Back in May, 2020, I blogged about short, rules-light RPGs, and how The Ultimate Micro-RPG book—a collection of 40 one-page games—was going to be published in November of that year. While I pre-ordered it, I didn’t end up reading it until this year.

And I read it slowly. I read the book the same way I read a volume of poetry, one piece at a time, setting the book aside after each. Each game is worth contemplating alone.

The collection is well thought out and well laid out. While I give it five stars, I have three minor criticisms:

  • You can tear out each game to bring to your table. This is both great and horrifying to me! I hate to dissemble the book, and I was afraid I would rip the RPG I took out.
  • The book needs more GMing and improv advice. I think most of these games take more experiencing moderating than the book offers.
  • It’s hard to find games. The two indices are arranged by genre and complexity, neither of which are useful to me. (Complexity seems like an odd measure for one-page games.)

Accordingly, I’ve assembled the following list of games, sorted by player count (including the GM as a player) and time to play (length in minutes).

Players     Length  Game, Theme
1~~~~~~~~~  30- 60  With Sword Heavy in Hand, Stop your friend with your blade
1~~~~~~~~~ 180-240  Lycantree, Werewolf family tree
1234~~~~~~  30- 60  Summer Break!, Defend your fort
1234~~~~~~  60      What Our Bodies Tell Us, Body painting
123456789+ 120-240  Mythology, Tarot-driven mythmaking
~2~~~~~~~~  60-120  A Green Hour, Marriage of new gods
~2~~~~~~~~  60-120  Doomed Stars, Binary stars in love
~2~~~~~~~~  60-120  Pyrewaltz, Mecha anime rivalries
~2~~~~~~~~  60-120  Swords by Starlight, From dance partners to duelists
~2~~~~~~~~  60-120  To the Bitter End, Rivals in epic conflict
~2~~~~~~~~ 999-999  Annedale-by-Sea, Letters about a day trip
~2345~~~~~  15- 55  Van Gogh’s Ear, Bad gifts for those you love
~2345~~~~~  30- 60  Going Dark, Special Forces Agents
~2345~~~~~ 120-180  Gnomesteaders, No place like gnome
~2345~~~~~ 120-240  Breaking Rank, Spies doing one last heist
~2345~~~~~ 120-240  The Agony of Elves, Grief-stricken elves
~23456~~~~  60-120  Broken Swords and Twisted Trails, Clear 3 dungeons
~23456~~~~  60-120  Object Kilo, ET scientists’ work-life balance
~23456~~~~  60-120  Truth in the Mirage, Desert stories
~2345678~~ 120-240  Event Planning in Zero G, Alien party planners
~~34~~~~~~  60- 90  Absolution in Brass, Steampunk zombie cyborgs
~~34~~~~~~  60-120  On All Frequencies, Radio station on a surreal day
~~345~~~~~  60-120  You Were Never Really Here, Haunting by a lost ghost
~~345~~~~~  90-120  It Wants Souls, Horror haunting a family
~~345~~~~~ 120-240  Dead Planet: Martian Recon Team Alpha, Mars has gone silent
~~345~~~~~ 120-240  Hammer of the Earth, Apocalypse on a train
~~345~~~~~ 120-240  Heartbeats, Hip medical melodrama
~~345~~~~~ 240      Pig at a Wedding, Sabotage with a pig
~~3456~~~~  30- 90  Wonders, Write a one-hit wonder
~~3456~~~~  30-180  Neural Splinters, AI fragments trying to work
~~3456~~~~  60-120  Unkindness, Adolescent ravens
~~3456~~~~ 120-240  A Machine Larger Than You, Military conspiracy
~~3456~~~~ 240-180  A Pleasant Evening, Neither party nor fall asleep
~~345678~~  40      Break Room, One-upping your coworkers
~~345678~~  60-180  Super Overtime, Hero basketball finals
~~3456789+  15- 30  Hero Dog Saves Town, Non-talking dog TV show
~~3456789+  30- 60  Post-Match Interview, Athlete ignoring the surreal
~~~4~~~~~~  60-180  Tales From the Corner Coven, Bodega cats battle supernatural
~~~4~~~~~~  90      Distant Stars, Debrief about First Contact
~~~45678~~  20- 35  Wild Rovers, Lost dogs homeward bound