Archive | Reviews

Night’s Black Agents RPG Review

Posted on November 5, 2012 by

Protagonists cut off from the real world. Men and women forced into violence to survive. Agents of powers that skulk in shadow. Are they spies or vampires? Both types of characters share a startling amount of similarities. The two genres seem tailor made for each other. Ken Hite brings them together in his newest RPG, Night’s Black Agents. But be aware, it’s not vampire spies. It’s spies vs. vampires.While playing vampires in RPGs has been extremely popular over the past 20 years or so, this one is about putting stakes in hearts and walking away while the bloodsucker burns in the sun.

The PDF is full color and laid out in a very modern style. The game includes several sidebar callouts explaining why certain rules work certain ways as well as giving examples of what happened during playtesting.

[...more]

Road of the Dead (Pathfinder) RPG Review

Posted on October 26, 2012 by

This adventure is located in Raging Swan’s Lonely Coast campaign setting but, as it deals with remnants of a far-distant past just about everybody has forgotten about, it can be placed in a suitable location in your own campaign world with minimal effort. Before getting into the adventure, however, there is a very clear explanation of how encounters are set out showing you exactly where to find each item of information you might need whilst running it. A lot of people lay encounters out clearly, but actually explaining your methods in advance is a nice touch. Traps and monster stat blocks are similarly laid out in detail, and this is followed by an overview of the Lonely Coast, to enable you to establish the adventure’s location easily, complete with a good map.

[...more]

Frankenweenie Movie Review

Posted on October 24, 2012 by

What’s black and white and has Tim Burton written all over it? While I’m sure no other movie reviewer has dropped that line, what I am positive about is that Frankenweenie is a new Halloween favorite created by spooky director/writer/producer/artist Tim Burton.

Frankenweenie is based on a short film Tim Burton produced in 1984. The film, which is readily available online and as an extra on some versions of The Nightmare Before Christmas, is part of the Disney catalog. You can watch the original Frankenweenie on Slate.com. A family film, Frankenweenie has a full cast of characters who live (and lurk) in the town of New Holland.

[...more]

Conspiracy X 2.0 RPG Review

Posted on October 19, 2012 by

The 90’s were a dark time in fiction. Conspiracies abounded everywhere. The end of the world was near. Genre television was abuzz with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files and dozens of shows of a similar nature. RPGs went through their own dark period as well thanks to the World of Darkness. Many games set their PCs as regular people who stumble into a world where the supernatural was real and tabloid headlines were prophets. But only one put the unmarked helicopters in their control. Conspiracy X offered a world where aliens have sinister plans for humanity. The most recent edition recently held a Kickstarter to continue the line.

[...more]

Citadels Of The Lost Review

Posted on October 12, 2012 by

Citadels of the Lost is Book Two in The Annals of Drakis series by Tracy Hickman. A veteran author, Hickman explores a new fantasy world where the opposites of magic provide power (and a lack thereof) to varying races; humans, elves, dragons, dwarves, goblins, chimerians, manticores, etc. The elves rule the dreaded Rhonas Empire with an iron fist — and slavery by use of their magical source dubbed the “Aether.”

[...more]

Hotel Transylvania Movie Review

Posted on October 11, 2012 by

Hotel Transylvania is a computer animated comedy produced by Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures. Dracula (Adam Sandler) built the hotel as a safe haven for monsters looking to get away from the dangers of the human world. He has invited all of his friends to the hotel to help him celebrate his daughter Mavis’ (Selena Gomez) 118th birthday which also happens to be the day he must fulfill a promise to her. On her 118th birthday she can finally leave the hotel to explore the world outside on her own. Of course, Drac has a plan to ensure she will come to fear humans and will stay in the safety of the hotel forever.

[...more]

Curse of the Sickled Hand (Pathfinder RPG) Review

Posted on October 10, 2012 by


Do not be deluded by terms like ‘basic’ and ‘introductory’… this adventure promises full-bore excitement, well-resourced and smooth to run, no matter whether players or GM are novices or experienced. It takes place in a wilderness area near to a rural village called Gafolweed, which can be placed anywhere suitable in your campaign world; those who have played the adventure Fangs from the Past may recognise some NPCs and locations, but it is not necessary to have done so to get full enjoyment from this scenario.

