Since I have a long list of games to buy, opening day at Gen Con is always a mad dash of trying to procure all the limited quantity games. Luckily I had only 2 booths left that have potential issue of selling out Thursday morning so by about 9:15 a.m., I was done shopping and dragging the new purchases back to the hotel room. Here’s a picture of today’s loot. I think my suitcases are full now.
On the way to hand money to my favorite boardgame publishers, I stopped at the Fantasy Flight booth to check out a couple of demo-only games. The Witcher Adventure Game, from Polish designer Ignacy Trzewiczek, is set in the world of The Witcher. I am not familiar with the source novels or video games, but based on the demo game, this is one adventure game that I would definitely enjoy playing. Not being an expert of the genre, I often feel player options in many adventure games ate somewhat reactive. The quests in The Witcher provide more focused strategies, but the game also allows for interesting decisions on how players can earn points (sometimes by helping another player accomplishing his quest). The rules are simple as most of the complexities are on cards. I look forward to playing a full game later this year.
XCOM is another FFG game with lots of buzz. I am again ignorant of the source video game. The game uses an electronic device to provide real-time tasks to the players, who have each assume the role of the defense team against the invading aliens. The use of the device keeps the game pace tense, and the demo session was definitely a fun nail-biter. For those who worries that experienced players can become too good at this game, the randomness of the dice roll and card draw will ensure things are not going according to plan.
I got a quick demo of Colt Express from Ludonaute. It is a light game of bandits robbing train passengers, with cute 3D trains. Players all take turns programming their actions according to the specification on the train car drawn at the beginning of round. There are plenty of character interactions, just as you expect the the wild west.
Lookout Games brought a couple of Essen releases (in prototype form) for demo at the Mayfair booth. Patchwork is a 2-player tile laying/spatial puzzle game from Uwe Rosenberg, where players buy patchwork tiles in an attempt to cover up as much space as possible. Hanno Girke’s young son was advising me in German during the game, and since I got a negative score, probably laughing at all the stupid moves I made.
Murano is the other Lookout game I tried. Hanno calls it a worker movement game. Players move one of the gondolas to an empty action space and perform action allowed at that space. It is a solid Euro we have come to know and expect from Lookout. It is now on my buy list for Essen.
I decided to check out the new games at the Rio Grande room. I only have time for a quick game of Rattlebones, where players move their 3 ‘workers’ around the action selection board and upgrade their 3 dice to earn points (at the beginning of the game, your dice have only pips for movement. Each time you land on an action spot, you can upgrade a die face to that action.
I had just enough time to play a demo game of Villainy at the Mayfair booth before heading over to Bezier Games booth for my afternoon shift. Apparently I am a true master villain, and our game ended in record time.