Archives of Heaven is a narrative role-playing game, full of moral dilemmas, created by Aaron A. Reed and translated and localized in Italy by dreamlord.

As I write this review, with my mind wandering the cycle de la Foundation by Isaac Asimov mixed with a background music by Darkspace and the Gears of the Valley (yes, these are difficult), I wonder how I could have waited so long to play Archives of Heaven.
I am a science fiction fan. I've devoured any kind of sci-fi series, from Star Trek a Stargate, Via Andromeda and running aground on The Expanse. My gamer career literally started with Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares and I've found my niche with Stellaris.
It was obvious that my natural evolution expressed itself in this game.

Before going to analyze it, however, enjoy the presentation video!

Synopsis of Archives of Heaven

In a million years, humanity will have spread across the galaxy and acquired countless forms. Vast empires will have succeeded one another like waves against an unimaginable shore.
But some travelers have chosen to stay out of the seething civilization, following a higher purpose. When a new force enters the galaxy, will these eternal travelers remain who they are or will they eventually change?

How does the game develop?

Archives of Heaven is a dice-free, GM-free RPG to tell very human stories against an epic backdrop. This system which, if I'm not mistaken, derives from the Conjectural System, supports both single games and campaigns (personally I would have liked the game to never end ed).

Humanity has expanded, evolved, integrated other cultures and became something else. But you belonging to the House are something else. Your Values ​​identify you, your moral code is strict. You are a kind of lighthouse in space, but above all in time. Your job is to protect, or if things go wrong, to preserve and allow the next cycle to protect itself. A story you've already heard? I am clearly referring to Mass Effect, but how can you not think of the best science fiction action game in a decade now?

But what do you need to prepare for the game? Very little. You will need a few sheets of paper, some pencils, a science fiction novel for each participant at the table, and little else. The first two things turn out to be fairly straightforward, but the third?
The novel is very important. This will help you to collect some words that you will need to create your story. Leafing through the books you will have to find a mix of subjects, adverbs, verbs and adjectives, both positive and negative, which will help you to form the Collection, a set of words that will add depth to your story.
For the game, made by myself, the first volume of The Expanse, Stranger in a Strange Land, The outcasts from the other planet e The Sons of Time.

I will not be here to list everything that has happened, but only that after a few moments of bewilderment, immediately overcome by the shared narration, we were able to start a beautiful story.

ALSO READ: In search of Crisopea - The Review
Science fiction sky archives

But what is Archives of Heaven about?

This game, as Star Trek and many other science fiction products has been for decades, is about core themes that we often fail to address in real life. Think about Battlestar Galactica 2004: integration, inability to understand what is different, terrorism, fear of the unknown.
This is what could be called a political product. However, this kind of media is sweetened because certain issues can be addressed, but they must be treated with delicacy so as not to hurt the general public.

Mind you, I'm not inviting NOBODY to create a story capable of hurting the sensitivity of others, indeed. However, if the table agrees, why not try to deal with thorny issues? Even Star Trek tried to face a transposition of the Holocaust in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series, or rather to narrate this after the end of the occupation, and the relationship with faith.

So why not try to up the ante, always keeping the X-Card at hand, and deal with themes that are epic and at the same time strong? Let's never forget what Jean-Luc Picard said in the latest episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation:

Simple Teresina, no wild cards, and the sky as the limit.

The sky, or rather the Universe, as a limit!

ALSO READ: Stellaris - Christmas in deep space

Conclusions

The more time passes, the more I realize how excited I am when I approach narrative games such as Archives of Heaven, Microscope, Follow and many others, who manage to give voice to things that I didn't think possible. Of course, it is possible to touch certain themes also with other types of role-playing games, but a tool suitable exclusively for this is necessary.

When I talked about the indie game Death of a Hero in the past, I advised the people involved to tell the end of a deceased character using this tool to tell the story.
Here, the more I played Archives of Heaven, the more I realized how this manual can be useful for narrating a flashback or a flashforward, within a campaign.

Think about this possibility: an incredible discovery was made while a unique find was made within a dead planet. A box with an AI that tells the end of a world for a disease or other kind of catastrophe. The narration stops. The current game is set aside and players drop in Archives of Heaven and remember the newly discovered past.

They are trivial tricks you will say, but more than once I have noticed that interrupting a campaign and serving something different, then leads the players to identify themselves more strongly in the game itself, feeling part of what has been created.

Personally, I invite you to give this game a chance. You will find it at this address and download the game tools Thu.
I am waiting for you among the stars and remember that only one person can change the future ... imagine a group like the one you are going to create!