Star Crossed Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

Star Crossed - Bully Pulpit Games - $12

Game title: Star Crossed

Game description: In Star Crossed, you’ll craft characters who are powerfully attracted to each other, but have a compelling reason not to act on their feelings. Some of the things you’ll want your character to do are going to increase that attraction— and when that happens, you are going to pull a brick out from an increasingly shaky tower and place it on the top. If the tower falls, your characters act on their feelings! Will your love be doomed, triumphant, or something in-between? Find out in STAR CROSSED! Besides two players, this game requires a tumbling block tower and about two hours to play.

Overall
3.5
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

I’m fairly new to the world of single-session RPGs, but I’ve always been intrigued by them. Star Crossed is no exception! I first saw this title years ago while it was in early development, and have now gotten a chance to play the final product! With just the book, some pencils and paper, and a Jenga tower, you’re ready to embark on a quest of love that just wasn’t meant to be.

Pros

Thematic and full of tension

Jenga tower adds to theme

An RPG that plays in 2 hours

Cons

Subject matter may not be for everyone (but should be!)

Full Star Crossed Review

I’m fairly new to the world of single-session RPGs, but I’ve always been intrigued by them. Star Crossed is no exception! I first saw this title years ago while it was in early development, and have now gotten a chance to play the final product! With just the book, some pencils and paper, and a Jenga tower, you’re ready to embark on a quest of love that just wasn’t meant to be.

There’s a lot of tension in Star Crossed, and sometimes the subject matter can get a bit uncomfortable. Early on in the book it talks about discussing the subject matter beforehand, as well as playing with an X Card. Characters can be whatever you want them to be, but there will always be a Lead, who acts intentionally, and a Follow, that acts unintentionally.

The game is carried out over a number of rounds where the players take actions off their character sheet. Some actions, like speaking, require a player to rest their hand on a prepped Jenga tower that’s already had some blocks removed. Some actions require a player to remove a block and place it on top. This helps build up the energy of the game. All the while each player is building up an attraction score.

If the game ends and the tower doesn’t fall, the lovers never act upon their feelings and an epilogue is written to describe this. If the tower DOES fall then the lovers DO act on their feelings. Their accumulated attraction scores will dictate if things actually work out between them or not.

Star Crossed relies heavily on role-playing, and isn’t really for players who aren’t comfortable doing so. The core of it, though, is simple, elegant, and wholly thematic. What’s even better is that a full game plays out in around 2 hours, the whole time interesting and immersive.

The theme may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying Star Crossed does what it sets out to do in a spectacular fashion. I highly recommend picking it up. At $12 for the PDF (and the cost of a Jenga set) you can’t go wrong.

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