Game review: Star Wars the Force Awakens is a fun roleplaying game

Posted August 4, 2016

On the heels of the recent Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, Fantasy Flight Games has released Star Wars The Force Awakens the roleplaying game. In one box, gamers get everything they need to play: books, dice, tokens and character folios.

One of the hardest things about getting into a new roleplaying game is the amount of rules one needs to learn in order to get started. It's safe to say that this beginner box is designed to get people playing the game quickly. Have no fear.

As in most RPGs, someone must play the game master to help guide the game and administer the rules. Other players can be a character or hero in the adventure. It's important to determine who will play which roles before starting the game.

The game box includes a four-page full-color introduction booklet that shows people exactly what roleplaying is like in the Star Wars universe. It was a genius idea by Fantasy Flight Games to include this because it shows the flow of the game and how it works before play even begins. It's important to keep a good flow going in roleplaying games to keep players interested.

For those playing a character during the game, included in the box are four beautifully illustrated character portfolios. Players can choose to play the role of Tiras the explorer, Bormo the alien colonist, Fira Bon the soldier or Mhar'li the ace. These eight-page character booklets show color illustrations of what the character looks like, details about skills, abilities, characteristics, equipment and more. These were superbly produced and durable.

One of the most unique things about this particular roleplaying game is the dice. Yes, RPGs have interesting dice, but this game takes things a step further. There are seven different dice that might be rolled during the game. Each is a different color and has different symbols on it that help tell the roleplaying story. Most RPG dice just have numbers on them, but this game actually helps tell a story with its dice. It's awesome and innovative.

The next booklet in the beginner RPG box is the adventure book. This book is for the person who will be the game master. It contains an introductory adventure that takes the game master and players step by step through the rules in a fun and interesting way.

The final book of the beginner game is the actual rulebook. It can be used as a reference to go deeper into the rules and understand more details of the game. It contains a historical background for the entire setting of the game as well as tips to understanding the cool multicolored dice. Additional rules cover skills, combat, talents, gear and equipment and adversaries that might be encountered during adventures. As with all the other content, this rule book is well produced with glossy pages, full-color original art and easy to follow page breakdowns.

To believe that this beginner game is one of the best ever to hit the market, one must understand that this reviewer has read or played more than 100 different roleplaying games. The design, artwork, tools, tips, flow, dice and props are extremely well thought out and perfect for beginners trying to dive into the action of the Star Wars movies and simply have some fun.

It's important to note that Star Wars The Force Awakens roleplaying game is relatively easy to understand on a fundamental level and really easy to add complexity to. The core of how the game works is centered around skill checks that players do as they try to accomplish different things in the game world.

For example, John is playing the role of Bormo the alien colonist. He is attacked from behind by a member of the Strus Clan and knocked to his knees. Bormo is proficient with a staff and John decides he will have Bormo sweep around with his staff to try and trip the gang member. He rolls a set of dice determined by how skillful Bormo is with his staff. The game master helps interpret the symbols on the dice. It looks like Bormo has knocked the gang member to his knees too. They are now glaring at each other face to face.

This reviewer had a chance to play the game with his teenage daughter, Faith, who saw the original movies and the "Star Wars The Force Awakens" movie. After playing, she said, "This game was so fun to play. I love the design and the artwork and how they have designed the characters. When my dad and I played, our adventure was to help a group of people called the nomads search a crashed ship. We discovered that a secret item was hidden in a vault somewhere in the ship. We battled with some gang members who had heard about the secret vault and were also trying to find it.

"I played a solider and ace character. My soldier was good at fighting and super tough. The ace was sly and excellent with a blaster. She caught some people off guard in battle. Both characters were fun to play in different situations. This game is very interactive and makes you feel as though you are really a rebel running through a crashed ship looking for treasure. I can't wait for our next adventure!"

Needless to say, this is a quality product and worthy of its $30 price tag. It's hard to find anything wrong with it. Fantasy Flight Games has produced three other beginner box roleplaying games in the Star Wars universe all stressing a different aspect of the universe. Gamers might want to check out which one to purchase depending on interest. There is also additional content for the game available on the game publishers website. If roleplaying games and Star Wars are of interest, get this game now. Oh yeah, and may the force be with you.



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