I originally bought this game to introduce my kids to RPGs. It has a lot of great kid-friendly art (I later found out one of the authors writes a comic: modest medusa). As I started flipping pages, I was blown away by the sheer amount of content, and clever ideas (some rules I'll be now using for my grown-up rpgs!).
At its core, the main mechanic is a simple d6 pool, where your stats/attributes (called "core dice") and things like weapons and special abilities all add aditional dice to your pool. The total of all your dice is compared to the Game Master's target number, or in the case of a competition, the other player/monster's total.
Player Characters (called "friends") will gain dice (either in their stats or special abilities) by advancing in a class (called "Heroic Jobs") or through some roleplaying challenges. Players create a "friend" based on archetypes like: Big Sister, Bully, and even a Dog. Heroic Jobs give access to special abilities (including magic) and uniquie abilities that are only available to that Herioc Job.
Combat is always repersented on an 8 x 8 grid (obviously for simplicity, although I don't see any reason that couldn't change). Your attack pool (which includes weapons) is compared to the target's defense pool (which includes armor) and if you have the higher total, you remove 1 of thier core "Tough" dice.
So far, all of this is pretty standard rpg material (purposly so, to help kids learn the rules). But there are some very clever twists on traditional rpg rules:
Combat initiative allows the Players to always go first. But introduces an "Excuse Me" rule, where monsters can try to interrupt and take their turn instead. Based on rolls, this means each round of combat has an unpredictable initiative order - keeping everyone on their toes.
Teamwork is the key to winning fights, as every success the previous player gets, allows the next player to get a culmaltive +1 bonus die to thier pool. This means you are excited to see your fellow players succeed - and slowly ramps up the action.
Hiding and Sneaking is brilliantly done, allowing the stealthy "rogue" types to hide, removing themselves from the battle board. If they come in at the end of the first round, they can enter any 'edge' of the board. If they sneak further, coming into play after the 2nd+ round, they can place thier charater in ANY square on the battle board. Of course there is risk to this, and a monster can use it's action to try and spot/stop them.
Magic allows your character to use any spell they know, but the more powerful the spell, the higher the Target Number they have to roll to successfully cast the spell. But your spell roll is also used by monsters to 'resist' that spell. So rolling great has its rewards.
However, magic can also be "fumbled/backfire", if you roll two or more "1's" in your pool. These can have very chaotic (and fun!) results.
No one finds it fun to die or go unconscious (loosing all your Tough pool) during battle - especially kids. But the game introduces "ghosts". While you are temporarily out of the fight, you may have "ghost" actions, which may aid friends, 'haunt' enemies, or even do battle with other ghosts. This is a great way for to ensure players can still have fun, even if thier character is temporarily disabled.
I could continue to ramble-on, mentioning scores of cool magic items, the great villians/campaign that is built in, how important calandar dates and the "friend's" age becomes important, and how it uses lavish illustrations throughout to walk you through the rules.
If I had to give one negative to my review, it would be about the organization of a few of the rules. Often I found myself flipping back and forth to find rules. For example, spells are introduced early in the book, but magic backfires are explained later in the book. Or how weapons are described in one section, but how some weapons require 2 hands to wield is descibe in a different section.
This is a stunning game, and while it is geared for kids, it would make a valuable addition to any RPG collection. Highly recommended.