I always like to take a few photos of things that catch my eye in order to present you, the reader, a brief glimpse into all that is Gen Con. This year, I was also able to see the convention in a new way, as I brought my two boys, my friend, and his two boys to the convention for the first time. We spent a great Sunday looking over things. Many, many trips to the dice vendors and we only got seriously lost (from each other) once. Lets here it for the CoolStuff, Inc booth as it was centrally located and had a very visible banner – great for a “lost” meeting place.
We’ll start off with a journey through the show through the eyes of a newcomer.
- Designers: Julien Gupta and Johannes Berger
- Publisher: Chili Island
- Players: 2-5
- Age: 14+
- Time: 30 minutes
- Played with review copy provided by publisher
Chili Island is a new imprint, one that focuses on family games – from the company page on BGG:
- Creative, communicative, and cooperative – are our games.
- Easy as pie – are the rules to our games.
- Artistic – are the cover and the game materials.
- Critical – are we about plastic, climate change, and discrimination.
I was given a set of three of their newest releases at GenCon 2022, and we gave them a try at a recent family reunion. Most of the players were not gamers, but I felt like this was the sort of audience that Chili Island is looking for.
Soulmates asks you: How well do you really know your friends – can you find your soulmate? In each round, use one of 125 short scenarios with four possible answers. First you decide for yourself, then you guess your fellow players’ decision. Each player gets a set of Ego Chips and Evaluation cards in their color. Additionally, there are split-colored boards in all the player colors; get out all the boards so that all of the color combinations in your game are present on the table. The scenario deck is shuffled and the appropriate number of cards is drawn.
Most gamers prefer a head-to-head boardgame experience, but sometimes that’s just not an option – thus the rise of digital adaptations. Long gone are the days when Ticket to Ride was the only big name on the app store and almost any strong selling game will get a digital port. Here’s a few I came across while wandering between the booths…
In The Palm of Your Hand
- Designer: Timothee Decroix
- Publisher: La Boite de Jeu
- Players: 2-8
- Age: 10+
- Time: 30 minutes
- Played with review copy provided by distributor, Hachette Boardgames US
La Boite de Jeu is a French outfit which has been making varied and interesting games over the past few years – It’s a Wonderful World, Huns, and Ilos are some of their titles that I have enjoyed over the past few years.
In The Palm of Your Hand is a different sort of game; where players try to “mime” the identity of an art card to someone else; only using objects on the palm of that person’s hand. The game comes with a deck of 100 cards which tell the lifestory of the Grandfather character in the game. (It’s actually kind of a fascinating thing to put the cards in order from 1-100 and then try to reconstruct the events of the life through the images on the cards).
We wind down boardgame coverage with the longest name of the show and what I believe is my longest single-game commentary. It is on the upcoming Return to Dark Tower expansion by Restoration Games. (Go ahead and jump down to it, you won’t offend me.) Each year I miss plenty of publishers, perhaps more this time around since I brought along my boys for the first time. Feel free to admonish me in the comments for overlooking your favorite one. Know that I will sit at my computer and feel appropriately contrite.
As we move through the alphabet (no, not Alphabet the megacorporation) of publishers, today will be quite a mix of light and heavy, light and dark themes, read it with the light on or off, or if you’re tired of run-on sentences, just skip it entirely and wait for tomorrow. Just know that you’re skipping over a game of psychotic killers and another about rainbow ponies… no, they’re not both in the same game. On with the games!!!