I dragged (okay, she really wanted to go) my 10 year old with me up to New Hampshire for 6.5 hours of gaming goodness that was Granite Game Summit and it was awesome! We played a bunch of games, connected with a bunch of cool folks and generally had a grand old time. We were only able to stay until about 4pm (the event goes until Midnight) but still crammed in a lot of gaming! Next time we’ll look into staying later to cram even MORE gaming in.
Our first play was Chip Beauvais‘ forthcoming Universal Rule – A fast, 18 card, 4x game reminiscent of Eminent Domain or Tiny Epic Galaxies with roles and the ability to follow. The facts that it’s an 18 card wallet game but plays like a much larger game make it a stand out and at about $10 and fitting in your pocket – highly recommend. It’ll be on Kickstarter from Button Shy Games in early November. I know at least three other folks I met who are planning on backing just from our plays at G2S. Luca enjoyed it as well and it was in her top 3 games of the day. I should note that the graphic design and artwork were spot on with this one too.
I finally got to play Animal upon Animal, which I love. I own it but hadn’t gotten it to the table yet but it’s critical I do! At Total Confusion this coming winter I’ll be running a Kids Games for Adults event at the bar and this’ll be one of the games.
We then stuck a finger in the eye of quick, light games and broke out Islebound. It was good to get a three player game in, even though I did terribly and was utterly destroyed by David who I know from my G+ Board Games community. I really still do like this game but feel like it’s perhaps… a half hour too long? I think Luca felt a little trapped with this one but will probably appreciate Islebound more when she’s a bit older.
Luca dug up Donkey Kong Jenga from some forgotten corner and we took it for a spin – missing the rules though so we just played regular old Jenga with it. Not anyone’s favorite but still a nice, non-thinky diversion.
From there we got into The Climbers – a nifty, abstract of climbing! Well worth the play an something that’s peaked my interest as a game collector too. I’m not always into abstracts but there was something about this game that was a ton of fun. It’s made from chunky, wooden components which is quite appealing. Each player attempts to be the one at the highest point by the end of the game. You can only climb onto neutral (grey) surfaces and the color that matches your pawn in the game. Ladders can be used to hop up quickly, you can move one block on your turn and also block other players for a single turn. It turned out to be a bit more complex (in a good way) than first look. I may have to look into acquiring a copy of this. Luca chalked this up to her 2nd favorite game of the day.
Luca then discovered Klask and it was a whole bunch of games of that before we had to take off. This was clearly her favorite of the day and has subsequently been added to a certain 11 year old game reviewer’s Christmas list. It’s a simple magnet powered dexterity game. Get the ball into your opponent’s goal without getting your magnet controlled (from beneath the board) pawn stuck in your own hole, hopelessly offsides or with two of those white magnetic pegs stuck to it. I very much enjoyed this one too!
I also had a chance to meet and (for a very short time) hang out with Jason from Button Shy Games, along with two other Buttonshy designers, Chip who did Smoke and Mirrors and has Universal Rule coming out and Daniel Newman with the very successfully Kickstarter and soon to be arriving Ahead in the Clouds. That was great to meet everyone in the flesh – well, Chip I’ve met before but still great. I think Button Shy’s doing some really interesting things with small games, so pay attention to them.
It was, all in all a wonderful, game filled day. The organizers of G2S did a bang up job. It took us perhaps 2 minutes to get through registration and in the door. Once there, there was a library of games provided by G2C and also every attendee was invited to bring games to play and add (briefly) to the public library. You put the games you’re willing to share on top of a table with a number, fill out a quick sheet of what you have and when you’re leaving and that’s about it. The system worked great!
My one regret the whole day was that I didn’t find the time to have Daniel teach me Ahead in the Clouds. I’ll have it in my greedy little hand soon enough anyway but I always like getting in games with their designers and publishers.
In addition to this, there was a raffle in place with a bunch of decent gaming prizes. Three tables were constantly in motion with designers and publishers showing off new and prototype games. I want to particularly thank Kimberly for being one of the organizers and also bringing this event to my awareness. We didn’t get a game in this time but we’ll get one in at some tiem in the near future! Bang up job!