Pizza and gaming go together constantly, so it's no surprise that someone made a game revolving around eating pizza.  New York Slice from Bezier Games lets 2-6 players compete in collecting and eating slices of pizza and gathering Specials to score the most points and win the game.

As one would expect, the main components are slices of pizza.  Each type of pizza has a point value on it that matches its toppings.  Some slices also have pepperoni (which can be eaten for points) and anchovies (which have a negative value).  There are also Today's Special cards, which give points for certain conditions -- and can even make anchovies valuable!
Each turn the Slicer selects eleven random slices of pizza, then divides them into a number of sections equal to the number of players; the Slicer also selects a Today's Special card and puts that with one section.  Starting with the player to the left of the Slicer and going clockwise, each player chooses all the slices in each section, plus the Today's Special card that's with a section.  After everyone's chosen their pizza, the next player clockwise becomes the new Slicer.
After all the pizza is gone, players add up their scores.  The player with the largest number of slices worth a certain point value get that many points; so having the most eight-point slices gets the player eight points.  If there's a tie, no one gets the points.  Players can eat slices with pepperoni, getting one point for each pepperoni on each slice -- but those slices can't be used for their point values.  And lots of Today's Specials give points (or cost other players points).  When all the points are added up, whoever has the most points wins.

New York Slice is simple and fun.  It's hard not getting hungry looking at the photograph-quality slices the players will be staring at, handling, and pretending to eat during the game.  Having the Slicer choose last adds an interesting strategy element, as everyone gets chance to collect the "good" combinations before the Slicer can get to them.  Specials add a random element that doesn't necessarily make or break the game, and it can be tricky to decide whether or not to chow down on the pepperoni slices or keep them for points.  New York Slice manages to make pizza even more of a game night.

Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch



The late Aaron Allston ran a Champions role-playing game (RPG) campaign that lasted for 20 years.  Set in Earth AU, this campaign had humble beginnings (one hero had to steal a bus to get to the first adventure) and grew to encompass three superhero-teams, a technologically advanced world and some literal world-rebuilding.  Strike Force provides the history and statistics for much of this extensive adventure -- but the main value comes from providing valuable information for the game master (GM) on how to run a campaign.

Yes, Strike Force has the details for the main heroes of the Strike Force team, plus villains, other important characters, and a timeline for the campaign.  But Allston provided more by letting know other GMs know what went into the behind-the-scenes preparation and work to make the game succeed.  It starts with such elements as: discussing with players what they want to get out of the game; the game world's attitude towards superheroes; and what role killing plays with the characters.  Blue books were used, often extensively, for players to figure out what their characters were up to that didn't quite fit in with the adventures.  Allason provides a nice 10-part list of ways to ruin a campaign.  And there's emulation of Hollywood and comic books in creating the world, plus change to keep things fresh and interesting for both the players and GM.  And there's a breakdown of the assorted types of players and what will make them happy.

The result is that Strike Force works as a guide not just for superhero RPGs but also for any GM hoping to provide a great campaign (or individual game, though there's a long view taken through much of this) for the players.  The strength of this work isn't in using the characters here or copying the twists and turns, but in GMs getting insight from their players and tailoring their campaign to make everybody happy and coming back for more.  With that in mind, Strike Force is a very valuable tool for the GM.

Overall grade: A
Reviewed by James Lynch