Building on previous years’ experiences, I had a tall list of things to do for Gen Con 2016. The schedule was packed and I managed two really excellent interviews with Steve Jackson Games and MetaArcade with Tunnels & Trolls that you’ll see in the coming weeks. Otherwise the last day of Gen Con was filled with gaming and the cosplay parade and more gaming. Did I mention gaming?
Shadows of Brimstone
Shadows is a fairly traditional RPG board game that is a fully co-op dungeon crawler. Players choose their characters and get some minions to help explore and kill bad guys. The map is modular, chosen with a draw of a card, and much of the game is dependent upon how your dice rolls go. Players roll for themselves as well as against themselves for the monsters which makes it quite hilarious when you accidentally crit your teammate (oops) and subsequently roll 1’s for every save against the monsters your partner just spawned (quadruple oops). We played the “Swamps of Death” version with some of the “Caverns of Cynder” expansion as well. It’s a fun game, especially if you like faster paced RPG’s with lots of stuff to do on your turn and off your turn.
For many reasons Secret Hitler was my favorite game of Gen Con 2016. It supports 5-10 players and each player randomly receives a secret card assigning them to be a fascist or a liberal and one of the fascists is Hitler. After everyone knows what their alignment is, they close their eyes and put their fists out on the table. Hitler raises his or her thumb while the other fascists open their eyes to find the co-conspirators and their Führer. Eyes are re-closed and after a moment everyone opens their eyes to begin the game. One person is randomly selected to be President and must nominate a Chancellor so laws can be passed. Once a President and Chancellor are in place, three laws are drawn from the policy pile and the President discards one policy, giving the Chancellor the choice to enact one of the remaining two. Either a fascist or liberal policy will be passed and players have to figure out who is a fascist and either assassinate Hitler or pass five liberal policies to win. Fascists must pass six fascist policies or elect Hitler as chancellor after three fascist policies have passed.
The lies, deceit, unholy alliances, and pure hilarity of accusing people of being fascists or Hitler is tremendously entertaining. Secret Hitler is a rules-light game making it more than viable for your non-gamer friends and family with ample amounts of replayability.
This one is a memory card game mixed with a little bluffing. Each player receives three cards face down from the genie. There are two cards face down in the middle and players have two actions per turn – look at 1 card, swap 2 cards, or shuffle their cards and look at one of them. After the third round, any player can call the end of the game at the start of their turn. The object is to find the perfect balance between wishes – one super power (blue), one benefit for the world (red), and one selfish wish (yellow). Beware, if you have the time traveler in your hand at the end of the game, you lose no matter what! This cute game runs rather quickly and is light enough to play well with the whole family.
Sea of Clouds
You’re the captain of a flying pirate ship and you are in search of, yarrr, treasure! Search through three treasure chests in order, which take the form of three piles of cards. If you don’t want what’s on the cards, replace them and look at the next chest. Every time you reject a treasure pile, add another card to that pile until it has 3 cards and then start adding coins until the pile is lucrative enough someone wants it. If you reject all three piles of treasures you have to take the top card of the treasure deck blindly. Collect multiples of the same type of relics, doubloons, rum, and pirates to defeat the other flying pirate captains and ultimately win the game! Sea of Clouds is a fun card drafting press your luck game with a great pirate theme that definitely adds character to the game.
This was a blind pick up for the title only that turned out to be a hilarious and excellent grab. You and up to five other people are all murderers but only one of you has to take the fall for the crime. Everyone chooses a character that will be immune to one motive, one opportunity, and one weapon. One player starts as the Inspector and passes out one of each type of evidence card to their left. Everyone gets to vote whether to pass the evidence to the right, to the left, across, or “J’Accuse!” and have the evidence stay where it is. When the majority picks “J’Accuse” or there is no majority, the evidence stays put and becomes “hard evidence.” The player that gets one of each type of hard evidence against them or has a total of five pieces of hard evidence against them takes the heat and everybody else wins! A very entertaining murder mystery card game with some voting, J’Accuse is a blast.
That’s a wrap for Gen Con 2016. It was an incredible weekend of gaming and nerding out. As always the vendors and sponsors were awesome, the local businesses and community were incredibly welcoming and hospitable, and the entire experience was wonderful to be a part of. We’ll have some exciting information from our two interviews in the coming days, so stay on the lookout for those.
Did you go to Gen Con 2016? What was your favorite part? Favorite game? Hit us up in the comments!
Last Updated on August 8, 2016.