Gen Con is the highlight of my year. Not just because I get to demo a bajillion board games, but also because I get to spend time with all of my friends and make new ones! Gen Con 50 was no exception. In fact, it was the best Gen Con yet!
I got to demo a ton of different and new games, and I came home with a nice haul. These are the new games that I was the most excited about:
Mountains of Madness
Holy crap, I am in love with this game. I was excited about Mountains of Madness before I got to demo it at Gen Con 50. I enjoyed the game so much, that I bought it immediately after demoing it.
The co-op game has your group of explorers climbing the Mountains of Madness. When you move to a new spot, you flip over a tile, which tells you what equipment you need to gather.
Your group has 30 seconds to gather the specific amounts of equipment required. But there’s a catch. As you continue up the mountain, you will start to accrue madness afflictions. These affect your ability to communicate within those 30 seconds that you have to gather equipment.
Oh my goodness this game is so much fun. The madness cards make it a mad scramble to get what you need. Some of the madness cards might be “you can’t talk when anyone else is talking,” or “you can only talk if you are making direct eye contact with someone.” My favorite is “you can only talk if you are touching someone’s face.”
If you love co-op games, you should definitely check this out. It’s ridiculous, stressful, and so much fun. And it’s so not a walk in the park. We’ve played three times and have yet to win.
Mountains of Madness is for 3-5 people, plays in about an hour and costs $39.99. It’s currently available at a select number of retailers. It will be available everywhere October 26, 2017.
A Fake Artist Goes to New York
This tiny party game packs a lot of fun into a relatively simple concept. The game master will decide what everyone is drawing and write it on almost everyone’s cards. But one player will simply get an X. They are the fake artist.
Then everyone will go around the table and add one line to the drawing. The fake artist must try to continue the drawing and not out themselves as the fake artist.
At the end of the game, if everyone can guess who the fake artist is, they potentially win! But what makes the game much harder is if the fake artist gets identified, they then have the chance to guess what the drawing was supposed to be. If they guess correctly, they still win!
It’s a beautifully challenging game which puts pressure on both sides to be obtuse in their drawings. A Fake Artist Goes to New York is one of those games that after you finish, you just want to keep playing round after round after round.
Fake Artist has been out for a while in Japan, but it was just recently brought over to the United States. Oink Games also makes another of my favorite small party games, Deep Sea Adventure. Their company really excels at making small, addictive party games.
A Fake Artist Goes to New York is for 5-10 players, takes about 15-20 minutes to play and costs $22.
By Order of the Queen
In By Order of the Queen, you and your friends are the Guildmasters of the Kingdom of Tessandor. You’re all working together to accomplish the Queen’s Orders while also defeating monster hordes, going on quests and protecting the kingdom.
Each player will accomplish tasks by using the hand of heroes they have drawn. Oh man, these cards are the most adorable. Every single hero card has its own unique, adorable art. It’s the absolute cutest.
The game really encourages player to talk to each other and plan. If you just do your own thing, you are probably going to lose. There are a lot of problems to be working on, the Queen’s Orders, going on adventures to fulfill your quests (which will help clean up monster problems) and fighting monster hordes.
Even though there are lots of things to take into consideration while you’re playing, the actions you can take are pretty simple. This ensures that the game remains really fun, even while it gets increasingly harder.
The art really makes the game special. The loving depictions of the heroes and monsters really brings the theme through the game. It added another level of enjoyment while playing.
My only note about the game has to do with the location cards, which are adventures that you go on to complete your quest cards. The location cards each have their own mini story about what your heroes are dealing with. But there’s no real thread through them or consistent story. They are all just snapshots of stuff.
Overall By Order of the Queen is very enjoyable! It is for 2-4 players, takes about 90-120 minutes to play and retails for $64.99. And it’s available now.
Tulip Bubble is about a crazy time in 1637 when a tulip craze swept the market, and people speculated wildly on tulip futures. Coveted tulip bulbs got so expensive, some were worth more than a house in Amsterdam!
Players buy and sell tulips on the fluctuating market, all trying to earn the most money. After everyone has bought tulips, the market adjusts. Whatever color of tulips has the most left on the board decreases the value of that kind of tulip. The tulips with the least left increase in value. There are also cards that will randomly adjust the market each turn.
Players continue buying and selling tulips to try to make the most money. The game ends when either a player has enough money to buy the coveted black tulip or until the market collapse occurs.
I was originally attracted to this game for the theme. A stock market game is not normally something that I would seek out. But this is a fabulous, quick-paced light to medium weight game. I love how the market fluctuates, and I love that those fluctuations are both random and based on what the players are buying.
Tulip Bubble is for 3-5 players, takes about 45 minutes to an hour to play and costs $40. The game ships from Taiwan, so it’s usually another $10 for shipping as well.
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