Sunday, August 25, 2013

Armchair Review: Rocket Age

Rocket Age a love-letter to the era of pulp planetary romances. Radium-powered rocket ships are zooming humanity (and other alien races in the solar system) all around, with 1930s versions of the U.S.A., Britain, and France coming into conflict with the proto-Axis versions of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Aliens from Mars and Venus, and a rich tapestry of rocket age technology, expansionist policies, and interplanetary politics provide a fantastic backdrop for your planet-hopping adventures.

The Vortex system, which captured the neo-pulp feel of the newer adventures of Doctor Who (also by Cubicle 7), really reinforces the swiftness of action and the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants tone of the genre.

An example of the interior art -- a stylized map of the Rocket Age solar system.
I really enjoyed the meatiness of this book: the black & white art, which somehow gave modern era weight and gravitas to the classic alien and rocketship imagery from this well-known genre; the tour of the solar system, which gives the broad strokes of each planet as a mini-setting, along with locations and characters of note, and loads of plot hooks; the clearly laid out tables, the illustrations of planets and aliens to help GMs and players visualize the setting -- the love of the genre and the project is quite evident in the density of material in the Rocket Age RPG.

All in all, a fine RPG to add to the library of this pulp subgenre.

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