Since A Cool and Lonely Courage was in Beta when we tested it we are not doing a full review since there will be changes made to the released version. Here are our thoughts and reviews of the game.
Overall, I think the concept of the game is pretty interesting. I hadn’t heard the story of the SOE ever before, so that was interesting to learn about it. I think the free form format where it is driven more by character dialogue and improv make it a fun game to play. Grappling with a concept as heavy as interrogation and torture during WWII is a tough needle to thread, but I think the game treats the subject with respect.
The learning curve is about as steep as your improv skills and commitment to the scene. It definitely isn’t for everyone. If you are will to commit to what is going on and not jump out of the scene because you “mess up,” the game is faster and easier to learn, but that is definitely a knee jerk reaction to overcome.
Character creation is really simple. I don’t know that there is anything I would add to this except for developing a character sheet. I understand trying to make it as simple as possible in terms of materials, but definitely provide that. I may be biased coming from Flying Circus where we had like 3 character sheets, but I think every game should have a character sheet if you have to provide anything more than a character name.
Like I said about the learning curve, the game play is as good as the player’s commitment to the scene. If they are willing to really engage and not pull out and play through moments of being uncomfortable, it is a worthwhile game. Unlike other games where you can make a sarcastic comment or joke about doing something, those actions will shatter this game and ruin it. Definitely stay engaged for it.
I would recommend adding a list of french cities or maybe a map. Being able to have specific places to cite would make it much easier to immerse yourself in the game. I was hesitant to say a specific place because I don’t know French geography. Also, perhaps a list of typical places in a French town. That may make me sound like I’m from a different planet and just learning what cities have to offer, but I found myself defaulting to “the cafe” all the time. Just a thought.
The cost is where I think I have a little bit of an issue. For a game that is only about 50 pages, I don’t think you get $18 worth. I recognize that research went into it and it is a passion project, but I don’t see $18 worth of material. With that in mind, I can’t imagine myself really playing this game again. It isn’t a bad game, I think it just hits a niche market, those interested in WWII. I’d lower it to $10 or $15 at the most for a digital copy.
Overall, I think the game is pretty fun and would be a great way to spend an afternoon in these quarantine times especially. A few updates could be made like a character sheet and list of cities, but yeah. It’s a game.
Want to learn how to play A Cool and Lonely Courage? Join the Roll Playing Guys as we delve into 1940s France in our own homebrew campaign