I know how strong and thriving the board game scene is in Toronto, but even so, I was impressed when I walked into the Ralph Thornton Centre last weekend. ProtoTO is one of the best events in the city for aspiring and accomplished designers alike and the latest gathering was the best yet. The entire second floor was packed to the brim with designers and playtesters. There were so many people there, gaming spilled out into the hallways.
I got to try out a few different titles, that may still need some work, but are still interesting prototypes. Valet is a futuristic tile-laying game, where players try and complete ticket claims by finding or creating specific hover cars in the parking lot.
In Art Aficionados, players need to draw works of art with their eyes closed inspired by a secretly identified title. Everyone else has to guess which title they drew based on the finished picture.
Widgets is a bit of set collection mixed with rock, paper, scissors, and a dash of take-that. It’s simple and fun and I was left wanting to play it again. For me, that’s a pretty goo sign for a game.
The F.A.D. Paradox is a two-player game, were you are hipsters traveling through time trying to collect sets of cool vintage items from different time periods. You may come back with a super sweet new outfit, but look out for those paradoxes.
There were tons of games on display for people to try out and offer their feedback on. For designers, an event like ProtoTO is incredibly valuable. They are able to get months worth of feedback in a condensed timeframe. They can even make immediate adjustments, based on the comments they receive and see how the changes affect the game.
As long as there are events like ProtoTO in the city, the board game community will continue to thrive and grow.