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Our First Book, The RPGFan Review Card Collection, Now Available

RPGFan Review Card Collection on wood surface

Well, hello there! I am thrilled to reveal something that few have known about beyond the emerald walls of RPGFan HQ. For the last nine+ months, we have been hard at work on a super exciting project with HyperPlay RPG, who has been producing fan zines and other cool printed items for RPG fans. Our first collaborative item is ready to order now: The RPGFan Review Card Collection! If the photo and concept entices you enough to order, head over to our new Shop page and place your order:

For the last several years, we have been posting mini versions of our reviews — the scores and highlights, sans the main review text — on social media as Review Cards, such as the images below:

The Idea

When HyperPlay RPG approached us with the suggestion of collecting as many of these as possible in print, the gears started turning, and we quickly had a concept in mind — a small, square book that fits nicely in the hand, slightly larger than a multi-disc PlayStation jewel case:

RPGFan Review Card Collection Book with PSone Parasite Eve jewel case
The RPGFan Review Card Collection next to PSone Classic Parasite Eve.

Throughout 2023, we worked to pack the book with as many of these review cards as possible. We knew we couldn’t use all the ones we had, but we got a large number of them in. Still, something was missing. We intended to collect only existing cards and make a book, but the idea of putting to print so many (mini) game reviews and missing some classic RPGs just because reviews were written before these cards were being made was silly. We’ve been around 25 years, and we’re going to print this cool book without something like EarthBound? Nah.

We made room for what ended up being 35 Print Exclusive cards — review cards made specifically for this book. I want most of these to be a fun surprise so that when you turn the pages, you may discover something unique. But as a teaser, here’s a few of them with a custom print-only design:

Anyone that knows me will not be shocked by what I say next — I still couldn’t leave it at that. Some early review cards were not square like the others, but I didn’t want them left out. Still others would benefit from a spruced up look. And there may have been a typo or two (we’re only human). But knowing we’d be committing these to print, we went through a re-proofing pass and other factors to determine how many existing cards would benefit from an “HD Remaster.”

The answer was 80. So between these and the Print Exclusive cards, in our book of nearly 300 review cards, 115 of them were built or re-built from scratch for this book.

Look, I’ve been with the site since 1999 and I take it seriously, alright?

The point is, the RPGFan Review Card Collection is a labor of love attributed to dozens of people, and celebrates the work of our incredible writers. As proud as I am of the end result, it couldn’t exist without the writing, the proofreading of our editing team, and the talents of Stephanie Sybydlo, who conceptualized the review card layout and additionally created the stunning cover art. And, of course, HyperPlay RPG is handling the printing and logistics of production, which is why this book exists at all!

At this point, you could say I’m biased to love this book, but once I got my hands on it, it really hit me. All this work would have been disappointing if the paper and print quality wasn’t spot-on, so I’m pleased to say it looks great. Holding the book takes me back to the heyday of game magazines like GameFan, who poured heart and soul into the layout and material quality of their magazine.

I never thought we’d be able to make something like this with the RPGFan name on it to offer it to our fans. I’ll close out with some more photos of what awaits inside (with minimal spoilers) while encouraging you to check out our shop page and head over to HyperPlay RPG to secure your copy!

One Last Thing

We know the RPGFan Review Card Collection is bound to be something you will enjoy, and also may want to give as a gift this holiday season. Because it is unlikely to arrive by the holidays, I prepared a little printable PDF that you can offer up to your gift recipient as a placeholder, which you can download below:

RPGFan Review Card Collection PDF Thumbnail
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Mike Salbato

Mike Salbato

Mike has been with RPGFan nearly since its inception, and in that time has worn a surprising number of hats for someone who doesn't own a hatstand. Today he attempts to balance his Creative Director role with his Editor-in-Chief status. Despite the amount of coffee in his veins, he bleeds emerald green.

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