Posts Tagged ‘ KJC Games ’

It’s a Crime (Play By Email Game Review)

Update: A representative of KJC games found this post and contacted me about the issues listed here. I’m leaving this post as it is for now, but expect further updates to it.
Several months ago, I talked about experimenting with Play By Email games. I’ve since tried one more: It’s a Crime by KJC Games. Unfortunately, this is going to be a short review.

It’s a Crime, apparently like KJC’s other games, fills a space in between the strategic and role-playing extremes that I tried earlier. A basic description of moves makes it sound like it’s based strictly on a set of rules. This one, for example, features gangs trying to gain power in a 50×100 city grid. You recruit new members, scout or rob nearby areas, and attack new spaces by specifying the exact mix of members to send into battle. However, there’s a lot of chance to the results, and while the game provides guidelines, the exact “dice rolls” are secret. You can never be sure whether an order will succeed or fail, and the consequences (such as losing members or finding inexpensive drugs) are unpredictable. The results are given with lots of flavor text to explain how the situation went down.

There are things I like about pure strategy and about theme-heavy role-playing, but I’m not sure whether this mix works for me or not. I do like the online entry system, though, which lets you see graphical reports and guides you through creating orders. (It’s confusing at first, but makes sense quickly.)  I don’t think I’ll ever get to decide for sure what I think of the game, though. The first couple moves are free, and they were intriguing. Then I sent in a payment, and they never applied it to my account. I couldn’t keep playing. I emailed their support address, and never got a reply. I don’t believe that this was outright fraud, as I’ve found satisfied customers of KJC’s. But it’s definitely incompetence and poor customer service, to the point where I have to warn everyone not to trust this company with your money. This was an unplayable rip-off.

Grade: F

I’m disappointed by this, not necessarily because I was invested in this particular game. But KJC runs a lot of games, and I had been excited about trying more of them. Also, their games are run differently than the others that I’d tried, and I was curious about that from a design standpoint. That’s not relevant to the review, since this game fails regardless of its specifics. But because I’m always interested in how things are designed, I talk about this more, and how it relates to my Play By Email experiences in general, below the fold. Continue reading

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