This review is a follow up of our Sneak Peek Side Quest 2 Goblins in the Streets article. You can also hear my first impressions “review” in Episode 46 of our podcast.
Side Quest 002: Goblins in the Streets is the second D&D 4th edition adventure from Imperium Star Games (ISG). They are a local startup game publisher owned by a gamer who plays at Battleground Games & Hobbies. I asked the owner of ISG, Adam McLaughlin, if he would be willing to give us an advanced copy of the product. I offered to buy it in advance but he surprised us with a free copy.
As promised in earlier reviews I will always state if we are compensated or given a review copy of an item we review. We were not compensated for this review other than being given a review copy of the adventure for us to review. Even if we were not given a review copy I would still have purchased a copy for us to review.
I’ve kept my eye on Imperium Star Games for awhile and have wanted to shed a light on them. I think they are using an interesting medium to get mini-adventures out to gamers. Digital copies of rules, army books, FAQs, updates, and adventures is something I think a lot about.
When the company said they would be releasing a new PDF adventure I know that we needed to get a copy to review.
Adam replied to my request with lightning speed providing a coupon code for me to download the adventure for free. All of Imperium Star Games products are downloaded from DriveThruRPG.com. A lot of other game companies, such as Mongoose Publishing, use that website to sell products.
The PDF downloaded very quickly and easily. New customers need to create a free account with DriveThruRPG, which is helpful because you can access a list of products you have purchased and downloaded.
Digital copies are technically shipped but not in the traditional sense. The digital transfer, aka download, happened very quickly. I was easily able to access the PDF on my Macintosh. Additionally, I have transferred it to my iPad and it displays quite nicely. I have not yet transferred it to my Nook Color but I know that I will easily be able to do that since I have done it with other PDFs.
The adventure is very interesting. It has some fantastic artwork. The cover art is in color and 3D. It is nicely rendered and provides an overview of the actual adventure. Inside you will find incredible sketches and maps. The entire adventure is visually appealing. The borders of each page are colored to look like parchment or ancient vellum making the PDF seem like an item your character would reference in game.
The layout is good allowing for a good flow and progression. It is easy to access the material and its sections. The story also stands out. It could easily turn into a longer campaign or serve as a one session of gaming. That fits the motto of this line of products.
I saw a lot of promise with some of the characters and found myself intrigued enough to want to know more. Why are the goblins there, where did they come from, who are the other NPCs and how did they come to be where they are now?
This product, however, is not perfect. It is littered with errors. Spelling and punctuation errors abound. There is some curious word arrangement to boot. I can’t help but feel that an extra 10-15 minutes copy editing would have fixed this. In fact, I spent 20 minutes doing a cursory edit using my high school and college journalism skills, faded as they may be, on this product. I will be sending my edits to the manufacturer in the hope they can clean up this product for its second printing.
I have not played this adventure so I cannot say what it is like to actually run as a DM or to play in. But, it looks like a fun, interesting, and action-packed adventure. The loot is both useful and intriguing. The manufacturer took the time to write fluff that tickles the funny bone and arouses the adventurer in all of us.
Price 9/10 $2.50 for one PDF color adventure of ten pages is a reasonable deal.
Value 7/10 The price for the product is exceptional. This is a high quality color PDF download with stats, maps, illustrations, and sketches. The only downside is the plethora of errors. They’re simple enough but should have been caught. At least one of these minor errors exists on every page.
Customer Service 9/10 Imperium Star Games provided the review copy very quickly. They answered all of my e-mails in a timely manner. Furthermore, they were very receptive to my communication addressing the errors I found.
Quality 7/10 Quality may seem the same as value but value rates the quality in light of the price. The quality of this adventure is good RPG-wise but only middle of the road product-wise. It suffers from simple spelling, punctuation, and word choice errors. It had trouble with the easy stuff but got the hard things right.
Contentment 9/10 I am very happy with Imperium Star Games (ISG) and with DriveThruRPG as the medium to get their products. The errors were a problem but I was able to overlook them. Looking at the entire package it is easy to see that this adventure is worth your money and time if you liked ISG’s first adventure or if you like D&D. It could be very useful to a first time DM or to anyone who wants to play a quick adventure while taking a break from a main campaign.
Overall 41/50 or 82% or B-
Imperium Star Games made a good effort with this adventure. It is clear they need to spruce things up a bit. But, once they iron that out they will be on their way to publishing more adventures that you really must play.
If you do purchase this adventure please let ISG know that you heard about it from the CWF Game Cast. Don’t forget that you can get their first adventure, Side Quest 001 Temple of Stone completely FREE!