All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Author: All Bruno III, CJ Carella, Richard Dakan, Jack Emmert, M. Alexander Jurkat and George Vasilakos
Company/Publisher: Eden Studios, Inc.
Line: All Flesh Must Be Eateb
Page count: 227
SKU: EDN 8000
Playtest Review by Derek Guder on 02/14/00.
Genre tags: Fantasy Science_fiction Modern_day Historical Horror Comedy Anime Conspiracy Post-apocalypse Old_West Generic
A while back I reviewed the playtest version of a fun game called All Flesh Must Be Eaten from Eden Studios. What seemed a rather limited premise upon which to found an entire game line turned out to be an amazingly interesting idea for a whole wide genre of games.
Since the actual content of the book has changed little since my earlier review, so I refer those who want a more in-depth review of the product there. I am going to limit myself to a brief summary of the book and an evaluation of the appearance and production value of the book. Readers should probably be warned that I am writing this book as much to get the name of the game (All Flesh Must Be Eaten!) out there as much as anything else. I want to do everything I can to get something with my name on it to sell - it's a natural reaction.
The book contains really anything that would be necessary for almost any subgenre of zombie films. It contains character creation and the mechanics for CJ Carella's Unisystem (the one that Eden Studios also uses for their other game WitchCraft, making both of them fully and easily compatable) as well as a wealth of information on zombies themselves. While the Unisystem is much more detailed and complicated than is my usual taste, it fulfills it role well enough. The system for the zombies themselves, however, is a truly hilarious read (worth flipping through even if you don't buy the book) as well as very simple and easy to remember, and it can be used for other systems with minimal effort as well.
The crowning achievement of the game, however, and the part that really sold me on it, is entirely within the last 50 pages or so, in the sample settings. The eleven zombie worlds presented all have a good idea at their core and a few are down-right brilliant. My only real problem with the book is that there isn't more space like the brilliant ideas of Rebirth Into Death or Until the Ending of the World. Thankfully, Eden Studios is planning to continue supporting the line - Enter the Zombie, the frst supplement, is in playtest now.
The appearance of the book itself has changed radically since playtest. The addition of almost all of the art gives the book a different feel. Most of the art (especially most of the good art) was created by the wonderful Mr. Shy and George Vasilakos (the pair that also created the game). The chapter openings in particular, are particularly disturbing and well done. On the whole, things are laid out well and are easy to find (with the exception of the success level charts and other tables that are really very useful during gameplay). The writing is also quite well done, and often spiced with a sense of humor that makes it an enjoyable read.
Oh, and did I mention it's hardcover? Did I mention I have a weakness for hardcover books? Especially ones that look like they're bound in blistering human flesh.
So my final recommendation? Surprisingly enough, I would say that those interested should pick it up in the store and flip through it. I've found that it can be bent and twisted in a wide range of possible settings and games, but its generic push may not be to everyone's taste., and the price tag is a bit more than I like, but I think it's worth it. All Flesh Must Be Eaten is a wonderful game with more possibility that you would think at first glance, it's more than worth checking out.
Style: 4 (Classy and well done)