Gen Con was another tremendous event and the volunteers there are so underrated. What did Lindsay and I pick up? Glad you asked.
#1 Gothic Doctor from Meltdown Games is going to be the next big thing that no one has heard of yet. In this card game, you are a doctor tasked with curing Victorian era legends and patients (Mr. Hyde, Dracula, Insane Asylum patients and the like). Cards provide cures as patients stack up in the waiting room, a clock counts down the turns and action cards allow you to mess with the game and with other doctors. It is an addictive blast and because games go so fast you’ll find yourself constantly saying “just ONE more game” until the wee hours of the morning. I had the chance to speak with designer Doug Levandowski who has already produced a demonic expansion and is working on more (thank goodness….the gaming monster must be fed!!).
#2 Gruff from Studio Woe is a tactical card game where you battle as insane shepherds commanding mutated goats (if you are a gamer and you can’t get excited about that summary…I feel very, very sorry for you). The game is VERY strategic and involves a lot of decision-making and demands that different goats be handled in different manners. The art is incredible and the designer Brent Critchfield is imaginative and passionate about his creation. I kickstarted his creation and I can’t wait to lock horns/tentacles/etc with other shepherds.
#3 WEGS Old Skool rpg system is from Gamewick Games. The creator, Larry Wickman, birthed a free-wheeling system that will have you feeling half riverboat gambler and half Conan. Character creation, abilities, monster design and most other game aspects are simple but not always intuitive. It takes a bit of getting used to the system (rolling 10’s under 6’s, “come out” rolls, etc) and if you have a casino gamer background that will help immensely. That being said -Larry brings the COOL over and over to both game design as well as his breathless writing style. If you want a complete rpg (that is truly complete and finished) that fits in one ziploc bag this is the game for you.
Overall, the crowds were insane (60,000 plus unique visitors and nearly 200K through the turnstile) but shockingly polite. The number of new things to see and do were definitely up from previous recent years and we are looking forward to making the pilgrimage to the gaming Mecca next year!