Research Blog Antarctica #92 – The Antarctic Express

Children’s book: Kenneth Hite & Christina Rodriguez: Antarctic Express (Atlas Games, 2009)

Ken Hite’s Antarctic Express sounds like a joke: it’s a children’s picture book version of H.P. Lovecraft’s Antarctic tale At the Mountains of Madness. Surprisingly, it’s pretty good, probably because it feels like it’s been done in all seriousness. I haven’t seen many tales of lingering horror meant for kids, but this book stayes true to Lovecraft’s style while being accessible at the same time.

I didn’t like Christina Rodriguez’s subdued art style when I flipped through the book, but became a convert when I read it properly. It has a wonderful sense of mood and dreamlike nighttime adventure.

The thing I really like in Lovecraft’s version of Antarctica is that the uncaring emptiness of his horror universe ties neatly into the uncaring emptiness of Antarctica’s glaciers. Antarctic Express captures this feeling of vast, cold nothingness surprisingly well in a few atmospheric images.

J. Tuomas Harviainen reviews Ikuisuuden laakso

Game designer and academician J. Tuomas Harviainen reviews my game Ikuisuuden laakso (The Valley of Eternity) in his blog:

Compared to, say, Itras By or Stalker, it is a very simple game, almost a Forge-like one trick pony. Yet it does do its own thing really well, and it seems a very good game to start role-playing with, as long as one can get past the strange idea of playing a penguin version of Westerns’ Clint Eastwood characters rather than the Western versions. It will be my son’s first rpg (he was absolutely eager to try it out, once he’d read it), and with the assistance of a good friend, will play it with him within a week or two.

Read the entire review.