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Origins Wrap-Up Post!

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Origins Wrap-up Post!
The recounting of my adventures at The Origins Game Fair is coming to an end. In today’s post we are wrapping it up so we can move onto newer cooler things!

Since this is kind of the left over bits I’m going treat it as a photo-dump. You’ll get a photo and a blurb and it may be something neat I saw, something fun I played, or something totally random.

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Rampage was HOT. Everyone left the convention talking about it and I hear that there is going to be a giant sized version of the game at Gen Con. Basically you take the role of a dragon and your job is to use special abilities to eat meeples and destroy a city. That sounds basic and simple except that it’s more of a dexterity game in the sense that you can blow through the dragon’s mouth to simulate super breath or drop a dragon block to knock over buildings.

I only got to play one game but it was a ton of fun. I’m not sure if it’s the kind of game that would hold up after multiple plays but who cares becuase that one play was soooooo cool.

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Augustus was the game I played the most at Origins and I’ve played it multiple times since I’ve gotten home. The internet has been calling it Gamer Bingo but it was more like Euro Bingo. It’s a light fun game that’s easy to learn, and although it is very luck based, there is still some strategy to it and ways you can mitigate the luck. It’s was a lot of fun and it’s on my list of games to buy.

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I played Guild Hall and I didn’t like it. I then got a chance to play Guild Hall Job Faire and really enjoyed it. I think it’s simply one of those rare games where the expansion out shines the original version. If you’ve not tried it then make sure you check it out.

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I got to sit in a Mech that Wil Wheaton sat in. Don’t worry I made sure I used purell on the seats and controls.

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I got to see Bioshock Infinite but I did not get to play it. The game has so many cool looking components that I’m really excited to get a copy just to photograph it.

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This was an odd game called Riff Raff where you had to balance objects on a ship’s deck and masts.

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One of the prettiest games I saw at Origins was Völuspá from Strong Hold Games. I know a lot of people enjoyed it, I on the other hand struggled with it. It’s not that it’s a bad game, but there is a lot of small little math and being dyslexic I kept inverting numbers and messing up. To make matters worse, I played a game with Scott Caputo the game’s designer and totally embarrassed myself because I kept screwing up.
IMG_3517 Horse Meeple!

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Masters of Commerce was by far the most epic group game I played at Origins. It was me, most of the Dice Hate Me crew, Ben & Matt the designers of Fleet, and a few other oddballs we picked up.

The game is asynchronous so one side plays the game by bidding and the other side plays the game by selling. That means there are two winners, but the crazy part is that once the timer is flipped everyone is doing everything at once which is soooo chaotic in a good way. It’s like being at a real live auction or at the stock market. I got my butt kicked soooo bad but I didn’t care because the experience of playing was so great.
IMG_3239 I got to play Tessen, one of my all time favorite games. It’s nice to play with new people because everyone I know either doesn’t like playing it with me because I kick butt or when I play I have to play severaly handicapped. So it was awesome to play a few REAL matches against real opponents.

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Smash Up was neat. I demoed it at the AEG booth and while I was in the middle of demoing the game the lady in charge at the booth told one of her employees that they only had one copy of the expansion left. I bought it before I even finished my demo! So for all of you out there who wanted to pick-up a copy of the expansion, but couldn’t because that sold out… I bought your copy! Muhahahahahaha!

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As I said in an earlier post, King of Tokyo was the hottest game at Origins because everyone was trying to win a promo Space Penguin. I was curious so I went and played two games. The first I sat in on was a four player match and it was a lot of fun. Then I played a two player game it was a drag, which makes sense.

King of Tokyo is basically King of the Hill so if you only have two players there’s no one else to shake it up. Since I play mostly two player games I didn’t end up buying it, but I’m still glad that I got to see what all the fuss was about.

IMG_2837 The biggest surprise game I encountered was Ricochet Robot. I got to play with T.C. and Darrell and it’s one of those games that look really simple and stupid, but then surprises you because it’s all about thinking and who can think and solve a puzzle the fastest.

In it you flip tiles which give you an objective. For example see the blue robot? An objective might be to get him to the blue-star icon and so then every player bids on how many moves it will take them to get the robot there. When playing with smart people it turns into a really intense fast paced game. It’s definitely on my “to buy” list.

IMG_3086 The rarest find I came across was Xanadu. I played it multiple times and I still don’t know what I think about it. It doesn’t appear to be that aggressive of a game but it has a huge “screw you” element where the other players can constantly mess you up which leaves you feeling really frustrated.

The premise is to play down buildings and then to place workers in your buildings or your opponent’s buildings to collect resources. When your turn comes around you can decide to cash your building in for points. The complication is that some cards get more powerful as workers are placed on them and other cards get weaker so your opponents reallyyyyy control how well you do or don’t do in a game.

My biggest problem wasn’t the screw you element, its just that it felt really random. After the several plays I did I still had no idea what I was doing. It’s not that it’s a bad game it’s that I think it’s one of those games that simply take some time to grasp. Plus even a month after the convention I’m kind of curious and want to give it another try, which is a good sign.

IMG_3283 Jason Tagmire’s Maximum Throwdown was the weirdest funniest thing I got to see at Origins. The game was picked up by AEG last winter and is actually debuting at Gen Con (note: the artwork above is from a prototype and is not the final production art).

It’s a card throwing dexterity game where you fling cards onto a table and when your next turn comes around you get points or abilities based upon which icons are still showing on your card. There are multiple decks and each deck has various powers or abilities so the game has a lot of variation and flavor.

From what I know the game is only going to sell for $15 or so dollars and after having only played once I’m declaring this a “MUST BUY!”

IMG_3242 The silliest game I got to play was was Ladies and Gentlemen. It was another asynchronous game where the men spend the day buying and selling to make cash and then the woman spend the day window shopping. At night the couples get together and the woman presents what she wants her man to buy and he either buys it or doesn’t.

The joy of the game comes in the fact that the ladies can’t reveal their objectives for scoring and the men can’t reveal how much money they actually have. So I played as the woman while Tiffany (the Socially Inept Gamer) played as the man and at night when we got together she had to be like, “Well we are hurting tonight but tomorrow we will have a lot of extra cash.”  Which I would respond with, “Well if we only have a little bit of money I’d realllyyyy like these earrings but maybe we could also put a dress on layaway?”

I know it sounds silly and it was silly but it was also a ton of fun. I’m not 100% convinced I want to buy it because you need at least four players to play, but it’s one of those games I’ve been itching to play again.

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If you can’t tell, I had an amazing time at the Origins Game Fair. I meet so many cool people and got to play so many cool games. It was a big enough convention that big publishers were there and yet it was a small enough convention so that you could actually meet and hangout with designers and other industry types.

Was the show perfect? As I said in an earlier posts the people running the convention had their heads up their butt, but even with that it was well worth going and if you are into gaming at all then Origins should be on your list of things to do.

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