Friday was much busier.
We started pretty early with a meeting with the delightful people over at Funko, working on demoing their new Funkoverse title. I only got to play a little bit of it, but while it’s pretty light, the system has a lot of potential for thematic play, organized play, and expansions. I think it’ll see a lot of appeal with casual Pop collectors who can be convinced to try a game with their favorite little buddies, provided they get the right sets. Personally, I’m waiting for Pusheen.
After that, saw a bunch from KOSMOS! I have a number of their games already and am working through reviews of them, but they all had great Imhotep: The Duel shirts that were Fight Night boxing-match-themed and I thought they were excellent. Always a nice booth to see. From them, I’m probably most excited about more EXIT titles and their new Adventure Games series. I’m hoping it’s EXIT but with more story.
At the HABA Booth, a lot happened! I got to see all of their new titles and took several more with me, like Animal upon Animal: Crest Climbers, Mountains, Karuba: The Card Game, Dragon’s Breath, and more. I think they’re trying to (fairly, imo) note that their games aren’t just for kids; they’ve for everyone, and a lot of the new titles they’ve been coming out with are definitely pushing into the casual games sphere, which I appreciate. I’ve since tried almost all of them (save Valley of the Vikings) and I’ve been enjoying them; will have to try more soon.
One of my con highlights came next, at the Resonym booth. Y’all will remember that I am an absolute sucker for game themes, so I was over the moon when I got to try a demo version of Mechanica, that game that’s definitely not about creating an engine to build homicidal surveillance roombas. It’s very cute, and the roombas are delightful (the purple ones even have faces!). For me, it fixes the problem I had with something like Gizmos where I had very little theme to latch on to; it’s just marbles, at the end of the day. Here, even if I don’t win I got to sell some roombas, and isn’t that what board games are all about? No? Well, I still enjoyed it, and I’m really excited to see it when it’s fully released.
Another delightful meeting at North Star Games; I’m always excited to see what they’re doing. I finally learned how to play The Quacks of Quedlinberg, which, turns out, super game. I think it’s a really solid casual title with about the same weight as Dominion / The Quest for El Dorado, so I’m definitely going to try shopping it around with some of my friends who are looking for games in that sphere. The Herb Witches was selling out rapidly, so I only got to see part of that, but it looked cool, too! Last thing I saw was The Taverns of, uh, Tiefenthal, had to look that one up, and that looked really interesting as well! As I mentioned / will mention in my Battle of the Bards review, you don’t often see a lot of dice in a deckbuilder, so it’s neat to see how that ends up working out. Between that and Oceans, I think North Star is going to have a good year.
The next bit was an absolute whirlwind! I saw about 5 titles from Iello, like Ishtar, SOS Dino, Little Town, and more. I appreciate the LOKI line spinning off into the young gamers space; I think that’s a nice move for Iello. Hoping I get to try more from them. Similarly, met with Calliope, who is continuing their Titan Series in strong form. I heard nothing but good things about ShipShape, Spymaster looked interesting and fun, and, I mean, Everyone Loves a Parade is pretty aptly-named. Really excited to get to check out some of those, and Tsuro: Phoenix Rising, if that ends up happening. I tried it at OrcaCon and it was really cool! Next up was Good Games Publishing; you’ve heard me talk about Unfair in the past (which I really enjoyed since I can get rid of all the take-that), and I’m really excited to check out the expansion! They also dropped two new games, Fairy Season and Fluttering Souls, both of which have great art and disjoint player count support (3 – 5 players; 2 players). Will be interested in getting those played when I can. Hit up AEG after that; we talked a bit about their Big Game Night Titles (Point Salad, Walking in Burano, Curios), but I also got to see Atelier, ECOS, and Valley of the Kings: Premium Edition. They all look super, and I’m really stoked to check those out. My last meeting was with Foxmind, and we talked about a few of their upcoming titles, like The Potion: Magic Scroll and Match Madness. The one that really caught my eye was Bermuda Pirates, a dexterity game about sailing ships in a treacherous ocean. It’s a super cool concept, very easy to learn, and I think that it may be in line for some awards this year. I just need to make sure I’m not playing on Easy Mode in the future.
My last game appointment of the day was Planet Unknown, from Adam’s Apple Games, where you attempt to terraform a planet. It was very polyomino, which I always appreciate, with some nice engine-building components to it as you built up your progress of certain tracks and tried to combo into other tracks to maximize your overall score. This isn’t a full review, definitely, but I certainly enjoyed my play of it; it’s a bit heavier than the other polyomino games I enjoy, but I feel like if everyone played quickly it wouldn’t be too bad. The major thing I liked was that you spun the lazy Susan and picked what you wanted, and everyone else got what they were proximal to; it was a nice spin (heh) on the Tiny Towns formula. Overall, big fan, and would definitely recommend keeping an eye on it.
The night ended with the Renegade Rally (lots of cool stuff coming out from them, including The Fox in the Forest: Duet) and some more games. Got in plays of Shobu, again, Dungeon Academy, and Wobble King before I finally made the trek back to my hotel.
What did y’all do on Friday? Which of these games are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments if you want to know more about anything!