Teens in Space, the roleplaying game review for young space adventurers

Teens in Space, the roleplaying game review for young space adventurers
We close our analysis of the Powered by Kids on Bikes products, which arrived in Italy thanks to Need Games, with Teens in Space which, as can be easily understood, transports the light and fast game system of Kids on Bikes into an ecosystem of adventures around for space. If Kids on Bikes is the progenitor of this product line, and Kids on Brooms a pleasant Harry Potter themed variation, Teens in Space takes it one step further and offers something new compared to what is seen in the other RPGs in the line.

It does it mainly from a regulatory point of view, adding some elements in the creation of the adventure and the characters, resulting in a more different version and with a more marked identity towards the trio of products. The idea is to re-propose space operas, but also more cyberpunk atmospheres (so much so that among the options for the character there are also cybernetic grafts) and in general range on many aspects of science fiction and all kinds of it. connected.

Even if, as mentioned for Kids on Brooms, the regulation and in general the tone of these products is borrowed from the parent game, therefore as regards the game system (with the differences that we will illustrate to you in short) and in general the attention put into explaining how to deal with the issues of inclusiveness, we refer you once again to the review of Kids on Bikes.

Teens in Space | review

The first thing to do in Teens in Space is to create the ship with which the heroes will travel around space. A ship that has its own card, made up of weapons, internal structures and all the building elements that come to mind. Thinking about the ship, obviously always through collective creation, serves very effectively to understand the tone of the adventure and what types of events will happen during the game. Different classes and types of ships will be at the center of the game force of very different stories, from smuggling to bounty hunting, through exploration, escort or even war.

An extremely brilliant idea, which serves to accelerate the already very short times of creation of the game group, going to immediately define what will be the style of play and, consequently, the characters. Also in this case the creation system is the one borrowed from Kids on Bikes, very fast and very free to allow each player to literally impersonate the hero he wants. Nice is the gem of not relegating the role of teenager (the "Teens" of the title) only to 13-19 but, with a very elegant and refined excuse explicitly explained in the manual, to suggest that for some alien races the concept of adolescence may not exist, or be very different from the human equivalent.

As for the game system, ship combat is solved in a very simple way. Always a great gripe of similar role-playing games, see Starfinder which, as refined and layered as it makes the dynamics of space warfare more tedious than fun, Teens in Space fully incorporates the same system of challenges as the normal tests to solve the space fighting.

The ship, as we said, has a card, and she will be the protagonist of the tests in question, which are resolved with the same dynamics as Kids on Bikes. Characters can spend Adversity Counters to improve the test, symbolizing intervention on the instruments, a risky maneuver by the pilot, or any other similar action. There is also a system, called Thermal Counter, whereby some actions can push the limits of the ship too far, creating failures and other problems to be taken into consideration during the most reckless maneuvers.

The thing curious about Teens in Space is that, despite the additional elements inserted for the creation of the story, in reality it is paradoxically the least full-bodied manual of all. On the 125 pages of the book, almost exactly half are composed of tables. Cards, ship and character upgrades, detailed rules and narrative descriptions of over 30 alien species and character archetypes.

Game suitable for…

Teens in Space is suitable for older players young people, for those looking in general for a malleable and lean system to adapt to various types of adventures and ideas. The dynamics of the creation of the spaceship makes it perfect for those who want to start a campaign or a one shot inspired by Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Mass Effect, not disdaining some forays into other types of science fiction stories.

Conclusions

Teens in Space is very balanced. Session zero slows down slightly due to the creation of the spaceship, but you start playing quickly due to the absence of the element of magic for example or the character with powers to control as a group (the least successful element of Kids on Bikes, in the opinion of the writer), while it will be necessary to check the manual often during the first games to look for the effects of the upgrades or the specifics of the alien race being played.



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