SQUIRMISH™: THE CARD GAME OF BRAWLING BEASTIES READY FOR BATTLE!

A Different Kind of Beast-Fighting Card Game for Kids

Minneapolis, MN, June 27, 2016– Battling card-games like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh are having a resurgence in popularity among the middle-school crowd. A new card game called Squirmish™ has been released that provides a unique alternative to the mainstream card-battling games. Cartoonist Steven Stwalley created the game when his 10-year old daughter got into Pokémon… but had problems finding people who knew how to play it among her friends who collected the cards.

“I was surprised that so many kids collected Pokémon without playing it. Much of the reason for this, I think, is the game is overly-complex…and just not very fun. What I see as its failings inspired me to make my own game,” said Stwalley.

Squirmish is for 2-4 players, takes about 30 minutes to play, and, the box points out, is not for babies.

Each card has a different ridiculous character, with names such as “Mr. Bottom,” “Figboot,” and “Big Dumb Bear.” The game-play for Squirmish is very straightforward… you draw a card, place a card, move or attack, and resolve special abilities. However, the cards’ wildly-varying special abilities add infinite variety and strategic complexity to the game.

“I wanted to keep the game simple enough the basics of it could be learned in a few minutes, but complex enough to reward repeated game-play,” said Stwalley.

Cards are placed next to each other in the middle of the table facing the player that places it (this makes it so everyone can keep track of their cards). The mass of cards is known as “The Squirmish.” Cards can only attack cards adjacent to them (unless a special ability lets them do otherwise).

The game also has some funny quirks. Each card has a “battle cry,” which when said in a silly voice when the card is placed gives that card +1 to its attack. Also, some cards belong to groups (such as the “Spooner Valley Cryptids,” “The Fraternal Order of Strange Fellows” and “The Biscuit Sisters”) with group abilities that are activated when more than one member of that group is in play. Players are encouraged to use o-shaped cereal to keep track of a card’s damage.

The first player to knock out three of their opponents’ cards for their victory pile wins the game.

While it is a beast-battling card game, Squirmish has little resemblance to its mainstream inspirations. With bizarre, funny, and often grotesque characters like, “Boil Boy,” “Tackyosweatersaurus,” and “Old Picklenose,” Stwalley’s visual inspiration comes much more more from Mad Magazine than Pikachu.

Three different sets of Squirmish cards have been released. Sets A and B contain 54 unique cards each, along with a die. There is also a Deluxe Set that includes all of the cards from both sets A and B, as well as 4 dice, 50 damage counters and a cloth bag (at a lower cost than buying Sets A and B separately).

Unlike the mainstream monster-fighting card games, Squirmish is designed with the emphasis on playing rather than collecting… all of the cards needed to play are included in the deck.

“Squirmish is made for having fun playing the game… there is no focus on collecting. Save that money for college, kids!”

Squirmish has a website, which includes previews of cards so you can learn about them before playing.

You can download the rules at the Squirmish website here.

The game is available for purchase online here.

REVIEWS OF SQUIRMISH

“It’s a simple card game, but it has a lot of meat to it… If you’re looking for a battling card game that you can introduce to people to maybe even get them into bigger and deeper games, this is a great introduction to do so.” – David Bray at Sit Down Standard.

“Overall, I’ve had fun with Squirmish both with my kids and with adult players. I think it’s a lot of fun for families. The dice-based abilities mean that there’s still a good amount of chance involved, which gives less-experienced players a chance to take on more-experienced players, so gamers who want something with pure strategy may not like it quite as much. And don’t forget to shout your battle cries as you enter the fray!” – Jonathan H. Liu at GeekDad.

“This game is made in direct response to collectible card games aimed at the pre-teen age group, such as Pokemon. There are battling monsters in this game, but unlike a collectible game, everything you need to play is included in one box. I’m a Pokemon Professor and Judge for the card game, so I was really very interested to try this out. It did not disappoint and actually exceeded expectations.” – Chandra Reyer at TSR’s Multiverse.

ABOUT STEVEN STWALLEY

Steven Stwalley is a cartoonist, animator and poppa. His comics have been featured in numerous anthologies and gallery shows, as well as in the Hot Ink: Comic Art show at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. He was also a featured cartoonist in the book Superheroes, Strip Artists, and Talking Animals: Minnesota’s Contemporary Cartoonists by Britt Aamodt, published by the Minnesota Historical Society. He often posts webcomics (such as Soapy the Chicken and his collaborative comics with Ben Zmith; Monkey’s Paw and Strip Mall). He has also created numerous comic books, and regularly collaborated with other artists to create comics anthologies and jam comics. Stwalley is a founding member of The International Cartoonist Conspiracy. He works at WORLD MONSTER HQ, the most terrifying cartooning studio in Minneapolis.

