Steve Jackson’s (of GURPS, Munchkin, and Car Wars fame) Pyramid Magazine has posted a review of Under the Bed by Matthew Pook. It’s a very factual review and tells it like it is, warts and all. Pook is ambivalent about the amount of constant player input the game requires, which is totally understandable — I often think about that aspect of the game, as well — and he properly sees that it’s a serious challenge, but also a strength of the game.
Ben Lehman loves the game and he’s totally the target market for the game, so I’m satisfied with it. Pook is less forgiving but in all the right places. He correctly perceives that the game is hard to play but rewarding when it works out.
I do wish that I’d written more examples, but the manual was an experiment in purely procedural writing. That lesson’s already been applied elsewhere, though.
Shock: applies a lot of what I learned from Under the Bed in new ways: authority is very strictly assigned and subdivided into many types (Minutiæ, Protagonist, Antagonist, Shocks, and Issues) to guide the players in ways that Under the Bed doesn’t. It also reinforces its thematic direction more strongly than UtB. I happen to know that Pook owns a copy of Shock: so I’m hoping to see a review of that, too.