Monday, October 19, 2009

Welcome To Small Press Week: Squirrel Attack!

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!


Barking Alien said...

Yay! Go Small Press!

Recently I'm been all about indie and small press games, with InSpectres, MAID: The RPG and Monsters and Other Childish Things leading the pack of games that are just too damn fun.

Can't wait to see what other games are reviewed. Hopefully I'll learn about some I've never heard of.

Who else is blogging on the subject?

Zachary The First said...

There's about a half-dozen other bloggers. If you check back, I will have some links (waiting for their posts to go live).

clash bowley said...

I will concur on SA! I have four or five of the games, and they are a blast!


HinterWelt said...

Many thanks Zach! Squirrels Uber Alles! ;)

Tyson J. Hayes said...

After reading the review I want to give this game a go, thanks for bringing my attention to it.

Please post the links to the other sites/reviews.

Hurrah small press! :D

HinterWelt said...

There are a couple of reviews on RPGNow but actually we have a dearth of reviews for SA! So, anyone who wants to do one (thanks Zach) it would be most appreciated.

RPGNow reviews

Dyson Logos said...

My little contribution to small press gaming this week is a hack for John Harper's excellent AGON RPG to be played as a CyberPunk style game. I'll be posting the conversion notes Monday to Thursday, taking a break on Friday as always for my weekly Friday Map.

Elias said...

Sorry for the offtopic, but whatever happened to the kitchen sink contest?

Zachary The First said...

@Elias: What happened is I forgot to publically announce the winner! I let the winner know--we're in the middle of small press week, but I'll try to do it right after! How embarrassing!

Elias said...

No problem, I'm glad that there is a winner, which acknowledges the efforts of everyone who was involved :) Sorry for the off-topic again