This is a transcript of a twitter thread I made, praising this game!
Reincarnation Redux by @temporalhiccup is a game of dying and rising anew from the ashes.
It uses a tarot deck to guide the narrative. I've always been a little cautious of tarot games, because to those who use them, they are a font of meaning, but to those unfamiliar with them (like me) they are a little opaque. I know the creator is a Tarot reader and shaman, so going in I was concerned that their use might be a little opaque.
Initially, they are used in character creation, and the text defines the meanings of the cards for the purposes of the game. I love this: The suits are related to character traits like hard-working, steadfast. The Major Arcana (the scary bits for me) are not used.
Future card draws are used to produce future phases.This part does use the 'use the imagery for inspiration' bit for the Major Arcana that I'm a little anxious about, but it's a small part of the game; I feel less intimidated here by the Tarot than I have been previously.
These card draws purpose vary by phase, meaning the characters progress through a fairly linear story: They remember who they've been, they meet each other and their enemy, they transform, and they develop a power.
For each character trait, these draws have a different result, and each of these results will combine in a way that is really interesting and will make each character's progress unique, especially taking into account their own interpretations of the words and imagery.
Of course, the magic girls defeat the enemy, and a point system is used to look at the consequences of the battle that they have waged, and you choose their future.
Alright: So this is a pretty great game, and it makes curious to look at more Tarot games (although the aesthete in me wants a very specific set of monochrome goth tarot that probably doesn't exist).
What I really like is that it adheres very strictly to the narrative tropes of the genre, but has tons of potential for character exploration within those lines.
You can think of it as an experiment in giving very specific transformative internal agency to the players; the structure and the use of the Tarot reflects the themes of the game. This is what mechanics in games are for.
This game, then, is the perfect version of what it tries to be. Thanks @temporalhiccup for a lovely game, and for opening my eyes. Everyone, buy this game. Five stars :).