Well, it’s here: Gen Con week! On Wednesday this week, the Two Board Meeples will be heading to Indianapolis for the Best Four Days in Gaming™. We’ve already discussed some of the events we’re looking forward to, so now let’s talk about the other big draw of Gen Con: the new games! You’d better believe we’ll be queueing up early on Thursday morning ready to rush into the exhibit hall and check out all the shiny new games for sale and demoing. But what games are we most excited for? Read on and find out!
I have an acquisition disorder; I love to have everything that is new and shiny. Be damned my rule of not buying a new game until the old ones are played, I’ve got to get my hands on those shiny MFers. So, without further ado, here’s what I’m looking forward to at GenCon this year.
- London Dread – The time is finally come. Last year, I demoed this game at the Grey Fox booth and have been watching for this game ever since. The game itself could be described as a cross between T.I.M.E Stories and Eldrich Horror (or maybe not, that’s just two games it really reminds me of). In the first 12 minutes of this Victorian era horror game, everyone is programming their actions for the entire rest of the game. And then, after those 12 minutes are up, the actions of the game unfold, (hopefully) revealing major plot points and gaining useful hints to, finally, try to defeat the boss. The designer and artist were kind and supremely willing to answer questions, which was another positive point for me. Plus, now I can tell everyone about this game now that I’ve preordered it. 😉
- Brewin’ USA – I loved Viticulture, and to be honest, while the mechanics were great, making wine is what did it for me. That’s one of the reason I’m really drawn to Brewin’ USA, who doesn’t love a good craft beer made by the meeples you know and love? I’m also digging the hour play time, it’s a perfect length game for a game night or casual get together. I can’t wait to head over to their booth and check it out!
- The Last Friday – I know there are people out there looking for more games in the horror genre, and I’m hoping this is one that will fit that niche. I grew up on movies like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street, so a game emulating these movies is like a flashback to my totally normal childhood. Hidden movement is not a mechanic I’ve gotten a chance to play around with a lot (Spector Ops and Fury of Dracula being the only games I’ve played, and I was on the finder team both times), so I’m interested in giving that more of a try as well.
- Colony (demo) – I will not make a fool of myself in front of Ted Alspach again this year. And to be the honest, I really am interested in this game because I know Bezier will not only put out something I like, but will put out a game that our game group will enjoy as well. Being a theme sucker, the colony building aspect is right up my alley as well, I don’t think I’d be disappointed in this game at all.
- Interviewing Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone (Event) – So, this isn’t a game that I’m excited to try, but an event that got added later than our original list that I’m really pumped for. Ethan bought me a ticket to interview Jamey and Alan for 30 minutes, mostly because he’s the best husband in the world, but also because I really admire Jamey and the games that he and Alan have brought to people’s shelves. This is a great opportunity for us to ask questions, learn and grow from two people that have had great success in the industry.
There is no doubt there is a huge slate of new games coming out at Gen Con this year. However, it seems that a lot of what I’m excited to purchase are new expansions to games we already have, most of which I won’t be featuring here There are some original games I’m interested in, though, and definitely some games I really want to demo, if possible!
- Beyond Baker Street – It seems like the Sherlock Holmes theme is getting a lot of attention these days. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective was just reprinted recently (though the game itself is 35 years old), and there are several new games making use of the public domain IP. Beyond Baker Street, from Z-Man Games, is one such game. Described as Hanabi with a Sherlock Holmes theme, there was no way I wouldn’t be interested in this one.
- Shakespeare: Backstage – As I mentioned, there are a lot of expansions I’m hoping to pick up, and this is foremost on that list. I said in our review of Shakespeare that the game felt like it could use an expansion, so here it is! In Shakespeare, each round players bid up to five of their action cylinders to determine how many actions they can take that round. In the Backstage expansion, players now are able to use the action cylinders they didn’t bid to perform new actions with the backstage cast and crew. In addition, there will be a bevy of new recruitable actors, including the best character ever. All in all I’m excited for this expansion, and I’m hoping it adds that little bit more to Shakespeare that it really needs.
- Bring Your Own Book – For some reason, I’m really interested in this simple party game. The premise is one we’ve seen countless times before: each round, one player draws a card, and the rest of the players have to submit a word or phrase that fits the theme (e.g. “a political slogan” or “lyrics from a country western song”), and the reader selects which one he or she likes best. The twist is that, as the title says, everyone has to bring their own book in order to play, and the words and phrases that players submit must come from their book. After the first person declares they’ve found their phrase, a minute timer is started, so it doesn’t seem like there will be too long periods of everyone flipping through their books. This sounds like it will be a fun, light game that’s good for family gatherings or more casual game nights, and a party game that somewhat solves the fatigue of seeing the same responses every time, since there will always be a different variety of books each time you play.
- Mr. Lister’s Quiz Shootout and Obama Llama – This is one case where, while I am interested in these games, I’m much more intrigued by the publisher itself. This is UK-based Big Potato’s first foray stateside, and in addition to their quirky little party games, they’ll also be bringing with then the Potato Rater. Bring them an actual potato, and if it’s big enough, you may win a copy of one of their games, or a plush potato. Really. All real potatoes they receive will be donated to food kitchens and the like, so your tubers won’t be going to waste. This is just a ridiculous concept, but you’d better believe that we’ll be packing a potato or two in our bag in the hopes that they’ll measure up and be true Big Potato caliber!
- Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne (demo) – I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the myriad games in their demo phase that I was interested in checking out, and of that list of games, this one is definitely at the top. This game is essentially the Cosmic Encounter mechanic where each round you attack one of your opponents, and everyone else may choose to support the attacking or defending side. This mechanic definitely seems like it would work well with the GoT theme, and this will be a good alternative to Game of Thrones: The Board Game when we don’t want to spend 6 hours fighting each other. And coming from Fantasy Flight, I know the artwork and components are going to be stellar. They’ve done a lot of good with the Game of Thrones IP thus far, so I have high hopes for this one.
Well, that’s (some of) what we’re interested in for Gen Con 2016! Of the nearly 400 games coming out or being previewed this week, what are you looking forward to? And if you’re going to be at Gen Con, you might just run into us there! We’ll hopefully be tweeting about our experiences in real time @twoboardmeeples so you can keep up with all of our escapades.