Numenera is one of those few games that knew what it wanted to be and stuck to its guns all throughout. A rules-medium game of exploration and discovery in a gonzo setting set in the far, far future describes the game perfectly.
The rules are easy to understand, and the mechanics introduced are novel and useful, while subconsciously pushing an agenda when it comes to play styles. By rewarding discoveries rather than the killing of monsters, Numenera manages to step away from being just another D&D clone set in the far future to becoming it’s own thing.
I will admit that when I first flipped through it, I was afraid that it was just D&D with a different coat of paint, but now I see that there are certain simple, yet fundamental differences that make Numenera its own animal.
That said, mechanics aside, I feel that the setting could still be fleshed out a little more. I’m certain that more books in the future could be used to give a better glimpse of the civilizations in the game, but for now being able to pull from various sources of weird high-technology meets fantasy like Dune and The Incal or even other sources that are further afield like Adventure Time or Thundarr the Barbarian and even He-Man makes for fertile ground for idea mining as a GM.
Numenera is a breath of fresh air that manages to prove that there’s always space for something innovative in the marketplace. With interesting mechanics, a neat premise and easy to run rules, I can see this being an excellent introduction to the hobby and a must have for any RPG collection.