By Anthony “LibrariaNPC” DeMinico, 17 March 2021
With Control being a Playstation Plus title last month, I and thousands of others finally had the opportunity to play this gem that was considered by many to be worthy of the title “Game of the Year” for 2019, at least within their own communities/lists.
A friend of mine mentioned In Case Of An Emergency once he saw me playing the game, and with how much fun I was having and learning this RPG was basically a love letter to the game, I knew I needed to dive in.
In Case Of An Emergency pits employees of foundation. (yes, the . is part of the name) against a situation of supernatural proportions that was not in the training manual or welcome videos. Facing a strict time limit and offered limited (but specialized) help from the Shareholders, your goal is to step outside the confines of your mundane position and save your foundation. office before it is overrun.
==What You Get==
Snagging In Case Of An Emergency results in a brightly colored twelve page PDF. The book is laid out to have side-by-side pages (with a couple exceptions), and includes various full-page ads directly from foundation. in various languages.
Within these pages, you are given a basic rundown of what foundation. is (a multi-dimensional company that uses paranatural tricks to stay ahead of competition), a simple d6-only mechanic, and a list of challenges to face.
I’ll be honest, the game just looks spectacular. The use of color lets text pop out and makes it pretty easy to pick what you need from a page when you’re skimming quickly. I also love how it’s an immersive document: you are given the ads, but also side notes about waiving your rights as a foundation. employee and unable to press charges for harm caused by the work.
The core mechanic itself is simultaneously cut and dry and wonderful. Yes, it’s a d6 vs success table, but as the game progresses, the entire success mechanic changes as more dice are added and challenges (and capabilities) change. I can’t say more than that without ruining the surprise, but I found myself enjoying it.
I did love how this game scratched the itches of SCP, Control, Warehouse 13, and similarly related media with that retro-futurist twist (like Tales From The Loop). It was a fun read and with the tools here, should be a fun game!
While I enjoyed the layout and art, the layout does cause problems if you wanted to print a copy to have on hand for your table or read on a device. Additionally, having the cover, a page in the middle, and the final page in a portrait orientation but the rest of the book in double-page landscape was a bit of an odd choice that made the readability a bit awkward at times. Again, doubly so if you were printing a home. If we could get a printer-friendly version in the layout department, this would absolutely fix this issue.
Additionally, with the multiple full-page art bits, it cuts the actual game down a bit. Of these twelve pages, four and a half are filled with art. More than a third of the book is art, and another half page is dedicated to credits. With how “light” the game is already, the art can sometimes feel like a filler that could have been used to better expand the game a bit (easter eggs, additional powers/threats, more plot or GM support, etc).
Finally, it’s absolutely not a “for everyone” game. It’s geared for one-off sessions, and while there’s hints of more beyond the single adventure, it’s just not there. I sincerely hope there’s more to it someday, as I’d love to see what else there is hiding within the depths of foundation. and it’s partners.
In Case Of An Emergency won’t need to break the glass to get these 3.5 buns. If we can get that layout issue fixed, I’d up this to 4 without hesitation.
We get a short, easy to grok, and great-looking game that, with a creative group that is willing to make new characters each time, could lead to endless potential. This is absolutely on my list of games to run at a convention in the future.
Sadly, the game is a bit “light,” as we lose nearly half of the pages in art, there’s limited details on the setting, and the game is really built for one-offs. A great tool with lots of potential that I’d love to see expanded into something more, but may not be worth the somewhat steep $10 cost for everyone.
Anthony, better known as LibrariaNPC, wears many hats: librarian, gamemaster, playtester, NPC, game designer, and our Editor-In-Chief. You can support his work on Patreon, his tip jar, via Ko-Fi, or by buying his games.