This will be my first Gen Con, and I’m super excited to see what the experience will be like. As well as seeing friends and attending fun events (like the Nerd Nighters charity game night, Women in Gaming meetup and live recordings of podcasts like Shut Up & Sit Down and the Dice Tower), I can’t wait to roam the exhibition hall. No doubt I’ll be drinking it all up like a traveller hitting an oasis after a long stretch of desert, but in particular I’ll have my eye out for the following.
Gloomhaven – I have to admit, this wasn’t on my radar until I tuned into the BGG.tv Gen Con preview! It looks like the kind of game that would scratch a RPG campaign itch without having to dedicate quite as much time. Tactical card-driven combat, in a fantasy setting, with legacy-like changes to the setting and your characters as you go sounds like a recipe for a lot of fun. From Cephalofair Games, this will be available for demo at Gen Con ahead of its release later this year.
One Deck Dungeon – After piquing my interest during its Kickstarter campaign not too long ago, I’d love to check this little game out. It’s a rogue-like card game, for 1-2 players – you’ll delve deeper into a dungeon, defeating monsters and traps and collecting goodies, and if you can make it far enough, you’ll fight the boss. It sounds like a simple & quick fun fantasy-themed game, and I appreciate the art in this one enormously (three cheers for the sensible representation of women in fantasy-themed games!). From Asmadi Games, this will be available for demo at Gen Con ahead of its September release.
The Last Friday – As a horror movie fan, I’ve always got my eye out for board games that’ll press those same buttons in game form. Hidden movement and deduction drive this game (like Scotland Yard, Letters from Whitechapel and the like), and the “one vs many” takes a really cool turn here with one player being the “slasher” looking to find their victim! I’m also quite chuffed to see the game plays out over a number of “acts” – Arrival at the Camp, The Chase, The Massacre, and The Final Chapter. Can’t wait to see this in action! From Ares Games, this will be available for purchase at Gen Con, including a special promo card.
Tides of Madness – A sequel to Tides of Time, a wonderful drafting game for 2 players. I really enjoyed that one, and I’m intrigued at the new Lovecraftian aspects of ‘madness’ added to the gameplay of this one. As well as trying to be smart about drafting and scoring out with certain card symbols, you’ve got to keep track of your ‘madness’ symbols to make sure you don’t harm your psyche so much you’ll lose the game. With art as beautiful as the original (perhaps even more), this is a must-try for me. From Portal Games, this will be available for purchase at Gen Con.
Various IP titles – As a person of a certain age, there’s a number of IP titles that will have a presence at Gen Con that have me clapping like a little kid before Christmas morning. I’m always up for trying a game to see how it tackles one of my favourite movies/cartoons, etc, so I’ll be keeping my eye out for these in the exhibition hall. The Goonies Adventure Card Game (from Albino Dragon, available for demo and limited purchase at Gen Con); Bill & Ted’s Excellent Board Game (from Steve Jackson Games, this will be available for purchase at Gen Con); The Crow: Fire It Up! (from Upper Deck Entertainment, available for purchase at Gen Con).
Honorable mentions: Seafall (I wanna check this out because of the hype, but can’t get into another Legacy game until I’m done with Pandemic Legacy Season 1, ha!), Codenames Pictures (I’ll be grabbing my preorder, woo!), Arcane Academy (I got to test out a final stage prototype of this and really wanna grab the production release because it’s so fun).