Posted on March 10, 2011 by Flames
Invaderz by James ‘Grim’ Desborough
If you are a looking for a deep and philosophical game to explore the intricacies of your mind, then this is not the game for you. However, if you are looking for a light-hearted and whimsical romp in between long running campaigns then this game can easily fill that need. Early on the game touts itself as a ‘Beer and Crisps’ game (or a Beer and Pretzels game in the States), and it adheres to this easygoing philosophy.
One takes on the role of a Jerkian Warrior, a clone of the great leader whose purpose in life is to entertain the Exalted Emperor and feed the Exalted Emperor. It’s not an easy life being among the lowest ranks, and a gruesome (though entertaining) death is almost a certainty. One of the few ways to ensure your own survival is through treachery and betrayal of your fellow Jerkian Warriors; rank hath many privileges — one of the most obvious being fewer missions in which death is likely. Much of the book reads as a form of propaganda from the Jerkian Command to the freshly graduated Jerkian Warriors who make up the bulk of the populace.
While reading I could not help but be reminded of Paranoia’s dark humor and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’s sense of whimsy. The introduction gently brings you into the world of role-playing games in general and begins building the over-all genre of this particular game. The second chapter, Orientation, is a delightful romp into what it is to be a Jerkian and the Jerkian Empire. Physiology, naming, duty, and other minutia of indoctrination are also covered.
Chapter three covers character creation and gives descriptions of the various Jerkians one can play. A player might also find that he or she is saddled with one of the slave races that the Jerkians have conquered in their never-ending pursuit to keep their Emperor pleased. Each career has its own stats, special abilities, skills, and standard equipment. One of my personal favorites were the Hamstoids Minesweepers, a race of extremely cute, chipper, and prolific creatures used to clear any and all explosives so that the Jerkian Warriors might pass through safely. The one bonus of being a Hamstoid is that they are just so darn cute that enemies attacking a Jerkian patrol with a Hamstoid in the party will always attack the Hamstoid last.
Chapter four covers rank and it’s privileges. Players start off at rank three – Troopers – placing them above civilians and slaves. The following section is entitled Rules of Engagement, and goes into finer detail of what an rpg is, what one needs to play, tone of the game, rules, and completes character creation. Chapter four is truly the ‘guts’ of the game. The rules are sparse, meant to be fun and easy instead of heavy and ponderous.
There is a decent list of equipment and experimental equipment included and a primer on what the Jerkians know of Earth. Listed under the Field Guide chapter are the many enemies a Jerkian can bump into while on assignment and the Battle Plans chapter gives a slew of adventure ideas. Finally, the book is completed with a guide to the other planets of that the Jerkians control.
Artwork: 2 out of 5. The artwork is pretty basic.. yet extremely entertaining.
Writing: 4 out of 5. It is clear, concise, and passes along the
Overall: 3.5 out of 5. A delightful game, easy to learn and play and
Review by Sean E. McConkey