||It says it right there in the tagline - Bulldogs! Sci-Fi that Kicks Ass!
Now, to be honest, I could quite easily stop this review right here, proclaiming my agreement with the tagline, but that'd be a disservice to the folks at Galileo Games and my own enjoyment of my blathering reviews—so, obviously the review shall continue.
First off, that cut-n-dry stuff that I tend to glaze over since it doesn't really effect my review:
168-page PDF with a lot of color images throughout the piece, which I'm sure looks awesome in print (although I can't testify to that, since I don't have a hardcopy...yet). It uses the FATE system, with authors Brennan Taylor and Brian Engard getting on with their textuality. Kurt Komoda and Jaime Posadas get all artistic up on it, too.
By the way, now's a good time to point out that I've some indirect affiliation with Brian Engard, as I'm a freelancer that does a bit of work with Rite Publishing with whom Brian Engard's gonna be doing some work with. It's not on projects that I'm working on, currently or foreseeably, but clarity and transparency is a good thing. Also, this PDF was unpurchased by me, instead it was a present however it was not gifted by, or in connection with Galileo Games. But, I liked it enough that not only have I hawked it to friends, I also plan on buying more of it for myself, soon.
Now back to the blatherings...
I've only become recently exposed to the FATE system, it started with some preorders of the Dresden Files RPG from Evil Hat, then some PDF and hardcopy love of Diaspora by VSCA Publishing (in association with Evil Hat), and now more through Galileo Games' Bulldogs!—a product that is awesome, and quite in step with the august grouping I just blathered it into. Seriously, if you're a fan of bawdy and brash space opera then there is not need to look further than this fine offering here.
Odds are if you're looking at FATE system games, then you're already a convert of the FATE system and there's not reason for me to sell you on the mechanic. If you're not a fan of it, save the link to Bulldogs! and go take a look at FATE...if you like it, and like space opera, then buy this PDF. It's that simple, honestly.
With respect to how highly I think of Bulldogs! as a RPG setting, that's quite easy, too. See, I cut roleplaying game teeth at a young age some 30+ years ago, first on Dungeons & Dragons and then, a couple years later I further cut them on Star Frontiers. Sure, I watched Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Alien (probably shouldn't have watched it that young, but sue me I liked it), and other such stuff, but I didn't set the bar I measured games with by those movies since that's what I had action figures for...tabletop was different.
So, if you wanna be an awesome tabletop, space opera scifi game for me, then you gotta pass the Star Frontiers test and Bulldogs! does that quite easily. It mashes the same buttons, slaps similar knees, and jerks the right chains and I love it. It might mesh up with some of your more irreverent Traveller games, too, but I don't think that was their collective aims when they wrote it. I'm guess here, maybe even hopefully so, but I hope that it was meant to hit the same genre vibe as Star Frontiers, because it did so. Heck, I bet you could just convert the hell out of certain races and drop them right into a campaign and no one would notice...at least no one would feel it didn't fit.
Seriously, Urseminites and Dralasites would hang out, get drunk, cause problems, and bond in the weirdest ways and you all know it. It wouldn't be that hard, either, since the rules for creating your own races are right in there, too.
Gotta love that "Say yes, or roll" mentality that FATE promotes in its designers and developers. *grins*
Bulldogs! walks you right through the framework of its setting, the places and species within, as well as including a leveling mechanic, and the general stuff that comes with a FATE game.
Personally I sat stop reading this and buy the PDF, already!
[5 of 5 Stars!]