After each (quite poetic and very satisfying) InSpectres game, I look up at the clock and it’s only been 2 hours since we sat down and started. 2 hours. Blinky Blinky? My internal gaming clock just can’t process that information. 2 hours of InSpectres in Space feels like about 4-5 hours of other gaming. Not to knock any of those games — the length of a game is not directly related to its fun and I’ll gladly game for 10 hours, but something is going on here that’s messing with my inner gaming ear. Somehow it feels like I played more, gamed more in these 2-hour explorations in The Dauntless.
Honestly, I don’t think it’s rocket science. Ben and I have discussed that in InSpectres in addition to playing a character, you’re refining your theory, coming up with your next clue and thinking of confessionals. You’re listening intently to scenes with other people, not just because you should, but because it directly impacts what you’re thinking, possibly completely sabotaging it. You’re running the game as much as anyone else while still playing. In short, InSpectres compels you to be engaged 100% of the time.
Now, I’m not discounting other great players-as-GM/world creator games such as Geiger Counter with the rotating GM and Shock with the issues, but those games have a lot of set up, set up that could easily take hours, possibly the most fun hours ever, but it could be a while before you actually start playing. As InSpectres has no prep, just a starting premise, and character creation is very simple without any constructs such as appropriate conflicts (IAWA), you’re out of the gate in no time and into a game that really packs it in.