Sugarfighter Black says it's is a game about 'unsustainable experimentation', but really, it's about kicking ass and taking names. The characters are drug-enhanced supersoldiers who are running out of drugs. With just 90 pills left, they have the barest chance of revenge against their creators.
The system is straightforward. Players set Goals they want to achieve and another player sets Obstacles against them. The player and opposition are dealt cards and look for reds (worth a point) or face cards (also a point - so a red queen would be worth 2). Failure at this point leads to fatique which reduces the player's hand later on. The opposition has a set number of cards they can add for threat or difficulty.
The player can add drug cocktails, which are really nifty. You buy little packages of bonus cards, draw from three flavors of pill - Body, Mind and Kill. Say the player needs three cards to give them a chance against a tank. They spend 3 pills as a base, then add 2 Body and 1 Kill for a cocktail called 'Hulkout'. It grants armor and extra strength. Reusing the cocktail is cheaper than creating a new one, but as it's so broadly useful, the discount is just one pill. A +3 card cocktail with a narrow use would get a 2 or even 3 pill discount.
The setting as written is undeveloped but looks like a wacky version of now. The text notes that gonzo elements brought in are down to the group's choices.
What do I think? There's not enough Sugarfighter Black! 5 pages is barely a taste. I'd like to see this game develop into a hard-hitting 15 page game I can drag to demos - I'd like to see more GM-rotatey competitive games.
I'd like to see more scene mechanics, perhaps a way for characters to snowball bonuses from one scene to another. I'd like more background for the world. And I'd like more of a system around goals - perhaps break down a major goal into sub-goals, one of which has to be personal, one of which has to be a bloodbath. And I'd be interested to see some personality, issue or motivation systems. And perhaps shared goals addresses by multiple PCs.
Altogether? Tasty game. I want more.