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Matt Snyder releases his new game for free

16 October, 2009
And what a frontpage it is.

And what a frontpage it is.

One of the new games I’ve been looking forward to, 44 – A Game of Automatic Fear, has been relased as a free PDF by its author Matt Snyder.

44 is a no-prep dystopian game with a built-in countdown mechanic that adds to the overall paranoia. Its default setting is 50s cold war with clunky technology and trenchcoats, but Snyder suggests that other settings work just as well.

The premise of 44 is that humanity is being taken over by machines/robots/androids in a government(?) conspiracy run by the mysterious “Section 44”. And as the game progresses that’s what actually happens. The player characters are slowly but steadily being replaced by Section 44’s robotic agents, or whatever flavour you decide your machines are in your game. It could just as easy be Invasion of the Body Snatchers plant people as it could be cyborgs or androids or clones.

Matt Snyder is of course the man behind the story game classic Dust Devils, and the less accessible but very interesting Nine Worlds. 44 is in many ways simpler, but still has that Snyder touch, which is hard to explain. It’s very structured freeform with plenty of space to think tactically. Impossible? Nah.

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