[...more]

Primeval RPG Review

Posted on October 9, 2012 by

Primeval is a new licensed setting from Cubicle 7 Entertainment that uses the same engine as their Doctor Who line of games. For those unclear about the television show, it centers around a group of people who investigate anomalies, which are rips that permit treacherous travel between points in time. The primary focus for the setting are anomalies that stretch back to prehistoric times, as they are the most common. The rips actually can go to anywhen though, opening up quite a bit of sandbox for a game, which is really what this review is about.

[...more]

We Are the Night Movie Review

Posted on October 8, 2012 by

We Are the Night is a German horror film about a young woman named Lena (Karoline Herfurth) living a lonely life of petty-crime on the streets of Berlin. Lena draws the attention of police detective Tom (Max Riemelt) while picking the pocket of a pimp that local law enforcement was keeping an eye on. Not surprisingly the pair finds themselves attracted to each other. When Lena sneaks into a rave she is spotted by Louise (Nina Hoss), the leader of a pack of female vampires, who immediately falls in love with Lena because she reminds the 250-year old vampire of her own creator (who died 150 years before).

[...more]

Dredd Movie Review

Posted on October 5, 2012 by

To properly review Dredd, I should share with you a couple of important niggly bits. First, we saw Dredd in the old-fashioned version, the two-dimensional format. Second, I haven’t read all the comic books so I’m not as well learned as others might be. Yes, yes I know. This is awful of me, to be sure, but he’s on my pile of “have to read soon.”

Going into the theater, I had heard the reviews. Flat characters. Boring storyline. Not much better than the original. Then, I skimmed comments and anecdotes from people I consider to be professionals. “Don’t listen to the critics,” they said. “Go see it. It’s what a comic book movie should be.”

[...more]

Hack/Slash Issue #18 Review

Posted on October 3, 2012 by

The Case of the Killer and the Questing KingHack/Slash Issue #18 dives into a character we haven’t seen very often — Cat Curio. The stand-alone story, dubbed “The Case of the Killer and the Questing King,” was written by James Lowder. This issue marks his writing debut for the series he typically edits.

Who is Cat Curio? Cat was first introduced as a little girl in Hack/Slash: The Series #23. After surviving her slasher encounter with Samhain, she was in a coma for many years, and is now an adult. That time lost means that she errs on the side of naivete and has some amount of emotional immaturity. This story and the alternate cover, which where done by Matt Merhoff, highlight her Nancy Drew-like tendencies when she falls into an oh-so-easy manipulative trap set by her “hero,” a super spy (and merchant) named Brendon Mannix Joyce.

[...more]

Lenore: Swirlies Review

Posted on September 28, 2012 by

“Everyone’s favorite cute little dead girl is showcased in all her morbid glory in this all-new collection of the timeless comic strip from Roman Dirge! Return once against to the dark, surreal world of Lenore, the girl with a knack for unintentional mayhem and occasional wanton destruction in this fourth volume that includes the extremely rare #13, beautifully and painstakingly illustrated by creator Roman Dirge himself.”

They say that good things come to those who wait, so you better believe that this book is pretty damn good when it takes 5 years to come out. Collecting the rare #13 of Lenore Vol. 1 and issues #1 – #3 of Vol. 2, this book is a perfect starting point for someone who is new to Lenore.

[...more]

Blood Sorcery Review

Posted on September 27, 2012 by

Blood Sorcery lures us back to the beginning of Vampire the Requiem and takes a long look at one of the most interesting aspects of the game. While blood sorcery has always been “good” it was probably not as well developed as it could have been in hindsight. The Storytelling system has matured and now Requiem is benefiting from years of experience with a revamp of blood sorcery, an alternative approach to the system and a plethora of interesting additions to your chronicles. Coming in at just under 70 pages of content this is one of the best new books available to fans of Vampire the Requiem.

