They Grow Up So Fast (Tales from the Loop Review)

Another four part mini-campaign by and for Tales from the Loop. Exactly the kind of story I wanted for TftL.

As you would expect, “Tales from the Loop: They Grow Up So Fast” is beautiful to look at. However, this is the first time I’ve approached Tales from the Loop in English. So far, I’ve played the wonderful German rulebook and the mini-campaign “The Four Seasons of Mad Science” included in it. Partly several times.

Now “They Grow Up So Fast” has been published in English and I could hardly wait to dive into the world of the Loop again. I always orientate myself on the Swedish landscape, because I don’t want to travel around the world with the adventures and the adventurers.


The new English version of the slogan “Roleplaying in the ’80s that never was” caught my eye, which is much better than the old version. Because the 80s did exist, as has been proven. It is now much better described as “Return to the ’80s as they never were”. For me as a language fetishist a thousand times nicer! This is just a side note.

In the Mood

My heart jumped for joy when I saw the announcement of They Grow Up So Fast, and even more when the release email from Free League Publishing arrived a few days ago. And it gets even better: They Grow Up So Fast is another (less loosely) connected four-season campaign. Once again we play in spring, summer, fall, and winter, giving the setting an added feel to each adventure. Spring awakening, summer vacation, golden autumn and snowball fight. What more do eighties kids’ hearts want?

England is new

So far, Tales from the Loop could be found playing in Sweden near Stockholm, in America near Boulder City, Nevada or with the Germany book in the Taunus Mountains in just Germany.”They Grow Up So Fast” is now set in Norfolk, near London in England. There are two very short chapters in the book that explain how to move the story to Muns√∂, Sweden and Boulder City, Nevada.

In addition, all names (for example of the NPCs) are always in a different color and in Swedish or American, according to the usual Tales-from-the-Loop style. I am looking forward to the books, when there will be additionally the Japanese, Australian, African and Peruvian loop.Then behind the NPC name Brandon (Ole) (Charles) (Akatsuki) (Harper) (Azikiwe) (Ximeno) is written.

Beating around the bush

At Penandpaper-Blog there are usually no or only very small spoilers. Therefore only this much: They Grow Up So Fast is a camping scenario. And if there are two things I think are great, it’s roleplaying and camping. Except that they don’t usually come together.

Of course, everything begins quite harmlessly. Then something familiar from popular culture happens, but completely alien and exciting for the children. And also the pulse of the players would accelerate incredibly, if this incident were real – even if they were already adults.

Spring, summer, autumn and winter

This mini-campaign is not a warm-up exercise, like those from the rulebook. Here, we launch right into Investigation with gusto. I can feel the excitement of the spring adventure just reading it. Always assuming you also imagine it figuratively and get into that Stranger Things E.T. feeling. Hazmat suits already in the first adventure? I like that. Let’s move on!

Summer is coming and the fictional character Dustin Henderson would really enjoy it. (D’Artagnan) It gets slimy and the bag slowly tightens.

In the fall, the problem starts to get really big and it desperately needs a change.

Arriving in winter, it comes to the inevitable climax and showdown.


The four adventures of the mini-campaign are one long story. The individual adventures are selected scenes from it. The plot is fixed from the beginning, which is absolutely not negative. Because one thing Tales from the Loop is and never has been: we-do-what-we-want superhero sandbox battle. It’s about the feeling, the mood, the head cinema, the scenes. And about the moment when ordinary kids, against all odds, finally achieve the extraordinary. I can’t wait to run it!


I can’t resist a little spoiler, though… But you won’t understand it until you’ve played the campaign anyway. In the great and unbelievably funny point-and-click adventure “Book of Unwritten Tales 2”, there is the Rabbit Sheep, a failed transformation spell of the magic gnome Wilbur. In “The Grow Up So Fast” it’s (at least visually) “Rabbit Sheep goes Tales from the Loop”.

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