The biggest gaming convention in the US, and quite possibly in all of North America, kicked off on Thursday in the beautiful city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Gen Con 2015 marks its twelfth year in Indy and 47th year since its inception originally as a wargame convention in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 1968. It has grown throughout the years to encompass all types of tabletop games and a multitude of other games amassing the attention of over 56,000 unique attendees as of last years convention. Thursday I was able to get in, scope out the Con and sit down for a few really neat games. Here’s a quick
overview of what I played.
Heat- A Heist Card Game: Created by Chris Cieslik. Originally pitched on Kickstarter in May of 2014, the project was fully funded and released in January of 2015. The premise of the game is that you are a criminal and the object of the game is to collect as much cash and avoid as much “heat” from the police as possible. The game is for 3-5 players and will scale accordingly with the amount of players participating. Every round you build your hand by drawing cards and passing one to your neighbor. Most played cards interact with other players hands, so things can get out of hand very quickly. As much as you are out to win for yourself, you can’t give too much heat to your opponents without putting yourself at risk. A very neat game, Heat is relatively rules light and you get to be a bank robber. Definitely a fun game.
New York 1901: Brainchild of Chénier La Salle, NY 1901 is a tile placement game where players are put in historic New York City on some of its most famous streets. It’s Tetris meets worker/building placement with the goal of the game being accumulating the most points based on how many buildings you place on the board and how many side goals you have completed. The city blocks of the map are split into sections available for purchase depending on what’s available on the housing market. The creator himself sat with us and walked us through an entire play through of the game, gave us some background of how the game came about, and it was definitely the Game of the Day. I’ll have a more in-depth review with all the fangirl gushing the editors will let me get away with.
King of New York: A follow-up to King of Tokyo from designer Richard Garfield, King of New York adds the complexity of the five boroughs of New York to the map. Keeping many of the same concepts of KoT, King of New York introduces buildings and other obstacles players have to manage from the environment. Manhattan is the new Tokyo and there are three different levels of Manhattan players can progress through while trying to defend against the other boroughs and the military that spawn from destroyed buildings. King of New York also introduces a larger game board and a new mechanic called “Fame” that will help collect Victory Points, but too much could cut your playtime short. This is definitely worth checking out if you like King of Tokyo.
Flip City (also known as Design City): A deck building card game designed by Chen Zhifan. The point of the game is to play at least 8 Victory Points in one phase (there is also a card where you can play 18 cards in one phase and win the game as well but that’s dependent upon whether or not you have that card in your hand). The cards range from small buildings to large buildings and as you play them you accumulate coins to buy more buildings, Victory Points, and Unhappy People. You can’t get more than 2 unhappy people without a modifier card or you bust. As players collect coins, they add more buildings to their originally limited hands, eventually being able to flip the cards to their opposite side revealing better buildings with better rewards. Some cards with unhappy people can be given to opponents in a classic underhanded ‘screw your opponent’ kind of way. A little slow to start, Flip City is an entertaining game for a small group, probably best played with 2-3 people but it accommodates up to 4.
Day 1 of GenCon was a blast and some really great games were played. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s game adventures and the in-depth reviews of each day’s Game of the Day. Not at GenCon? Tell us what game you’d like to see us play and review!