Friday, March 31, 2017

Tales from the Loop Review Part 3 of 6

Chapter 3:  The U.S. Loop

Although the Swedish Loop is bigger and more popular throughout the world, the Loop in Boulder City started it all. This top-secret facility in the good ol’ U.S. of A. is just a little over an hour outside of Las Vegas. President Eisenhower ordered the creation of this research facility in hopes of teleporting U.S. soldiers anywhere on the planet at a moment’s notice.

The 80’s were the heyday for the United States of America. Nixon submits his resignation and Ronald Regan steps in as the oldest president this country has seen. The commie Russians are on the way out the door fighting tooth and nail to stay on top of the heap. There’s nothing that can stand in the way of The Stars and Stripes.

Again, more political bull crap that kids don’t care about. Sure, we knew it was going on, but that’s for the adults to deal with. The kids in America were dealing with their own problems like underage drinking, the War on Drugs, and there are only four major television stations. Toy companies start making cartoons to sell their product to kids. He-Man, G.I.-Joe, and Thundercats are just a few of the popular shows.

This section of the book goes into much better detail of what life was like for kids in the 80’s in the U.S.A. than they did in the Swedish section. Roleplaying games are becoming more popular and those pesky adults start banning them because they are perceived as a form of devil worshipping.

Here they start to develop the 3 locales of this patch of desert. Boulder City, Lake Mead, and Las Vegas. It should be obvious that Boulder City, Nevada is the main setting in the United States. It is a town built for the workers of the damn dam. As a kid in Boulder City there’s not a lot to do except for hanging out at the city pool or playing games. Those lucky enough to have cable TV can watch music videos on MTV. There are six points of interest here that range from the local bowling alley to a junkyard. Lake Mead has three points of interest, most notably the dam. They also include a national recreational area and a state park. Las Vegas has two points of interests, the strip and Area 51.

Next up is DART, the Department of Advanced Research into Teleportation, but it is more commonly incorrectly referred to as the Department of Advanced Research and Technology. Eisenhower ordered the development of DART to oversee the Loop project, and the first rule of the Loop project is you don’t talk about the Loop project.

Just a few short miles to the West of the Hoover Dam is the particle accelerator known as the Loop. Most of the DART employees occupy the homes of the original builders of the Hoover Dam, which happen to be inside the Loop. Most of Boulder City’s residents don’t even know how big the DART Loop really is. As with the Swedish Loop, this one has multiple underground service tunnels with unmanned entrances also. Someone might be able to sneak past the not so obvious security measures to investigate strange happenings.

Every so often someone disappears from town. When this happens, most folks assume they got caught somewhere they shouldn’t have been and are off to federal prison.

If I get the chance to play this game I think I would prefer the Boulder City, Nevada setting over the Swedish Mälaren Islands. I think both are fantastically described but I’m more familiar with the U.S. version, and I can pronounce all the stuff on the map. It would be great fun to play in either version and I would not hesitate to play regardless of which locale is used. I think that the U.S. setting lends itself to more of an Area 51 alien vibe and the Swedish one a mysterious dinosaur roaming forested area. Now I’m changing my mind. The Swedish one sounds better now that I think of robots and dinosaurs.

What do you guys think? Sweden or America?

Which would you prefer?