Review: Cake Walk
Fabled Environments is at it again. I love Charles Whites maps and most anyone that sees will tell you the same. It’s just hard to deny their quality. My only wish would be that they were in color. As to date everything they have done has hit a chord with me. Now they seem to be setting a new trend of putting out great short adventures. I loved Brain Slugs from Planet X. It touched on my love for the old style B rated campy classics. Mind you not today’s Sci Fi Channel B rated movies but the old vintage classics. So here we go. Fabled Environments new product, Cake Walk.
Fearsome Critters Cake Walk By John Beattie
As I opened this PDF the artwork caught my eye. This art is a step up from the Brain Slugs and the entire PDF is in color. Compared to Brain Slugs where they did only had a color cover. So once I got in I saw that Jordan Peacock did the layout,illustrations and paper models and additional material.
I was happy to see this as I love what he’s done with Interface Zero.
I loved the crumpled page with a drink ring on it for the page layout. It gave some nice added character to what proved to be a whimsical title and feel I got from the game. The map with the crumpled page layout feels as if you picked it right up off the factory floor. And look at that.. It’s in color! Overall the main map makes a great player handout. with the factory hours and company logo on it.. overall just a nice appearance.
Much like Brain Slugs from Planet X, Fearsome Critters sets aside the first few pages for laying out the setting of this adventure. This is a modern world much like our own .. with a few supernatural twists. Creatures of legend and myth exist all around us. And its your job to keep them from being a nuisance to the public. Your party is an animal control team ! I loved this concept from go. My mind was racing with all the places I could take a game after a cool one shot intro into the setting. Granted maybe not a long-term campaign of games. But a short mini campaign of animal rescue jobs immediately came to mind. More on that Later!
The character creation section provides you with five NPC’s and a full-color blank character sheet. As well as character creation rules if you’d like to make your own PC. It also provides a few pieces of common animal control style equipment to outfit the players. The NPC’s each are nicely well-rounded with some fun hindrances and backgrounds to bring into play for groups that enjoy Roleplay.
The Adventure section is the next portion of the book and provides you with a nice map and details of the adventure area. The GM is provided with a nice bit of flavor for each of the location but nothing solid as far as set encounters. This is fine and preferable in the case of this Adventure. Your players are already going to be playing this session in a well-defined area. Let them go in and get things done! Running this any other way would really make your players feel like they were being railroaded. By focusing on the descriptions of each of the locations and a bit of flavor you are provided with far more useful information than older text block style adventures. The wrap up portion of Cake Walk covers both good and bad outcome for the story.
BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!
Fable Environments delivers again with a ton of extra content in just a few pages of PDF. If you and your players enjoy Cake Walk. And would like to go on a further Fearsome Critters round ups they have been more than happy to help. There is a brief further description of what this world is like and line you up with a few very good adventure seeds to pit your players against. And if that is not enough. We get Tri-Fold Figures. Enough for each of the NPC’s and all of the critters from Cake Walks adventure. They also provide you with Folding Paper Models. And in True Fabled Environments fashion they add layers in so that each of the trucks provides come in various colors and conditions. This gives you plenty of vehicles for many different encounters. Like many of you out there, versatility and reuse are two of my key factors in deciding if I want to buy a product. Cake Walk also comes with some creature crates and a huge stack of Golden Delight Cakes ! As well as some fun colorful Golden Delight Favor tokens if you decide to play more than one session and had a positive outcome with the creatures encountered in that session.
This is a lot of content jammed into 30+ pages of PDF for the right price. $7.50 and right now its on sale for $5 bucks. The adventure is sandbox style and a great launching point for further games or a good stand alone or con game. It’s also set at introductory level so beginners can hop right in.
The Con’s on this one would be few. But if you’re a newer Game Master and not use to sandbox play. This would prove a difficult game to run.
With cakewalk getting its ENnie Award Nomination I decided it was the perfect time to update this review and give it my ranking. As noted above in my Pro and Con section this was a solid project and a great step forward and a new benchmark from the Fabled Environment team. I look forward to reviewing other projects to come.
Would I recommend it ?
This one is simply a yes. Between Paper-craft models and the additional ideas to launch this one shot into several additional games. The cost to value and quality makes this a solid buy.
You can get it here