Quick trip to Origins 2017

Well, normally I get one or two days each year at the Origins Game Fair, and this year, due to a number of reasons, it turned out to be about 60% of a day only…  Sad, but I tried to make the most of it!


Check in and setup has been a cluster-you-know-what in the past, and I’m happy to report that everything seemed to be going swimmingly today.  The press room was easy to find and badges were quick to be had.  In the regular lines, things were moving along quickly with the bar-code reading kiosks set up.  Kudos to the staff for improving this situation!

I had just started to make my way to the dealer room when I ran into an old friend (and GAMA Board member) Will Niebling.  He is working on a new project, and we quickly took a detour into a press room to talk about it.

The working title of the game is Carnevale of Monsters, and it will be produced by AMIGO. The designer is the relatively famous Richard Garfield, you know – the guy who did that Magic card thing.  Just kidding!  To me, Richard Garfield is one of the heroes of modern gaming, and I was thrilled to get to try out his new design.

Though I only got a taste of game play, it is a drafting game with some set collection aspects.  Meant for 2-5 players, with the game time looking to come in around 30-40 minutes.  I am hoping to get a copy of the rules soon and/or a preview copy so that I can devote a full preview piece to it.

One interesting aspect of the project is that while the base game production seems to be in the can, AMIGO is going to run a Kickstarter for the game in order to improve the artwork.  They are hoping to raise enough money so that each of the 120-ish cards in the box has an individualized drawing done for it.  I think they’re still working out the details of the campaign, so I don’t want to mis-speak about the details.  This might be the first time that I can remember a KS project which was only on the art.

Iello had a few new games which I will hopefully get reviews out in the next few weeks.  Most prominent in the display was Arena of the Gods

Another game which caught my eye was Stroop – a game that challenges your brain to play cards based on the characteristics of the word printed on the card, and not the actual word itself.  It’s a real-time race game – trying to get rid of your cards first – and in the rush to do so, plenty of hilarious mistakes will be made.

Sean from Mr. B games had a new case of MintWorks, and I now have the “best worker placement game that you’ll ever carry around in your pocket”.


Another game which is just coming to market is a neat die-placement game called Unearth, coming from Brotherwise Games.  You roll dice each turn to try to collect cards – and there are types of cards which favor high numbers and others that favor low numbers.  According to the folks at the stand, it has just arrived, so this should be in stores soon.  I look forward to a chance to play a whole game!

Clay from Capstone Games seems to carving a nice niche in the chewier strategy game market – he has been importing a lot of the Spielworxx titles.  He also had Three Kingdoms Redux – originally released in Singapore in 2014 – as well as a revised version of Lignum, originally by Muecke Spiele.

I was also pretty excited to see a version of Climbers… This has always been on my list of games that I wanted to acquire, but I’ve just never had the space/weight to bring it back from Essen… Now, they’re being made just up the road from me here in Ohio!

On the way out of the main hall, I did see Frank D. from R&R games, and he had the first copy of his soon-to-be newest release, Dragon Island.  This one was designed by Mike Fitzgerald, and Mike is another great designer whose games are always worth a look.

I wandered a bit into the Gaming Room – which is a cavernous room where some companies have set up demo areas.  Some of them also have traditional booths where they sell games, so you kinda have to make sure that you go through both big rooms to see all the companies.

Got to spend a few minutes in the BGG booth, and I did manage to sneak a kiss on the cheek on camera on my crush Steph.  Lots of videos are being filmed this week as they are on camera from about 10am until 8pm daily.

As I walked back into the dealer room, I did get a nice demo of some interesting games that use Chemistry as their theme.  As a Chemistry major in college, I was interested in these.  One is a co-op game (covalence) while the other was sold as a sushi go like drafting game (Ion).

That pretty much left me time to get a snarky t-shirt and then head off to a work meeting.  I bought one of these four. You’ll have to guess which one.

Hopefully more on my trip later!

Until your next appointment

The Gaming Doctor







About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
This entry was posted in Convention Report. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Quick trip to Origins 2017

  1. dbvanderark says:

    I bet it was the fox shirt

  2. Fraser says:

    Do tell us more about Ion and Covalence (I did Chem at Uni too). For the t-shirt I am going for one of the middle two.

    • Ion: Its a drafting set collection game. The comparision with Sushi Go is apt. There are several “expansions” in the box, and I tried them all with my chemistry students. We all agreed that you have to use all of them to really have somewhat interesting decisions, but its a decent game. Nothing that would set the world on fire, but its nice to see a light game using a chemistry theme and if you like chemistry I can recommend, if you dont mind drafting, light games or set colelction ;-)

      I was less amoured with covalence. Its a cooperative game, where one player gives clues ton the other players, which have to try to build a certain molecule based on the clues. First off – this is incredible frustrating, if the players dont know their organic chemistry. Second on player gives clues, and then watches. I didnt mind that (I found it interesting what the players did with the clues), but some of “my” players did. I found the clue system flawed however – you are very dependend on the clue cards availible. If you dont draw the ones with the vital ones, the players can only guess. Also, oddly, the cards were both too specific and not specific enough :-) Meaning, you could not use them very flexible, but they do leave some room for interpretation, if you havent agreed on a “language” beforehand. As it is its a very puzzle heavy game with little interaction that feels a bit forced. Too bad.

Leave a Reply