This week, several other RPG bloggers and I are celebrating Small Press Week, with a look at some of the works coming out of the smaller publishers in our hobby. And I think this week will show that just because a company is small, that doesn't mean they can't go toe-to-toe with some of the big boys. I'll be linking and rounding up other coverage periodically throughout the week.
The first RPG I wanted to cover was Squirrel Attack!, by HinterWelt Enterprises. This is a fun beer n' pretzels-type roleplaying game that's great for when you don't have anything else planned or need a quick, light-hearted game (it sort of falls into the Risus category in that sense, though the games are markedly different).
Yes, you do play a squirrel; there are actually six pregenerated squirrels included with the game. Each character does have different goals to be accomplished; a "winner" can be named, but is not strictly necessary.
In Squirrel Attack, the default scenario is to Get Mr. Jones' Nuts. A heavy task, even for a squirrel! The scenario is well mapped-out and supported, and gives players a chance for both bravado and problem-solving. The game never takes itself too seriously, though you may be surprised how much importance the mission takes on!
At 60 saddle-stitched pages in the statement-sized print version, SA! is surprisingly robust for what would seem to be such a small-focus RPG. But the entire Iridium Lite system (free, for your preview) is presented here, as well as an entertaining background of squirrel worldviews, divisions, and cultures.
Back to the system for the moment: Iridium Lite would probably be at the higher end of what many used to loose beer n' pretzels RPGs would consider "lite", but some may enjoy a bit more robustness in their gaming. As mentioned above, the system itself is free to check out, so I'll let you make your own decision.
Squirrel Attack! has a number of fun, whimsical supplementary titles, including Squirrels in Space, Squirrels Ahoy: Squirrels of the Spanish Main, and the ENnies Honorable Mention Shaolin Squirrels: Nuts of Fury. All in all, SA! is a silly amount of fun, and my experience with players has been overwhelmingly positive.
I'll tell you this: you really don't have any reason not to check it out if you're looking for an inexpensive, fun alternative. Here's why: as part of Small Press Week, HinterWelt Enterprises is giving 50% off all Squirrel Attack! PDF and Print+PDF titles! Just go to HinterWelt's online store and use code RPGBlogIIThankYou during checkout (and don't forget about HinterWelt's other generous offer; they offer some other games that are very good as well)!
Stay tuned through the week for more small press goodness!