Archive | March, 2009

Billzilla

A Touch of Evil Board Game Review

Posted on March 31, 2009 by

Flying Frog Productions has only produced two games so far; so far — in my humble opinion — they have two winners. The First, Last Night on Earth, is a zombie survival exercise with real goals to achieve that put Flying Frog on the adventure gaming map. Their most recent title is A Touch of Evil, and fans of the Johnny Depp version of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow will find this game somehow familiar…

Players begin by each choosing one of eight characters to portray. Each character has a score of from one to five in four abilities: Spirit, Cunning, Combat and Honor. Players may increase these scores during the course of the game through a variety of means, and all four abilities will come in to play at some point. In addition, each character also has their own unique ability to give their player a particular advantage.

[...more]
Flames

New Exalted Adventure from White Wolf

Posted on March 30, 2009 by

Contagion. Plague. Survival.

Out in the Scavenger Lands life is difficult, and compassion can seem like a dangerously unaffordable luxury. But despite the propaganda you might hear in the Realm about the savagery of those beyond the Threshold, most of the folk who call the Confederation of Rivers their home consider themselves good people. But what happens when the imperative to survive challenges one’s moral commitment to one’s fellows? Sacrifices have to be made, but when do the needs of the many justify the losses of a few?

A story in the Storytelling Adventure System for Exalted.

Disease of an Evil Conscience is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

[...more]
Flames

Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. RPG Review

Posted on March 30, 2009 by

What It Is
Apocalypse Prevention, Inc (or API,) is an action-horror RPG set in a future plagued by monsters, magic, destruction, all the average faire of a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting. The namesake is the corporation who holds back all the above-mentioned things. Characters are agents, working to fight back the destruction of the planet. Pretty simple?

The game advertises itself as “action horror, with a twist of humor.”

Review by David A Hill Jr

[...more]
Flames

Argentum, Book One of the Violet War Trailer

Posted on March 29, 2009 by

Argentum is the first book for an urban fantasy series called the “Violet War.” Told in an online serial format by writer Monica Valentinelli, installments are readable online through www.violetwar.com.

[...more]
Jason Thorson

Cold Blooded Chillers 3 Comic Review

Posted on March 27, 2009 by

The third issue of Robert M. Heske’s Cold Blooded Chillers: Tales of Suburban Murder and Malice is a collection of three short graphic stories, all written by Heske and drawn by artists Adam Swiecki, Reno Maniquis, and Dirk Shearer. Cold Blooded Chillers is an homage to the horror serials and anthologies of yesteryear including E.C. Comics horror titles such as Tales from the Crypt, as well as television classics like The Twilight Zone. The difference is that the aforementioned examples occasionally had a tongue firmly planted in a cheek whereas this collection plays in the dark exclusively.

The book opens with a story called Shadow which is immediately engaging by way of its sophisticated and disturbing tone.

Review by Jason Thorson

[...more]
Flames

Pre-Order the Cthulhu Unbound anthology from Permuted Press

Posted on March 26, 2009 by

Imagine being free. Free from everything that defines you, that makes you easily recognizable as who you are. Welcome to a place where bleak noir cityscapes share a Technicolor sky with combat fighters, where you can find gunslingers from the Old West and a lost chapter from a literary classic, all with something in common: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. This is a place where the Crawling Chaos has to solve his own murder and the Old Ones come up against the Gods of Las Vegas, a place where the new player in London’s underground isn’t human and masked heroes go toe-to-tentacle with eldritch horrors. This is a Mythos collection unlike any other. This is Lovecraft in many colors, many guises. This is Cthulhu–Unbound!

Pre-Order your copy of Cthulhu Unbound today at Amazon.com.

[...more]
Flames

Hard Boiled Armies for D&D 4E

Posted on March 25, 2009 by

Right out of the box, Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition does a lot for combat on the personal scale, but when it comes to the broader field of battle—when things go macro—the tools to handle a clash of thousands just aren’t there.

Or are they? In Hard Boiled Armies, you’ll find an examination of how to take the existing tools in the game—with just a few additions and changes of perspective—to get right where you need to go for medium- and large-scale military conflicts. And by looking at these existing tools with new eyes, you’ll be able to add large scale battles to your game in a way that feels both fresh and yet completely familiar.

Hard Boiled Armies is available now at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

[...more]
Flames

Hunter: the Vigil RPG Review

Posted on March 25, 2009 by

White Wolf has a special place in my heart that goes both ways. It’s a classic tale of love and hate that dates back to the first edition of Vampire: the Masquerade I bought on a whim. As they dwindled down their successful runs only to reboot them, I found myself enjoying their releases less and less. I felt they were trying to reinvent their own wheel and, well, just couldn’t do it. I took on Hunter: the Vigil and hoped for the best.

This monstrous tome pushes four hundred pages and yet somehow manages to enrapture the reader. There are small bits off; however, this is an exceptional book. Let’s take a look at it. The layout of Hunter is typical to their new lines. A cropping of artwork throughout the book lines the upper border of the book while fading into a gray border that frames each page.

