As any of you who checked know by now, I was unable to do any real updates from the convention center to this site during Gen Con. For some reason I could access Facebook and update through it, but had no internet other than that. As a result, I will be describing the events of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in their own posts as I have already covered Thursday.
Friday was the day that we were taking my step-kids, Katie and Jarrett, this year. The four of us and my friend Eli, who was crashing at our place for carpooling purposes to save everyone on parking, arrived at the convention center about 9:30 A.M. As it was our day with the kids, Heather and I had planned on playing some of the more humorous games and ones aimed at a younger crowd.
First up was “Oh Gnome You Don’t” from Gut Bustin’ Games.We have played “Redneck Life” and own “Trailer Park Wars” from Gut Bustin’ Games and expected some good belly laughs and gnome on gnome crime! The basic premise is that gnomes are on their way to court the lovely Gnomalina, and she will only marry the gnome who arrives at her house with the most gems. To win Gnomalina’s hand, the players/gnomes are prepared to race, sell treasures, steal, and brawl their way to victory. It is a fairly simple game with roll and move mechanics, but we were playing this game for fun and that is where it shines. The five us quickly got into the idea of being competitive, greedy, mean-spirited little gnomes and had a blast! Yes, it is a total luck fest, but it is also a fun fest, and we all enjoyed it well enough. The kids had a blast and I have to give extra credit to Katie for a slick little strategy that let her dominate in brawling! When it was all said and done, Eli was the winner, with Katie a close second, and smiles all around.
After Oh Gnome You Don’t, we wandered the exhibit hall for a while and then headed of to the video game area. Once there, we engaged in some retro video gaming with a little three player Mario Kart. Oddly enough the kids were very good and I was terrible. Somehow they were experts at an almost 20-year-old game and I was playing it for the very first time. Jarrett dominated and I had to fight my urge to ground him for crushing me in a video game. We would have played more video games, but the room was filled near capacity for most of the Con and we really could not get access to any of the other machines. Gen Con may want to look at expanding the video game area as it seemed to be hugely popular at all hours. Just across the hall were some Battletech virtual reality machines and the boy and I prepared for some giant robot combat. Despite being our first times I pulled off a fifth place finish and the boy was a respectable sixth out of 12 players. It was a little more expensive than I liked, but I was glad that we did it, and the boy had a great time.
Lunch time was followed by a very funny juggler/comedian from New Zealand named Rusty Bawles in the halls of the Con. If you ever at a Con with a half hour to burn and you see this lanky red-head performing feats of magic and danger I suggest you check it out.
With time to kill before our next event, we headed off to the Rio Grande Games room for a quick game of “Roll to The South Pole.” (for a description see previous post “Live From Gen Con Sort of…”) The kids and Heather seemed to really like the game, but I am not really a fan. It is a dice fest and I am not known for my luck. This makes it into a “losefest” for me. Jarrett emerged victorious and said that he really enjoyed it a lot. While in the Rio room the kids had a little run in with the authorities. Rumor has it their mother called in the troops because they beat her in the game!
Of course there is no proof and for now, that remains an unsubstantiated rumor.
The next game we played was “Poo, the Card Game.” It is a “take that” card game in which players take on the roll of monkeys fling poo at each other. The goal is to be the last monkey standing by avoiding having your poo count get to 15 or higher. the kids, Heather, and I played a 7 player game with 3 strangers. After a hard-fought battle it came down to Heather and I. Now she might be one heck of a gamer wife, but there is no way she can fling poo better than I can and I splattered something fierce on my way to victory! We had fun, and the kids liked the game, but it suffers from similar failings as “Lunch Money”, in that gamers will seek out defensive cards through hand manipulation and cause the game to drag out.
After finishing “Poo”, we bought the kids a couple of souvenirs and headed to our last game of the day. It was another Gut Bustin’ Game that is still in the prototype phase called “Cheap Shot”. It is rummy style card game, in which players combine their cards to hurl insult at each other on their way to victory. We played a six player game with Eli rejoining us and fun young woman named Jupiter. Some of the better insults that were hurled are as follows:
“Your mom-is urine soaked and-hideous.”
“You are paunchy-and-waft of rancid farts.”
“Your whole fam damiliy- are all crackpots and-nuttier than squirrel turds.”
Lastly was Katie’s masterpiece to her brother, “You-have no purpose on this earth-and-make me want to barf.” For a moment there I thought we were at home listening to them fight instead having fun at Gen Con. It was a very close game but Jupiter was the winner over me by the narrow margin of 4 points. We had a great time playing with her and appreciated how she played right along with kids and did not take things too serious. While “Cheap Shot” was fun, it clearly needs to cook a little longer. This was a prototype and we knew that we were playtesting, so it was understandable that there were some rough edges. They gave us a short questionnaire afterwards for us to offer helpful feedback and any comments that we had about the game. I am sure that with some more testing and refinement “Cheap Shot” will be up the level of gaming fun and funny that we have come to expect from Gut Bustin’ Games!
With the end of “Cheap Shot” our Friday at Gen Con was over. The kids both said how the loved it and are already looking forward to next year. It is hard to have more family fun than a full day at Gen Con!
The bad guys from Silent Hill stand no chance against Jarrett and his foam battle-axe!
Balloon animal dragon was just another of the foam battle axe’s many victims this Gen Con!