Just wondering if anyone else will be heading to Philly for PAX Unplugged this weekend. It’s not video game stuff, of course, but I’d wager that there’s some tabletop players among us.
If you’ll be there, let’s meet up for a high five!
You’d wager right.
While I cannot travel I’d be curious about what games you saw that appealed.
I didn’t end up playing too many games, and I think only one that I did play was new. I watched a bunch of the panels. That said, here’s a quick recap:
Keyforge. [5/10] I think this is new. It’s a competitive deck-based game where you buy a single unique deck and play against someone else who bought a unique deck. You don’t buy cards and build your own like Magic. It was decently fun. Basically, you build up one resource over time in order to “forge” when you collect 6. The first to forge three times wins. I dislike it because it seems like the main game design is to force you to keep buying new decks in order to compete. Everything else–like fun-- is secondary.
Tsuro [10/10]. This is not new. It is really fun, though. The rules are simple: you pick a spot on the outside of the board to start, then place pieces on the board that create a path. You move your token along the path, twisting along as you and your opponent(s) add pieces. If you go off the board, you lose. It’s like riding and building a roller-coaster at the same time – hoping that you don’t send yourself in the wrong direction.
Patchwork [8/10]. Not new. You start with an empty board (10x10 I think). Each turn, you buy a new piece and try to fill your board in. It’s like slow-motion Tetris. Each piece also tells you how many spots to move ahead on the other board used to track progress. It has a cool catch-up mechanic where the person farthest behind always goes next. You don’t just alternate. It was easy to learn and a good amount of fun.
Great Western Trail [7.5/10]. Relatively new-ish, from 2016. This was good, but very complicated. It’s one of those Victory Point type games, with lots of different angles to play. You buy cattle, buy land, claim railway stations, advance your train distribution network, remove hazards that get in your cart’s way, and make multiple trips around the board to Kansas City to sell your herd. It has fun and interesting mechanics and is quite challenging. My cow game was very strong, and I won. So I like this game.
Junk Art [7.5/10]. Also from 2016. This is a very simple game which is very fun for group / party situations. It’s like Jenga that you build from scratch, adding pieces and trying not to have your structure fall down. Unlike Jenga, however, the pieces are not nice and flat – they’re all sorts of weird shapes. It takes some dexterity that I, apparently, do not possess. I lost. It was still fun, though.
Unknown [8/10]. I forgot to write this one’s name down. I’ll find it… Anyway, it’s another fun party game based on drawing. You have a clear piece of plastic with a white backing under it. Everyone looks at a picture (set up like a game level) and needs to draw on your plastic to either make a path around things, or to circle multiple things, while avoiding traps. After the timer runs out, you place your plastic sheet over the level and score points based on whether you actually drew your path / lines / circles accurately. What’s fun is that each round, you cannot move the main level – so sometimes it’s facing right-side up for you, and others it’s at a 90 degree angle, etc. Just don’t play this game with actual artists, because I think their brains do this type of transposition without breaking a sweat. I also lost this one.
I think that’s about it. If I missed one, I’ll add back to the list. I’ll also update this when/if I’m able to track down the name of that last game.
Sorry I wasn’t more adventurous in seeking out new stuff!
I own a few of those =) thanks for the thoughts.
GWT is one of my favorites. New expansion makes it
quite a bit more complex, but still enjoyable.
When i see a couple getting into games, they often
get a copy of patchwork as a gift. There is also an
inexpensive patchwork app. It’s even free to Prime/kindle owners.
Tsuro and the expansions are neat. For a more luck of the
tiles game it’s not bad. It’s also pretty for what it is, in a good
way. The art really captures the theme.
I’m more into long term planning like Patchwork and GWT.
Have you ever tried Blood Rage or Nuroshima Hex? The
first one is area control but enough random in the form of
a draft. Crazy viking fun. The second is more thinky but pretty,
in a mad max hugs skynet future kinna way. It is chess like,
also building a board and placing pieces from a random tile pile.
I’d also suggest you look into Azul if you like abstract games.
Junkart always looked neat. My physical limitations make it
more a spectator sport for me. Keyforge seems like a load of
issues and money gouging. Planning to avoid that one.