Sunday, April 29, 2012

Film Review: Game of the Year (2009)

That's right, it's my first ever film review. You guys have Kevin Lehnert to thank for this one. He's Director of Marketing over at 88mm Productions and was recently kind enough to send me a complimentary DVD copy of their 2009 movie "Game of the Year". So full disclosure: A freebie is what prompted this review. I'm still going to try to be as fair as I can manage, though, as I have in similar reviews for complimentary rulebooks and accessories. How's the actual gaming in GotY? The mechanics are what I like to call "pleasantly vague." Other than a few things like initiative and clerics, there's not much to indicate what flavor of D&D rules are being used at the table. Some 3E rulebooks are glimpsed, but at the same time the referees seem to freely alternate between using DM screens from AD&D 1E, AD&D 2E, Basic D&D, and WotC editions. This is really for the best, I feel. Excessive jargon would be a pointless way to pander to the audience that would detract from the story. And while the game mechanics and such are never the focus specifically, the filmmakers still found plenty of more subtle ways to demonstrate to the target audience that they know their stuff. Characters cleverly sport surnames like Dee, Otus, Martek, and Elmore. Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, and Steve Jackson are referenced outright, but overall these are restrained, classy tips of the hat to the grognards.

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