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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue Ten > THROWN FOR A LOOP


Tales from the Loop mixes nostalgia for ‘80s adventure films with sci-fi mysteries to create a truly unique RPG setting. Project manager Tomas Härenstam discusses how players can combine heroism with homework

The sun drifts towards the horizon as a group of teenagers tromp through kneehigh grass towards a copse of trees. The leader, an older girl in expensive clothes, drags the rest along as they follow a path long forgotten by the town’s adults.

She points at something through the branches and a rake-thin, mop-haired boy rushes forward with a camera in one hand and a notebook in the other, while behind him a burly teen in a football shirt grips his baseball bat a little bit harder.

There, in a clearing, is a blue-white glow floating in the air – a rip in time and space. As the others crowd round and chatter excitedly, a pale girl in ripped jeans and a black t-shirt examines the ground, noticing the tracks the others missed. The tracks with claws.

In the shadows cast by the trees, something watches them with cold, reptilian eyes…

This is the world of Tales from the Loop, a tabletop RPG from Swedish games studio Free League that combines mysteries, sci-fi and school in order to evoke the feel of kids’ adventure movies from the 1980s.

If nothing else, it’s a prime example of the fact that sometimes you don’t know how much you want something until you hear about it, at which point it seems like the most obvious idea in the world.

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About Tabletop Gaming

Cover feature: Bears vs Babies: We chat with Elan Lee about following up Exploding Kittens with this hilarious monster mash-up set to be the summer’s biggest hit. GKR: Heavy Hitters: We take a dive into the world of Giant Killer Robots with senior concept designer Paul Tobin. Infection at Outpost 31: A beautiful adaptation of John Carpenter’s seminal horror film The Thing. Pro gaming special: How champions turned their hobby into a profession. First Martians: Designer Ignacy Trzewiczek guides us through his highly anticipated Adventures on the Red Planet. Tales from the Loop: We talk to the makers of the throwback RPG. The Ultimate Gaming Room: A look at what you should be cramming into your tabletop haven. PLUS • Cooking With Dice: Roleplaying with real-life cookery. • The Occult on the Tabletop: The influence of tarot cards and Ouija board. • Survive: Escape from Atlantis!: We look back at the beloved adventure game. • The Making of… Star Wars X-Wing • Painting Guide: Runewars • A Dungeon Master’s Guide to RPGs • Ten of the Best: 10 Budget Games for Under a Tenner • Introduction to… Pathfinder • My Favourite Game: Cry Havoc designer Grant Rodiek • First Turn: Acclaimed Citadels creator Bruno Faidut • Club Spotlight: Redditch Wargaming Society • Shop Spotlight: Southampton’s Board in the City • Played: 20 games and accessories reviewed

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