2017 Random Gen Con Preview, Part III

Let’s continue on with some more random games from Gen Con 2017.  These games, as always, are randomly selected from the BGG Gen Con preview, which at the time of this writing was at 306 items.  Here we go!

image by BGG user zassimo

The Chameleon (Rikki Tahta, Big Potato) is the wider release of last year’s title Gooseberry from La Mame Games.  Players are given secret identities, and one is The Chameleon.  You then roll two dice and check the coordinates on your identity card (there are no coordinates on The Chameleon card).  That will tell you where the secret word is located on a card.  Everyone then says a word related to the secret word, then tries to figure out who The Chameleon is.  If the guess is incorrect, The Chameleon wins.  If the guess is correct, The Chameleon can still win if she can guess the secret word.

This looks like Spyfall meets Codenames.  I did enjoy Spyfall when I got to play, but then I did not enjoy A Fake Artist Goes To New York, which is pretty much Spyfall meets Pictionary.  So I don’t know about this one.  I think I want to reserve judgement until I hear some more opinions about it.

image by BGG user jackbmac

Mistborn: House War (Kevin Wilson, Crafty Games) is a game based on the book series by Brandon Sanderson.  It’s a negotiation game where you’re collecting resources and trying to solve different problems.  If you do manage to solve a problem (you’ll probably need help), you’ll earn favor that is split with the other players in an agreed upon fashion.  In the end, the player with the most points wins.

I have not read the Mistborn series, though I seriously need to – I really like what I’ve read of Brandon Sanderson’s work, and hear the books are phenomenal.  And knowing Kevin Wilson’s design style, I’m sure this game is very thematic and will only be enhanced by knowing the series.  I’m not crazy about negotiation games, but I think if I was immersed into the theme, I would definitely check this one out.

image by BGG use dVGiochi

3 Secrets (Martino Chiacchiera/Pierluca Zizzi, dV Giochi) is a cooperative game where players are trying to discover the three secrets of an unsolved case before time runs out.  One player is the informant and knows the secrets, and other players ask simple yes-no questions to figure them out.  The informant is allowed to give clues, but at the cost of time. If time runs out before the secrets are discovered, the players lose.

This seems like a pretty straightforward game.  It possibly has a limited lifespan with only 50 cards, but if you like 20 Questions-style games, this is probably something you’d enjoy.  I think I’d skip it at Gen Con, however.

image by BGG user Dunc

The Lost Expedition (Peer Sylvester, Osprey Games) is a game about delving into the jungle looking for an explorer lost while looking for the legendary city of El Dorado.  In each round, a row of cards will be played that have certain events players must deal with, as well as choices to be made.  There’s a morning phase and an evening phase, each playing slightly differently (cards are placed in sequential order in the day, and no particular order at night). If your party all dies, you lose, but if you make it to El Dorado, you win.

This game looks pretty interesting to me.  It can be played solo, cooperatively, or as a race between two players.  Trying to decide which cards to use seems like it can offer pretty tough decisions as you weigh life and death of your explorers.  This is something I think I would try to hunt down and play if I were to be at the Con.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

The Climbers (Holger Lanz, Simply Complex) is a 3D game where you are simply trying to move your climber as high as you can on a structure.  All pawns start off the board, and on your turn you can move a block, rotate a block to another face, move your pawn as high up as you can, use ladders, or play a blocking token to lock other bricks.  You can only move onto bricks of your player color, so you’ve got to keep that in mind as you work.  The game ends when no one can move any more, and the player who has gotten the highest wins.

This seems like a pretty straightforward game with some pretty tough choices.  I’ve heard the Heavy Cardboard podcast talk about how good it is, and it looks it.  It certainly has aesthetic appeal with the multicolored blocks and the pretty cool looking ladders.  I think this is one to check out.

image by BGG user ArtsyRobot

Twilight of the Gods (Chris Kluwe, Victory Point Games) is an expandable card game where players are battling deities.  You have a 50-card deck, which doubles as your life points – once it’s gone, you lose.  You’ll be acquiring resources from your cards, as well as trading them with other players.  Then you’ll be summoning creatures, casting spells, and generally try to damage your opponent.

This is a game that seems like Magic: The Gathering, but with some twists.  It doesn’t really seem like something I’m terribly interested in – it’s more of a game for people who like that two-player dueling thing.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Wartime: The Battle of Valyance Vale (Christopher Guild/Brad Lackey/Christopher Parks/Joshua Tempkin, WizKids) is a fantasy skirmish game.  The game is scenario based, and plays out in real time.  Units are represented by stands stacked with tokens.  A series of sand timers are used to activate different units, and you’ll be racing around a hex board trying to battle your opponent.  When the scenario conditions are met, the game ends and a winner is declared.

I don’t generally like games that are about conflict, but this one seems novel enough that I might want to check it out.  I do like real time games, and the sand timers look like they’ll add some extra pressure to the situation.  This is one to at least keep an eye on for now.


Another random preview is now in the books!  Thanks for reading!

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