The Random GenCon Preview, part III

More randomness!  This time, our randomly chosen games from the BGG GenCon preview are 30, 97, 138, 227, and 316.  Let’s see what that brings us!

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Royals is a game that first came out in 2014, but is now being published in English by Arcane Wonders as part of the Dice Tower Essentials line.  It was designed by Peter Hawes, and is a 2-5 player set collection/area control game set in .  In the game, you are playing influence cards to gain control of different personages around Europe.  You’ll be trying to get to different people first, oust other people using intrigue cards, trying to get cubes all over the region, and trying to control as many personages as possible.  There’s a scoring each time you run through the deck, and the game is over after you run through the deck for the third time.

This game is one that has been on my radar for a while, but I’ve never really looked into it.  Now that it’s come up on this preview, I know more and I’m really much more interested in the game.  It looks like a nice simple gateway style game, and should be fun.  For more, here is the Dice Tower review of the original edition.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

In a previous edition of this preview, I said that Flick ‘Em Up was my most anticipated release at GenCon this year.  Codenames is a VERY close second.  Designed by Vlaada Chvátil and published by Czech Games Edition, Codenames is a 2-12 player party word game.  A 5×5 grid of cards is laid out, and players are divided into two teams, each with a captain.  The captains get a card that tells them the cards that belong to their team, and then take turns trying to give their teams clues that will help them figure out what their words are.  Some words belong to no one, and if they guess a word of the other team, they give the other team a point.  If someone hits the assassin, their team instantly loses.  The first team to find all their words wins.

I’ve been hearing about this game since the Gathering of Friends, and the buzz has been overwhelmingly positive.  For me, hearing that something is a party word game is an indicator that I really won’t like something, but throw Vlaada Chvátil into the mix and you have a game that I really want to play.  It seems like a more gamery version of Password, and I think that’s a good thing.  Definitely check it out, and see the Dice Tower’s first impression video for more information.

image by BGG user aggaire
image by BGG user aggaire

The Princess Bride: Miracle Pill is one of three games with the Princess Bride license coming out at GenCon from Game Salure (along with As You Wish by Daniel Solis and A Battle of Wits by Matthew O’Malley).  This one is by Philip duBarry.  This is a three round card drafting game where you are trying to make the miracle pill to revive the Man in Black.  It’s a basic draft – play a card simultaneously with everyone else, pass the rest.  These cards do different things based on their color, and potions in the second and third round require the discarding of already played cards.  After three rounds, the player with the highest score wins.

I haven’t looked into the other three, but I imagine they are all on similar levels of complexity (or lack thereof).  I’m glad Game Salute is trying to use the license to produce some accessible games – a smart move in the long run – but I have to say, that cover looks awful.  I hope it doesn’t turn people off from what otherwise looks like a good simple game from a pretty well established designer.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

BUS is one of eight games by Chris Handy being released as part of the Pack-O-Game series – all micro games, all with three letter titles, and all on a deck of cards in a gum package.  This one is a pick-up-and-deliver game where you’re moving a bus around city streets, picking up passengers and taking them to their destinations.  The object is to have the most points once someone has delivered five passengers.

I love the concept of the Pack-O-Game – they’re visually distinctive from most other micro games, and are attempting to have a different style of game for each one (FLY is a dexterity game, GEM is an auction/set collection game, HUE is a tile placement/area enclosure game, LIE is a bluffing game, SHH is a silent cooperative word game, TAJ is a negotiation/voting game, and TKO is a simultaneous action boxing game).  Hopefully, the gameplay matches up to the concept.  Here’s a preview of the Pack O Game project from when there were only five games in the project (BUS not included).

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Code of Nine is a reprint of a Japanese game called OWACON (Old World and Code of Nine).  It was designed by BakaFire and originally published in 2012, with Z-Man doing this release.  It’s a worker placement style game set in a post-apocalyptic future where all humans are dead and only some automatons remain.  The game lasts 4-5 rounds, and new action possibilities will open up each round.  Each player has two memory cards that tell you how points will be scored in the end, and you’ll be trying to figure out what the other cards are in order to try and increase your scoring potential.

BakaFire is the designer of Tragedy Looper, a game I hear is extremely unique and innovative, but I don’t really know much beyond that.  This one looks like an interesting take on worker placement games.  The game has its fans, and hopefully this wide release will bring some good attention to it.  Here’s the Board Game Brawl review of OWACON.

That’s the end for today.  Join me soon for some more games, and thanks for reading!




      • I’m…. not sure. I think because its a party game and theyre rarely good. And partly because people seem to praise Chvatil no matter what he does, so I dont know how reliable word of mouth is in this case.

      • I understand. Normally, I’m not a fan of party games either, but having Vlaada put his spin on one does make me a lot more interested. Then again, I am one of those people who praises him no matter what he does. 🙂 Have you played Pictomania? That’s the Vlaada version of Pictionary that I hear is quite good as well.

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