Kids on Bikes Presents… Strange Adventures!
Author: James Anderson, Thomas Beatman et al
Publisher: Hunters Entertainment / Renegade Game Studios
Page Count: 132
Available Formats: PDF & Print
PDF (DTRPG) – $4.99
Print (Renegade Games) – $20.00
In early November 2019, I participated in RPG Geek’s Secret Cthanta gift exchange. I am huge fans of Kids on Bikes and the newest supplement, Kids on Bikes Presents… Strange Adventures! Volume 2 was about to release in print. I wasted no time in adding it to my wishlist. My Secret Cthanta gave me no hints or indications as to what they were going to gift me this year; I endured the unknown with enthusiasm. Sadly, I had to wait until it came into stock to take delivery. Today, it arrived. It was a total surprise. I’m doing my happy dance! Join me as I “look through” and review Strange Adventures! Volume 2.
If you’re not familiar with Kids on Bikes or have not read my previous review, Kids, Bikes, and Mysteries, Oh My! I would encourage you to do so, before reading any further. It will help give you a solid foundation of what the game is and what it’s trying to do.
Strange Adventures! Volume 2 is an official supplement for the wildly popular Kids on Bikes roleplaying game. This is, as the name implies, the second in a series of supplements. Strange Adventures! Volume 1 published in two different formats. First, it was included in the deluxe hardcover core book; initially made available through Kickstarter until retail supplies ran out. Then it was released as a softcover standalone supplement. Volume 2, on the other hand, is all new material for players to explore.
Seasoned Kids on Bikes fans will find an expansive array of interesting material within these pages. There are 17 new towns to explore, three adventure prompts to work into on-going games, and new rules for customizing and incentivizing the use of bikes during the game.
The book begins with three tables for players to customize their bikes and in-game perks. These perks are connected to the color of the bike and its “upgraded” features. Think tassels, banana seats, or similar types of things. The in-game perks include bonuses to dice rolls and once-per-day benefits, so long as the bike is integral to the scene. It becomes a defacto NPC if you will.
The format of the seventeen towns is similar to those found in the core book, but they seem to be slightly expanded with more detail and options to work with. As with the core book, these are not just towns, but thematic outlines for game masters to craft amazing stories for their players. Many include additional rule variants that fit with the theme of the town; some include optional rules.
I should point out that each town or prompt starts with the usual trigger warnings that you have likely come to expect from Kids on Bikes products. Some gamers really appreciate this, others could care less, but I think it’s a nice touch to be upfront and open right from the beginning.
These towns run the gamut when it comes to themes and concepts. There is a nice variety of traditional kid themes, but there is also a nice mix of teen themes included in this supplement. As with the core book, there is also a nice selection of time periods for groups to select from—as early as 1957 to modern-day and a few fantastical worlds in between.
The artwork, layout, and overall quality of the softcover book is on par with their previously published Kids on Bikes books. I expect this supplement to hold up just as well too repeated reading and table-use like my core book. My only gripe about the book is its margin use. The margins are small and push the copy close to the cutting edge. The cutting edge margin appears to vary in width. This is more pronounced in the physical book than is the PDF due to the reader’s perception when turning pages versus scrolling. While I know this is a deliberate layout choice, as it was in the original core book, it still looks odd to my untrained eye. The upside, the lead page of each town is easier to locate when thumbing through the pages. Aside from that, which is not really a big deal, the layout is fantastic.
This is a gift I am super stoked to have gotten. Cthanta, if you’re reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart! As I write this review, I am getting things in order to put one of the towns through its paces for my local group of gamers who, like me, fell in love with Kids on Bikes. You can take that as an endorsement of Kids on Bikes Presents… Strange Adventures! Volume 2! If you’re not a Kids on Bikes fan yet, what are you waiting for? You really do owe it to yourself to give the game a try and explore the best life you never lived!
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