[...more]

Riven Graphic Novel Review

Posted on September 26, 2012 by

“Katya has been in a coma for five years, and when she awakes, everything has changed. Now she is a gorgeous teenager with a mysterious, gruesome past, becoming aware of a growing, terrifying power inside her body, triggered by the touch of the full moon, eager to break free . . . Can Katy solve the mystery of her blood-drenched nightmares before they become reality?”

Okay, seriously, WOW! When I read the solicit on this book, I knew to expect something good, but I didn’t know it was going to be this good. This book has the words “Turn me into a movie” written all over it.

[...more]

ParaNorman Movie Review

Posted on September 25, 2012 by

ParaNorman is a horribly delightful stop-motion animated film about a young boy who has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. Growing up is already is a rough process and much like Cole Sear from The Sixth Sense Norman’s abilities do not make life any easier. Unlike Cole, Norman has been more open about what he sees which makes him the target of fear and ridicule in the small town of Blithe Hollow. Norman does not know it but he is not the first resident of this witch-obsessed town to have his gifts and he has a very important role to fill.

[...more]

Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep Review

Posted on September 20, 2012 by

Every gamer loves game night. We all gather around the game table with snacks and our beverage of choice ready to roll some dice and tell a story together. There is something magical about the tale that unfolds from a collaborative storytelling experience (also known as playing a roleplaying game) and the game master is the lynch pin to that process. It seems so effortless on the player’s side of the game screen but good game preparations are necessary to create that effect at the game table.

Game prep is not an intuitive process for most of us and there are very few resources out there for game masters wishing to learn it. Fortunately Phil Vecchione has come to our rescue with Never Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep his newest book published by Engine Publishing.

[...more]

Deadworld: War of the Dead Review

Posted on September 18, 2012 by

Holy $*!+! That about sums up what just happened at the end of this GORE-Geous and ARGH-Mazing book. Collecting the mini series, that was showcased during Deadworld Month in August from IDW, this book captures the same spirit as what came before, and leads readers into the future of this Dead’verse.

The artwork by Makkonen is beautiful. I said it when I read Slaughterhouse, and I will say it again, Sami’s style is so perfect for this series. His character designs have a very creepy edge to them, placed into his dark backgrounds and my eyes just melt with joy.

[...more]

Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Review

Posted on September 17, 2012 by

Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places: Creatures, NPCs, Items, Places and Adventure Hooks for any fantasy system is not only an impressively long title it is also the creation of writer Benjamin Gerber, egg-lobbing world traveler, lover of zombies and game writer. Throw in some bits about IT, sock puppets and cats on fire and you have a writer’s bio that makes me grin from ear to ear.

EPP (for short) is a system independent sourcebook of inspirational material for game masters running fantasy roleplaying games.

[...more]

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Book 2: The Chosen Review

Posted on September 14, 2012 by

The Horsemen are back, and you better be strapped in for what is about to go down. Book 2 is a balls to the wall non-stop thrill ride that is going to punch you in the face and not look back. Following the events of the first book, Helldiver, The Chosen shows the rest of the formation of the group that will save Earth from its impending doom. You would think that the visuals could not get any better than they were before, but they did. Each page is alive with such vibrant color. The art by Bisley is so GORE-Geous. His character designs are flat-out jaw dropping, and the amount of detail in each panel is stunning. There is no way in Hell (pun intended) that this book could look any better. His designs for the Horsemen alone, left a craving in this decapitated head for posters, t-shirts and so much more.

[...more]

Trail of Cthulhu: The Book of the Smoke Review

Posted on September 7, 2012 by

The Book of the Smoke is an oddity. The intentional use would be as an in-game prop for any setting where an occult London would be researched; however, it is best suited for Trail of Cthulhu, particularly the Bookhounds of London (a great read, by the way).

My initial impression of the book was lackluster. The cover is not eye-catching and doesn’t look right for a book from the intended era. The artwork, maps, and photography inside do seem to belong with such a tome though. The layout (single column) strikes the look of a journal. While the end result is fitting, it still proves dull upon examination.

[...more]

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Click Here to Sign Up for FlamesRising.com's Weekly Newsletter.

You will receive horror and dark fantasy updates, news, and more once a week!


11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

    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.

    The Devil’s Night WoD SAS

    Free Devil's Night | White Wolf