Core Runner is a single player non-linear cyberpunk adventure that takes place in a post-apocalyptic city’s industrial zone. Its exploratory gameplay consists of variable interactive fiction implementing unique dice mechanics that provide high replayability. The player acts as a core runner; a hired agent gathering power cores from derelict electronics for profit. The player’s excursion as such is called a ‘Run’, with each game representing a unique Run, and every new game having myriad outcomes and variable endings.
In the future World War III has obliterated civilization into ruins. Devastated cities fester as pits of technological decay. Violent tribalism is the new world order. Yet outcasts can survive… if they provide a service. In Core Runner you are one such outcast, and you’ve just gotten wind of a very lucrative proposition. Now you’ll traverse an extremely harsh zone, seeking an unusual bounty for a high payoff. But your hunt will constantly be threatened by rival runners, cybernetic hazards and old world perils.
Can YOU survive the danger of Rise City’s insidious Industrial District? Many have tried, many have died. And you’ve never had a run like this.
To play Core Runner you will need its print-and-play Rule Book, Event Book and Tracking Sheet, plus a six-sided die (or die rolling app), pencil, eraser and a small location marker such as a coin or button.
The Tracking Sheet records your location and movement through Rise City’s Industrial District, and tracks data such as:
- Health Points > these control your ability to move from Sector to Sector
- Cryptocredits > are used to purchase items from Shops
- Cores > acquired during play, finding these is essential to successfully complete the game
- Dice Mods > are used to modify numbers acquired by rolling the die
Players are able to move from their current Sector to an adjacent Sector, with the ultimate aim of reaching the GOAL Sector having collected five power cores. Sectors represent destructed portions of the Industrial District, now full of dangerous debris: large rubble, piles of machinery, murky waters, craters, fallen buildings, and more.
After the desired Sector is moved to, an Event Roll determines the matching numbered Event in the narrative Event Book. These expositional paragraphs explain the Event that the player is encountering, and an Outcome Roll then determines the Bad, Neutral, Good or Wild outcome and its subsequent effect.
Core Runner includes 36 random Events, culminating in 11 possible Endings. 6 of the random Events are Shops, while the other 30 Events have 4 possible Outcomes each.
After ending a Run on any labeled Sectors, the player turns to the ENDING section of the Event Book. Depending on which Sector the Run has ended on, and the amount of cores in the player’s possession, different endings will result. Players will need to use strategy, and enjoy some luck, to receive the very best ending.
Core Runner is FREE to download from the amesGames website.