Review by Todd Cash

[...more]
Flames

Post Mortem Comic Studios at DriveThruComics

Posted on March 24, 2009 by

Post Mortem Comic Studios is based out of western North Carolina, joining authors from the Southern Horror Writers Association with talented artists spanning the world. Some of the titles available at DriveThruComics include:

Magic Eight Ball

A one-shot horror comic. Three teenagers test their fate in the words of a Magic Eight Ball when strange creatures threaten them.

Dorothy Rising

Hatfield, Arkansas becomes terrorized by a government experiment gone wrong. A swarm of mutant insects takes control of the wind and destroys everything in their path. A plague of funnel clouds begin to form and lay waste to the town or so the town thinks.

[...more]
Flames

Blue Dragon Plus Video Game Review

Posted on March 24, 2009 by

Blue Dragon Plus for the Nintendo DS is a sequel to Mistwalker’s console RPG Blue Dragon. This time around, the straight-up RPG action has been replaced with a real-time strategy mechanic but everything else, from the Dragon Ball-esque graphics to the big bad Shadows, has returned.

The original Blue Dragon was a hotly-anticipated title for the Xbox 360. Not only did it have an esteemed pedigree with the creator and composer of the Final Fantasy series onboard but the 360 was going through a bit of an RPG drought. Its release helped scratch an itch a lot of Xboxers had and was a decided “hand across the aisle” to the Japanese market who regarded the 360 as an American machine with American games.

Review by Jason Blair

[...more]
Flames

Spectrum Games releases Slasher Flick RPG

Posted on March 23, 2009 by

Spectrum Games is pleased to announce the release of Slasher Flick, the role-playing game that brings the thrills and chills of the “psycho killer” horror movies from the screen to your tabletop.

According to Cynthia Celeste Miller, “As with any of our games that emulate a particular genre or medium, Slasher Flick was designed to reflect every aspect of the source material. This isn’t a universal system. It was created specifically to feel like a slasher film in play. And I’m extremely confident that the game does exactly that. One of the most important keys to capturing the feel of the slasher movies was the implementation of something we call ‘kill scenes’. A kill scene begins when the killer appears in any given scene and ends when the character(s) present drops to below zero survival points (death) or gains a total of eight survival points (escape). Survival points are gained and lost by making crucial stat checks throughout the kill scene.

[...more]
Flames

Afraid Fiction Review

Posted on March 23, 2009 by

One word describes the first novel from author Jack Kilborn: relentless. Much like the works of Jim Butcher and David Morrell, Kilborn’s premiere work, AFRAID, is non-stop tension. Each section break, while short, somehow manages to ratchet up the suspense to the point that you wonder how much more you can take. You won’t want to put the book down once you start it and a small part of you will wonder what possessed you to pick it up in the first place. The story is a non-stop horror ride…once on, you can’t get off.

The story centers on Safe Haven, Wisconsin, a small town that prefers its privacy over even economic depression. Snowbirds flee south for the winter, leaving the 900+ full-time residents to their quiet, peaceful place of fishing and relaxation. That is, until what appears to be a helicopter crash ignites a world of trouble for every one of the town’s 900 inhabitants.

Review by Joe Rixman

[...more]
Flames

Exile Game Studio Licensed Ubiquity to Triple Ace Games

Posted on March 22, 2009 by

Exile Game Studio licensed the Ubiquity Roleplaying System to Triple Ace Games (TAG) for their Daring Tales of Adventure (DTA) series.

“We’ve developed a reputation for high quality products and we intend to keep our sights aiming ever higher.” said Robin Elliott, TAG’s Production Director. “The DTAs may be a conversion, but that doesn’t mean we’ll take shortcuts. Each adventure is getting as much attention to detail as the originals.”

Triple Ace Games is putting the final touches on several manuscripts of its DTA line and expects to have this exciting new series of adventures completed by the summer of 2009.

[...more]
Flames

One Live Beast 1.1 Comic Review

Posted on March 20, 2009 by

The story is about a young man living in a police state. The internet has become the chief propaganda tool of the government, and camera-like tentacles are everywhere to monitor citizens. Broad skyscrapers dominate the skyline with propaganda dominating advertising spaces.

Current events make up the backdrop of the story as well. In One Live Beast, rising gas prices, terrorism, and corrupt business practices contribute to the rise of the police state. All of these lead to Christopher’s rise as a hero, as his attempt to rebel against the police state inadvertently leads to him gaining his powers.

Review by John Kennedy

[...more]
Flames

Monstrous: 20 Tales of Giant Creature Terror

Posted on March 19, 2009 by

Move over King Kong, there are new monsters in town!

Giant beetles, towering crustaceans, gargantuan felines and massive underwater beasts, to name just a few. Think you’ve got what it takes to survive their attacks? Then open this baby up, and join today’s hottest authors as they show us the true power of Mother Nature’s creatures. With enough fangs, pincers and blood to keep you up all night, we promise you won’t look at creepy crawlies the same way again.

