GenCon is over and I can say now that I spent more than I should have, but not as much as I wanted to, so I count that as a win.
The card boxes on top are Bug Out and My Word from Out of the Box. Bug Out is a basic matching game that has funny pictures of bugs on them, for instance a termite dress as a construction worked eating a wooden board. It’s not particularly deep, but that’s great for a five year old with a short attention span. My Word is one that I’m going to use differently than intended. You’re supposed to draw cards and make words out of them, but I’m going to use them as letter flash cards and to make specific words he’s supposed to be learning to sight read in kindergarten/
The next one down is The Hare & the Tortoise from iello and is part of their Tales & Games series. The box is made to look like a book and has a nice insert and magnetic closure. It’s a racing game, obviously based on the title, and just a little on the advanced side for my son, which is good since he can grow into it. I’ve played it once with him so far and he had fun moving pieces and drawing cards even though he wasn’t grasping any of the strategy involved yet.
The blue box is the Blue Sun expansion for Filefly: The Game from Gale Force Nine. This includes and add-on board which will make the table space required a little bit more ridiculous than it already is and adds Rim Space to the game, which is the area that the movie took place in. Mr. Universe, Reaver Space, and the planet Miranda. I didn’t get to demo this one, but I couldn’t pass up Firefly related product even if it’s related to the movie part of the franchise.
The two white boxes are the Durani and Guldana factions for Golem Aranca and the white banded stack of cardboard below those is the second tileset. I got the other two factions and the first tileset as part of my original Kickstarter pledge, but I decided after running through the tutorial that I wanted to pick up the other two. I’ve not played enough yet to really comment on how different each of the factions works. I got to play two games at GenCon and I’ve been through one of the tutorial games twice. I’m planning to post some unboxing photos and more thoughts on the game after I get more time with it. I will say that I really like what I’ve played so far and I appreciate being able to off load all of the book keeping to an app. Sometimes I enjoy doing that kind of thing and there’s other miniatures games like Galaxy Defenders for that, but Golem Arcana will be really nice for times when I don’t want to do everything myself.
Downwood Tales is the latest expansion for Mice and Mystics from Plaid Hat. Mice and Mystics is a coop miniatures game, provides a strong narrative experience, and is very family friendly. While I haven’t played the expansion at all yet, I have played the base game twice and quite enjoyed it. I hope to sit down with my oldest sometime in the next year and start a playthrough, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to get the expansion without having to worry about shipping. Having a few promo card included didn’t hurt either. Plus Plaid Hat is one of two small game publishers that I’m a big fan of and I like to support them as directly as possible.
Shadowrun: Crossfire is at the bottom of the stack. It’s a cooperative deck builder from Catalyst Game Labs. I got the chance to play a full game at the release party on Thursday night and really loved it. Being a fan of deck builders and coop games as well as the Shadowrun setting, this was a game that I was fully expecting to buy coming into GenCon. I’m still a little unsure about the character progression aspect as it involves using stickers, but that’s a personal hangup on my part. It feels too much like marking in a book, which I never do except for getting an author’s signature.
I also picked up two Minecraft plushies. The Creeper for my oldest and the baby pig for my youngest. They were a big hit, although I started regretting the Creeper choice immediately after getting home as Thing One started chasing Thing Two around the house hissing and then shouting, “Boom!”
Return to Real Life
Today I got back to my real life again. This morning was a real struggle trying to get my kids ready for school/daycare while my body had only started to recover from too much walking and not enough sleep. Coffee was just enough to let me function. The rest of the day was spent trying to remember what I was doing at work last week, catching up on chores around the house, and digging into the massive backlog on my RSS reader. Not much fun but I have no regrets whatsoever. GenCon was absolutely worth it. Totally fun.
Day 18 of Blaugust