The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=33606.
City Slums accurately captures the hopeless wreckage of a decayed urban blight. The combination of rubble and terrain features at various altitudes gives the players a rich environment for frenzied combat tactics, whether it’s up close or blasting away with assault rifles. This battlemap is perfect for contemporary scenarios, superhero escapades, or for apocalyptic doom in the husk of a shattered city. What players get, once the sheets are assembled, is a rich area of blighted urban street that includes several floors of surrounding buildings and metallic bridges above the rest from which to engage in spirited sniper fire or high-level martial arts mayhem.
City Slums is an excellent urban map, allowing the players to have a complete modern city combat experience. It assembles into an inner city block, with a rich range of terrain features. There are buildings that surround the edge of the map, along with several narrow buildings in the middle that are connected by metallic walkways on the top levels.
Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
DramaScape has done an excellent job of sizing the battlemap segments across multiple pages, including a square-grid, hex-grid, and gridless version. There are complete instructions, along with a panoramic view that allows the reader to pan around from a viewpoint in the middle of the block to see what the map looks like from the perspective of a character. Owners of this product can choose where to cut the white edges off so that they can assemble the pieces in a way that allows them to combine seamlessly. My suggestion for the best final result is to laminate the pieces once this decision is made, then use non-permanent double-sided tape on the white edges so that everything holds together nicely. Alternately, all the edges can be cut off and the map sections can be laminated and butted together directly with glossy tape. Either way, once assembled, nothing shifts or stains when players get excited and spill their beverages in their haste to tear up the streets with rapid-fire weaponry
Visual Appeal: 9 out of 10
This map has perfectly captured the hopeless sense of dust and shattered bricks. The coloration is grey and ominous, with toxic waste drums, overburdened dumpsters, scattered traffic cones, and a variety of well-crafted terrain features. The different levels are slightly offset visually, so it’s easy to tell the relative altitude of the various roofs and walkways. It also has a fantastic weathered look, showing that the environment has seen many years of gradual decay. There are so many places to hide on this map that the characters and their adversaries will have a hard time keeping track of opposing forces.
Desire to Use: 9 out of 10
I’m personally more of the high fantasy genre gamer, but the next time I run an urban blight game this will be a centerpiece! City Slums is the perfect place for a major misunderstanding involving gangs, drug production facilities, villainous headquarters, zombie hordes, or the fight for food after civilization coughs out its final breath. Whether the characters are armed with assault rifles, crossbows, or flamethrowers, this is an excellent product for the final epic battle!
Overall: 9 out of 10
City Slums is an excellent addition to your modern or apocalyptic environments and another quality piece from DramaScape. By focusing on an open central area surrounded by high walls and walkways, City Slums allows the Game Master to establish a rich tactical urban conflict where the winner can’t easily be predicted, but creativity will definitely be rewarded.