 

PRESS KIT

 


Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #21: Squinch

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Squinch loves to fight, and it is a good thing, as it is all he is good at. While this plus-sized pugilistic pigeon wears boxing gloves to punch his opponents, he rarely uses them… he prefers to use his head to beat his opponents. That is not to say he outwits them… his IQ is lower than a snail’s bellybutton. He literally uses his head as a blunt instrument to beat his enemies with.

His neck acts as a giant spine-spring, enabling him to attack from a distance… his whiplash ability lets him attack any card in play. If he rolls a 6 on his basic attack, his attack does three damage to the attacked card and another card in play!

Unfortunately, using his skull for a club has left his brain completely addled. His skull is extra-thick and durable, leaving little room for brain to begin with… and the years of bopping his miniature-mind-matter around his brainpan has left it bruised, battered, and barely-functioning. It has left him able to do little beyond fighting. You would think that this would make him an easy opponent to beat… indeed, even his coordination has suffered, and he stumbles around dizzily. However, his head-hammer is quick and far-reaching, and only misses on a roll of one.

This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game. You can now buy copies of Squirmish here.

Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #20: Ruggles

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Ruggles is a good boy! Good boy, Ruggles! Who’s a good boy? Ruggles is a good boy! Good Ruggles. That’s a good boy. That’s a boy!

If you roll a 6 on Ruggles’ basic attack, in addition to doing 4 damage, his Go Fetch attack lets him move any card in play to a spot next to him. This is good for making it so he can attack whatever card you want him to next turn… and for moving particularly nasty cards away from a position where they can attack Ruggles.

Using his special ability On the Scent, Ruggles can move any time a card adjacent to him moves.

Ruggles is a member of Crew K-9… and as such does 2x damage to other members of Crew K-9, as they all love a good fight, but can get a bit carried away.

Squirmish is now on Kickstarter here. This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game.

Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #19: Pompadoo

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Pompadoo, the cat with the pompadour hairdo, is a failed internet celebrity. Impressed by the popularity of Princess Monster Truck and Hipster Cat, Pompadoo figured his greasy pompadour hairdo would instantly land him fortune and fame. So far, it has only landed him a greasy hairdo, but he’ll keep trying.

Pompadoo is a good fighter… he always lands some damage, regardless of the roll. On 6, he does his cuddle claw, so smooth and gentle, his opponent’s don’t even know they just took 3 damage… and the attacked card can’t attack him on their next turn. Why would they? He didn’t do anything to them, right? And where is all this blood coming from?

Like an excited kitty pouncing on a mouse or spot of laser light, Pompadoo loves a moving target. Using his catnip crazy special ability, he does +2 damage to any card that moved on its last turn.

In spite of being a good fighter, Pompadoo is also a reluctant fighter. He hates to do anything that might mess up his hair. “Why must we fight, dollink?” is his battle cry. He rarely calls anyone by their actual name… indeed, he is so self-centered, he rarely bothers to remember names. He prefers to call everyone “dollink,” “baby,” “sveetcakes,” “punkin,” or “honey bunny boo.”

Pompadoo is another member of the Kitty Kat Club, and as such can not attack other members of said club.

Squirmish is now on Kickstarter here. This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game.

Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #18: Uno Ojo

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“There is only one way to look at things. My way!”

There is only one way to view things, and that is the way Uno Ojo sees things… as plain as the eye on his face. Uno Ojo always knows what is correct. All other viewpoints are wrong.

Had Uno Ojo not decided to be a demon when he grew up, he certainly would have had a successful career in politics.

Try to see things through Uno Ojo’s eye at your own peril. His tunnelvision does three damage to a card, and makes it so the attacked card must attack Uno Ojo on their next turn. Why would Uno Ojo want another card to attack him? Using his evil eye special ability, when attacked, Uno Ojo rolls a die… and on a 5 or 6, the attacker takes the damage from their own attack instead of Uno Ojo.

A member of The Cyclopsean Cychos, when his group is active, Uno Ojo can re-roll once for each member in play. Since his worst attack and special ability already happen on a 5 or a 6, this makes him very likely to succeed in using them when his group is active.

Squirmish is now on Kickstarter here. This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game.

Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #17: Twistybug

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Twistybug is card number 17. Twistybug was just a regular insect until she discovered the once-popular dance craze the twist. Dancing to this, along with the mashed potato, the monkey and the funky chicken caused her to form her unusual exoskeleton (bugs, of course, have no spine with which to shake their buggy booties, so she had to make do without one).

When Twistybug does her special ability Chubby Chigger after attacking, she twists away, moving to any spot in the Squirmish.

Twistybug is just a little bug (with only 8 hitpoints)… but she has a nasty bite. Her bendybite does three damage, plus one damage for each card in the attacked opponent’s victory pile.

