I’m from Maryland and Unpub 4 happened about 45 minutes away from where I used to live before we moved to Texas. That meant that my trip to Dover wasn’t just about gaming, it was also about seeing family and friends who I hadn’t seen in months. The most important of those people ended up being my Mom who dove head first into the world of hobby games.
I don’t have a strong gaming background. We never played board games or card games when growing up. In fact the only game I’ve ever played with Mom is Love Letter, which we taught her last summer before we moved. So Unpub was a truly new experience for her.
Her first exposer to gaming was Firely. She didn’t play but she watched me, Darrell Louder, and T.C. Petty III play a game. By the end of it she was able to follow along what was happening and she really enjoyed handling the money and giving us tokens when we needed them.
The first real game I got to play with her was Gravwell. Gravwell was my pick for the best game of 2013. So I was really excited to teach it to her. At first she was overwelhmed but by the third round she had grasped what was going on and really enjoyed it.
Saturday is where the REAL gaming began. She arrived at Unpub 4, early in the morning and staid most of the day. In that time though she really gravitated to Jason Kotarski and his prototypes which were light and family friendly.
She enjoyed the dice rolling in Great Heartland Hauling the Dice Game but fell head over heals in love with Sunset Shuffle. Since she was new to gaming the idea of a real-time dice rolling game blew her mind. It was frantic, silly, and right up her ally.
She enjoyed it so much that I pulled her into the hall and taught her Angry Dice! She got a kick out of it and it was quite fitting too cause as we were playing Shawn Purtell, one of Angry Dice’s creators walked in and saw us!
For the rest of Saturday, Mom ended up checking out a few other games, like Pack the Pack, but also ended up re-visiting Jason Kotarski to play his games again.
Sunday was a different beast all together because not only did my mom return to Unpub but she brought my step-sister, step-aunt, and niece. Of course the very first thing they all had to play was Sunset Shuffle. After playing a bunch of rounds they shifted over a table and tried out Jason Slingerland’s The Beat On the Street.
In The Beat on the Street, players are having a rap-off where they lay down sick rhymes and try to get the last word in. There was a slight learning curve for my niece and sister, but after a test-round they had it down.
As they played, it was a total laugh-fest and everyone, including my non-family members had a great time.
The next game they all played was Penny Farthing Catapult from Daniel Solis. It was the most chaotic game of the convention and it was hilarious watching Daniel being flabbergasted by my family. I think the reason they enjoyed the game so much was because it’s a pure take-that kind of game and so it became a multi-generational brawl between all the ladies that was simply fascinating to watch.
My family wrapped up their Sunday experience with Pie Factor from Bryan Fischer. It was slow going at first, but quickly they were all making pies and trying to maximize their score while tripping up their opponents. It was mean, catty, fun, and they all had a blast.
Unpub may have ended on Sunday but that didn’t stop the gaming! On Monday my mom and niece came over to Darrell’s house and we played a whole bunch of games:
- For Sale
- Igloo Pop
- Rumble in the House
Of the published games we played, Mom LOVED Vegas the most. I think for her it was the right amount of dice rolling, gambling, and decision making.
All in all, my mom had a GREAT time gaming and she already told me she’s looking forward to Unpub 5.