sunny is a little game that I wrote in homage to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It takes about 45 minutes to play. Each player takes on the role of one of the characters in the show, and together you play out an episode that never was.

Tune in at

Perfect, Unrevised:
This society is perfect. Except for you.

Perfect, Unrevised is a game about criminals within a Dystopian society. It’s about what makes them tick, the crimes they commit, the goals they strive for, and the persecution they may well face.

You’ll like this game if: you want to fight the man (but understand that it might hurt), you adore the rebel spirit, you like intensely antagonistic games, you want to tell stories about mindfucking hypnotists, you want to tell stories about secret societies, you want a rigidly-structured game.

Pull back the curtain