Did you know mosquitoes, with their filthy, potty mouths, kill more people annually than sharks, alligators and bears combined? Well, Twistybug is not a mosquito, but she eats mosquitoes for breakfast, and has amassed quite the collection of mosquito-borne diseases in the process. Sure, she her bite carries the obvious ones, like malaria and west nile… but have you even heard of such rarities as the Saskatchewan Stomach Spewer and Leg-grow-from-your-head-itis? She carries them, and many, many more. And she never, ever brushes her teeth.

Squirmish is now on Kickstarter here. This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game.

Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #16: Pooga

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Pooga is… Pooga… Pooga is AUH! AW! AH-CHOO!

Oh, my allergies. Pooga is just covered in allergens. When attacked, her “dandy dander” does 2 damage to the attacking card if they are allergic to her (which they are on a 5 or 6). This, combined with her 12 hitpoints, make her a pretty challenging card to knock out.

Her attacks aren’t all that great… she only does damage half of the time. But if you roll a 6 on her basic attack, her toxoplasmosis does 3 damage to ALL adjacent cards (regardless of who controls them… yes, you can do damage to your own cards. You really might want to clean her box.).

As a member of the Kitty Kat Club, she can not attack or be attacked by another member of the Kitty Kat Club.

AH-CHOO! Augh. Do you have any tissues?

Squirmish is now on Kickstarter here. This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game.

Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #15: Swirlyface

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Look deeply into Swirlyface’s eyes. Deeper… deeper…

How did you end up lying on the floor unconscious? Where did your wallet go? And how did you end up in Philadelphia with a marriage license folded up in your pocket? Whose hair is that in the sink? Why does the room reek of stilton cheese? And your left canine tooth… replaced with a pink eraser?

These are the sorts of questions those who oppose Swirlyface are likely to be asking soon after. Her hypnotic gaze is confounding… staring into her eyes is, at the very least, likely to make opponents lose their balance as they tilt their heads 87 degrees to the right.

Her attack doesn’t usually do a lot of damage… but on a 5 or 6, it doesn’t need to. If she confounds her opponent, they do the attacking for her, and pummel another card for her in their confusion.

When her special ability Askew You is used on her turn, she can choose to move an opponent’s card, leaving her victims wondering where they are before they even knew where they were in the first place.

Squirmish is now on Kickstarter here. This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game.

Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #14: Buckychuckel

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A lot of people carry severed rabbit feet for good luck. This is not nearly as lucky for the rabbits that were using the feet before them. Buckychuckel has two rabbit feet, and they are still attached to him… which makes him doubly lucky at least.

Buckychuckel’s luck is nothing short of remarkable. If he drops a piece of toast, it not only lands butter-side up, it lands on a plate! If you place Buckychuckel into the Squirmish, perhaps, like the silver scratch-off on a lottery ticket, some of his luck will rub off on you.

So great and uncanny is his luck, that every time he is attacked, his lucky feets make the card attacking him suffer some random misfortune (such as hitting their head on a low flying pancake, or stepping on a sleeping wombat) that costs them a hitpoint.

He does not do an enormous amount of damage, generally, but on a 4-6 on his basic attack, he pulls off a Jump N’ Stomp move, which does 3 damage and heals him 1 hitpoint.

Squirmish is now on Kickstarter here. This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game.

Meet the Squirmish™ Cards | Card #13: Killgor the Conqueror

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SO CUTE!!!!

Little, pink and baby-like, Killgor the Conqueror is probably the single cutest card in the Squirmish deck… at least until he opens his mouth and squeaks his battle cry: “THE BLOOD OF MINE ENEMIES SHALL FLOOD THE STREETS OF THEIR ANCESTORS!” Actually, he is even cute saying that. Cute, cute, cute. Cute. Just wanna hug the snuggly little fuzzy!

With only one cute little hitpoint, you would think Killgor would be easy to destroy… and he is! Any hit will probably knock him out. However, he is very hard to hit. His small stature, combined with opponents’ aversion to causing harm to such a “cute widdle fella” makes it so any attack on Killgor fails 50% of the time (on a 4-6 roll). But how could you even THINK about hurting such a darling little cutie?

Still, just one hitpoint… how threatening can the little fella be, right? Just look at those sweet little pink-eraser arms! I bet they make teeny-tiny honking noises when he punches!

Well… Killgor is actually one of the most dangerous cards in the deck. An expert in all manner of weaponry, a master of the ancient martial art of kill-fu, and a proud carrier of all sorts of cute little rodent-borne pestilence, Killgor’s basic attack is absolutely lethal.

Killgor’s basic attack never fails to inflict damage- and it inflicts a lot of it, doing a minimum of 5 points of damage. On 6, Killgor smites! and knocks out the attacked card regardless of how many hitpoints that card might have (assuming the opponent has five cards in play… if not, he “only” does 10 points of damage).

Really, though, if you’re going to get knocked out… he’s such a cute little guy to do it, isn’t he? With those big round, eyes! SO CUTE!!!

Squirmish is now on Kickstarter here. This is a series of posts designed to help you learn a bit about some of the cards before you play the game.