My third day of Gen Con started by playing Castle Panic (Fireside Games) with my girlfriend – someone who doesn’t play games. I was excited when she said she wanted to give Castle Panic a try with me on the Saturday of the Con (her one day there). My hope going into the event was that it would be the slippery slope that would bring her into my love of games. If Castle Panic would get her going with gaming with me, it would be the absolutely BEST two dollars I’ve ever spent at Gen Con.
When we sat down at the table, I was a little concerned with how well the game would be received because the event was being run by a mid-teenaged kid. As he began to explain the game, it started out as hard to follow (though I had played Castle Panic a few times before) because of his explanation of the rules. They felt very much all over the place. I could almost feel my girlfriend’s interest in the game waning. However, once we started playing, it came together quickly. The further we got into the game, the more she began interacting with the others at the table, even helping strategize our next move and some of the item trades. We got through the “teaching game” fairly quickly and played a second game. It made me happy to see that she seemed to be having a good time with the game. When we were done playing, she did initiate some conversations about picking the game up to play with my daughters at home. Time will tell if we pick the game up or not. If we do, then my hope of getting her at least started with gaming with me is still alive! I’ll keep you posted in future posts as to how it goes. We do have a few games at home specifically for us to play together (though we have yet to play any of them). I picked up CV, 7 Wonders Duel, and The Pursuit of Happiness specifically to play with her. We’re working to get some time on the calendar to give these a try.
After we completed our second playthrough of Castle Panic, it was time for us to split up for a bit. She had a tour of the catacombs under Indianapolis’ City Market scheduled, and I was off to play Fool’s Gold (Passport Game Studios). I had had my eyes on Fool’s Gold since running across it last year. With my home gaming situation (a non-gaming girlfriend and two kids, 13 and 10), there is no way I’d get to play it at home, so I decided to give it a go at the Con. My playthrough was an interesting experience because the guy teaching the game ended up having to also teach El Gaucho to the group at the table next to us. Plus, because Fool’s Gold requires at least three players to play, he also had to play in our game (there was only one other person at the event with me). Fool’s Gold uses a combination of worker placement and set collection to mine gold from five different locations. But, you have to be sure to balance your mining between the locations because at the end of the game, whichever location you mined the most gold from does not cont toward you final total (it’s your fool’s gold). I really enjoyed the game, and if I had the ability to play it at home, it would be on my list of ‘must have’ games. I got handily defeated in my playthrough, losing to the other person in my event as well as the guy teaching the game (despite the fact that was only half-paying attention to our game).
Once we re-connected after our solo events, we hit the exhibit hall to look around some more. With no direction or goal in mind, we just blindly walked around and ended up finding ourselves at the Overworld Games booth, playing a demo of Exposed. I backed Exposed on Kickstarter, and had received my copy of the game prior to Gen Con, but we sat down to demo it anyway. There was one other person playing with us. In Exposed, you are given a secret identity and are stealing wallets from people around you. To win the game you can either be the first player to steal 7 wallets, or you can expose the other players’ identities. There is a lot of strategy and deduction involved, and though it looks like a light game based on the art, it is actually pretty heavy in the strategy department. I will say that I could tell right away that my girlfriend did not like this game at all. As we played, she was making it blatantly obvious which character on the board was hers, but I was paying too much attention to the other player (trying to figure out who he was) to notice what she was doing. The other player exposed her, knocking her out of the game (making her happy to not have to play anymore). A few moves later, I exposed him, winning the game. I really enjoy Exposed, but can see that I will only be playing it with my kids (and maybe a game night or two with friends). My girlfriend has made it clear that she is not a fan of Exposed, and has no interest in trying it again.
After we grabbed dinner at Tilted Kilt (one of our favorite places to grab dinner in downtown Indy), we headed back to the Convention Center to meet up with Nick and Carla from Weird Giraffe Games (who I met while playing Between Two Cities on Day One). We were getting together to playtest their upcoming game, Super Hack Override. I won’t go into much detail here (because I will be posting a preview of their Kickstarter – which launches on September 12 – soon). However, I will say that I had a great time hanging out with them again, and really enjoyed playing their game. I look forward to helping them get funded when their campaign launches roughly a month from now. Once we had played through Super Hack Override a couple of times (neither of which did I win, by the way), we made the decision to head home for the evening. Stay tuned for a recap of my final day at the Con. Until then, thanks for stopping by.