International Racing Squirrels is a race management sim that also models and reflects on real-world financial systems. The game has the player running an errant gang of misbehaving squirrels, who act a bit like glamorous soccer stars. It is set in the dark underworld of the international squirrel racing scene, brought to life with 50 interactive “storylets” and 25 levels through which the game’s complexity gradually unfurls.
Bribery, debt, hotel room trashing, gambling and secondary careers in reality TV or the pop charts are rife. In the up-tree urban training facility players purchase homes, build up their team, train their squirrels and send them off to racetracks around the world. From jungles to futuristic cities and streets to deserts they face a barrage of feisty opponents. The idea was inspired by an article in Scientific American on the relative running speeds of animals.