Monstrous is available now at Amazon.com.

[...more]
Monica Valentinelli

Angel Of Death Brings Blood to Your Door at Crackle.com

Posted on March 18, 2009 by

It’s no secret I’m a fan of the Hellboy franchise, so when I found out that Doug Jones (Abe Sapien) was acting in a new series called Angel Of Death, I was pretty excited about it. Then I found out that the series is not your full-length, standard fare — they’re webisodes offered for free on www.crackle.com, a venture by entertainment giant Sony.

Created by comic industry veteran Ed Brubaker, Angel Of Death is a series starring Zoe Bell. Zoe plays a character named “Eve,” a brutal assassin who starts off the series with very little humanity. The first episode introduces us to her deadly world — a world so messed up that she accidentally kills a little girl. The series explores Zoe’s character in full detail, to explore whether or not she’s truly an assassin without a conscious. Instead of following orders from her boss “aka lover” Graham, she’s gone renegade to do the bidding of a very unhappy ghost. Does her victim haunt her? Or did the knife that was stuck in Zoe’s brain have some kind of an effect on her?

[...more]
Flames

Ergo Proxy Anime Review

Posted on March 18, 2009 by

Anime has come a long way since Astroboy and Voltron, as is evidenced by even the merest glimpse of Ergo Proxy. This visual delight, though perhaps not the latest, is – in this reviewer’s opinion – one of the greatest anime series to come out in recent history.

Delightfully dark, Ergo Proxy revolves around two main characters: Re-l Mayer and Vincent Law. Re-l, privileged Citizen and Security Bureau member of the post-apocalyptic eden-dome of Romdo, becomes rapidly obsessed with a bizarre series of murders committed by AutoReiv androids.

Review by Aly Condon

[...more]
Flames

Pre-Order Dancing on the Head of a Pin by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Posted on March 17, 2009 by

Dancing on the Head of a Pin is the second installment in Thomas E. Sniegoski’s compelling urban fantasy mystery series, which follows the adventures of Remy Chandler, once known as the Angel Remiel who chose to renounce heaven and live on earth.

Dancing on the Head of a Pin picks up where A Kiss Before the Apocalypse left off. As Remy becomes drawn to cases with a dark supernatural bent he finds it difficult to distance himself from his past. When the theft of priceless ancient weaponry threatens all of humanity, Remy finds himself at odds with the Fallen Angels, who want to use the weapons to build their power, and the Nomads, who have far darker intentions. Will Remy’s search leave even an immortal such as he to the brink of death?

Pre-Order Dancing on the Head of a Pin at Amazon.com.

[...more]
Flames

Under the Skin (Hunter) RPG Review

Posted on March 17, 2009 by

Under the Skin is the first adventure using the Storyteller Adventure System that I’ve read, so I found myself looking forward to reading it. Adventures are a tricky bag, especially to a setting as thick as White Wolf’s World of Darkness. I say they are tricky mainly because there always exists the tendency for them to railroad players in an attempt to make sense of the scripted adventure. Some games find a way around this by theorizing alternate endings or sometimes not even offering a true ending (though few do the latter). This adventure makes little effort in offering a free-form style, which we’ll discuss later in the review.

Review by Todd Cash

[...more]
Flames

Fat Dragon Games to publish Call of Cthulhu cardstock terrain sets

Posted on March 17, 2009 by

Fat Dragon Games is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Chaosium to create 3D gaming terrain sets for the Call of Cthulhu role playing game. These cardstock terrain sets will feature some of the best known locations of the Cthulhu mythos, complete with gaming stats using the Basic Roleplaying system.

“It is an incredible privilege to bring these iconic settings to life for Call of Cthulhu fans,” said Tom Tullis, owner and lead designer of Fat Dragon Games. “Call of Cthulhu is one of my all time favorite RPGs, and I look forward to working with the legendary creative minds at Chaosium on these model sets.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing Call of Cthulhu terrain from our friends at Fat Dragon Games. I’ve always wanted to own a little piece of Innsmouth. Now I can!” said Dustin Wright of Chaosium Inc.

[...more]

11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

    Monthly Newsletter Sign Up

    join our monthly mailing list
    * indicates required

    The Devil’s Night WoD SAS

    Free Devil's Night | White Wolf

    Become a Fan on Facebook!

    Reviews Wanted!

    The new Review Guidelines have been posted on the Flames Rising website. We are currently seeking a few good reviewers to help us expand our collection of horror and dark fantasy reviews. RPGs, fiction, movies, video games and more are all welcome on the site...

    What do you get out of it?

    Beyond helping out fellow Flames Rising readers by letting them know what you think of these products, we're giving away some pretty cool stuff. Regular Reviewers can earn free products to review, which is their to keep after the review is submitted to the site.

    Note: We are especially looking for folks interested in reviewing eBooks (both Fiction & Comics). We have lots of great titles in digital format and even get advance copies sometimes.

    Use the Contact Page to submit reviews or let us know if you have any questions.