GenCon Recap – Shopping Spree
Final GenCon recap article. This time about what I bought. There’s so much to see at GenCon and so many hot games that you could want to get. I budgeted what I could get, and compared to what I saw some people come back with on the Dice Tower facebook group, my budget was smaller. But that is fine, because I have plenty of new games now to get to the table.
Let’s talk about what’s coming to my game table soon:
Welcome To… Doomsday and Welcome To… Spring – So this is just an expansion to a game that I already love, Welcome To. These add new things to the board, where in the first game you were building neighborhoods, pools, and parks, in these two, you get to add in new things. The Spring has Easter eggs scattered about, and if you fill in those houses, you get points for collecting eggs. In Doomsday you are building bunkers for the inevitable nuclear destruction of your neighborhood. You can save as many people as the house number, but the person who saves the most gets the more points, but will it mess up your neighborhood?
Hats – This Alice in Wonderland Tea Party themed game is a fairly small card game that comes in a beautiful package. I had seen it played on Man Vs Meeple youtube channel, and it looked like a lot of fun. I picked it up, and it was a lot of fun. The interesting thing about the game is that while you are collecting cards, you aren’t using the cards from your hand to score. Instead you are placing them out into a scoring track, and taking a card from that track that you’ll score at the end. But it’s possible that at the end of the game certain colors won’t score, which could keep you from getting points on something you’ve collected. It’s a simple game of placing cards and scoring cards, but because you really don’t score your own hand of cards, there is a nice twist on it. And it look great, the plastic cookie in it, looks almost real.
The Grimm Masquerade – In this game, you play three rounds where you are a different (possibly) fairy tale character at a masquerade. You are trying to collect the item that you want, but you don’t want to be too obvious about it, otherwise the other players can force you to take what you don’t want. This is a smaller social deduction game with some actual game to it. On a turn you draw a card and can either keep it for yourself or place it in front of an opponent, and then you draw a second card and do the opposite thing. If you get three of your item you get the end of round points, but if you make it too obvious people can guess as to who you are for a couple of points or give you the items that you don’t want. Can you properly hide who you are while deducing what other fairy tale characters are at the table with you. At the end of three rounds, most points wins. This one seems very interesting and looks great. I like social deduction games that put in more of a game than you get from Resistance and Werewolf.
Tokyo Highway + Expansion – I didn’t get this one for myself technically. Kristen and I are celebrating our fifth anniversary in a few weeks. And with that, you get anniversary gifts for each other and we often try, just for the fun of it, to match the randomly assigned theme from years ago that you can google. For five years it is wood. And Tokoyo Highway is a pretty looking dexterity game that has a lot of wood components. In the game you are trying to build a highway system in a way that you can get all of your cars onto the roads before your opponent. But to be able to place a car, your road either needs to go above or below another road, so it becomes tricky to place them. The expansion adds in some different shaped cars, so it might be easier to place the small cars early, but does that mean you can’t place a truck later on, because it won’t fit?
Cat Cafe – Cat Cafe is a cute little roll and write game. In it you are setting up your cat trees to attract the cats in the cat cafe over to you. You get points for getting toys and treats in certain arrangements and for completing cat trees. It seems like a good roll and write game, and with two different strategies the first time that I played it, the game ended up being close. For a cute little theme, this is actually more of a thinky roll and write than I thought it would be. I will knock the game a little bit because the dice are bad in the game, but it gets some of those points back because the pencils that come in the game have erasers, which is unheard of. I, however, laminated my boards so I can play it even longer.
Cobwboy Bebop Boardgame Boogie – I actually don’t know a ton about this game, except for what the saleman told me at GenCon. But I also got a free game with it, Albion’s Legacy, that I know even less about. In Cowboy Bebop Boardgame Boogie you are taking on the roles of the main characters from the show. You are trying to complete missions, get small bounties, but you really want to get the big bounties and compete your own objectives. What is interesting about this game is that each character has their own powers that they can do that are supposed to be fairly thematic. I’ll be curious to get this game to the table as it looks interesting, and I really like the Cowboy Bebop theme.
Sagrada The Great Facades – Passion – Another expansion, this one for a game that I really love. Sagrada is just a beautiful game to get to the table. And this expansion adds in some shiny clear dice. These are used in place in one of the powers that you can use, but the dice doesn’t count as any color making it easier to place. I think that it adds in an interesting challenge to the game, making it easier, but those power seem expensive. You also get to add in some more scoring objectives that can make the game trickier and give it more variety as you play. I’m waiting to get this one to the table soon.
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong and Expansion – I love this game, but I haven’t owned it and it’s been hard to find. But, of course, it was available at GenCon, so I had to grab it. This is just such as good social deduction game, and a mystery game. It’s fun, as a detective, to try and figure out the clues that the Forensic Scientist is giving you. And sometimes, a clue just isn’t going to be useful, but as the detectives, you don’t know that. I’m waiting to get this back to the table soon.
Detective: City of Angels – This is the biggest game that I got, but I’m a sucker for detective games. I do have to get them to the table more, as I also want to get Chronicles of Crime, which we demoed. But this one is interesting because it isn’t a cooperative game. In fact, there is one person who runs all the suspects who is intentionally trying to get mislead the detectives so that they can’t figure it out. And, along with that, as a fellow detective, you can send in someone to spy and get the same information, but it’s going to cost you money. Can you balance all of that to figure out what is going on, and can you figure out when to lean on a suspect to get that last piece for information, or were they telling the truth? I think this game seems like fun on either side, but I would love to be a detective in it.
Loup Garou – From the same company that made Detective: City of Angels, this is something completely different. It’s part of their graphic novel series. I don’t know a ton about this story, but it looked cool, and was the sales persons favorite of the books. What is interesting about these books is that they are a choose your own adventure graphic novel. That doesn’t seem like something a board game company would do. But, it is because you have a character sheet with abilities that turns this reading adventure into a game. I’m curious to try it out, and if I like it, they have a lot more titles that I’ll want to get my hands on, including a cooperative graphic novel adventure that is more child focused, but if you are playing the tall character, your panel is going to give you more options than you’re the strong character if, for example you’re standing next to a fence, but less options if you are standing by a boulder blocking a cave entrance. These seem really cool and fun to try.
I think that’s all that I got. You can see that I have a lot of games to get to the table. And I missed out on a couple that I’d love to get my hands on, mainly Letter Jam. But it’ll be fun to get those to the table this year, plus the other big box games that I have coming from Kickstarter eventually.
What of these games would you be most interested in trying? Was there a game that you were really looking forward to coming out at GenCon?
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