Back in 1981, just before the TSR art department turned on itself when it began to ‘grow up’ and terminated the contracts of Jeff Dee and Bill Willingham, moved Jim Roslof to art director, and relegated Erol Otus to the role of random freelancer, the company created a number of very fun pocket games.
One of these, Revolt on Antares, came to my attention when my friend Mark laid hands on a box from his older brother’s gaming collection. Inside, the pocket game awaited, and on four occasions during my late high school days we had a chance to play it before his brother caught wind and took it back.
Thus my love of this game was born, certainly helped along by the fact that each game I randomly drew ‘the devastator’ chit and happened to win it all.
The game itself is a fun little thing, but my amazement at its creation runs more to the art that went into making it.
You see, for this tiny little plastic shelf-box, it contains more original art that the later TSR release of Battle System! And YES, that includes art on the games counters! Jeff Dee and Erol Otus are responsible for most of the game counter designs and even at such a minimal size the art is fantastic. I often lament the fact that the original works from this game have certainly been destroyed because I would have loved to see them at the size they were created.
Artist Bill Willingham also contributes a piece to the back cover, and the only color piece, the cover, is a wonderful comic science-fiction piece by Dee at the height of his youthful artistic genius.
I have to say that I was greatly pleased when I found this game, in original shrink, back in 2004 on eBay. Now, although I’ve yet to find someone to play it with, I can peruse the rule book, enjoy the counters I punched myself, and think back to the days I once ruled the planet Antares!
Artistic Rating: 4.75 [out of 5]