Our Gen Con Adventure part 2!

Company Site:www.gencon.com
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In the last post I covered all the wonderful companies we already loved so in this post I will introduce you to all the wonderful NEW companies we discovered at Gen Con 2014! I had to split up the posts even though I hate doing that. There was just too much awesome for one post!

Before I go into all the amazing new games and companies let me tell you a few other things. I don’t believe I covered the game library, giant Robo Ralley using real robots, Button Hunt, or the Family Fun Pavilion. Some of these we experienced and some we just saw and wished we could have.

gen con copy (31)The Giant Robo Ralley is awesome and every year I scold myself for not buying tickets…and then forget when I order tickets for things. I think I’ll put it in my calendar to order tickets for next year. It is a giant Lego board with Lego Mindstorms robots. Brilliant! It looks like so much fun and I WILL be playing next year…probably…hopefully.

The Famliy Fun Pavilion was located in the main vendor hall and as always had tons of things for kids of all ages to do. Crafts, games, sword fighting (with foam/nerf type swords) and even events that let you make your own game! We didn’t spend a lot of time in there this year but last year both of my kids loved that area. It is great if you have little ones or if your kids just like doing crafts.

One place my husband and I spent time in but the kids did not was the Game Library. Last year I stayed home with the kids so my husband could go play games all night. Nice of me wasn’t it? I did not want to be so nice this year though. Ok, I was sort of nice but to both of us! We had a friend watch the kids one night so I could back with him and play games. We didn’t stay up THAT late but it was nice to get out just the two of us. My sister was visiting Saturday so she kept the kids after all four of us were done for the day. My husband and I went back that night too! It was weird to be without the kids but we had fun. Tried a few games we were looking at and played a few we had but liked. Always a good time that library.gen con copy (34)

The Button Hunt was new and pretty fun. If you found a Button Handler (I made up that name…) they gave you their button and a map to the other button locations. Then as you explored Gen Con you could pick up the buttons as you wanted of if you were us then you hunted each button down one right after the other. Yeah…we did. Twice. Each kid got their own full set! To get the final button though you had to purchase something from select vendors. We just found a booth we were purchasing something at anyway so that worked out nicely. I thought this was pretty neat but the buttons kept falling off the lanyards.

The balloon building event happens every year for charity and is amazing. Tim Thurmond is an award winning balloon sculptor who creates an amazing work of art each year at Gen Con and then auction winners get a chance to pop it on Sunday! Kids get a turn too after that which is nice and loads of fun. This year there was a Dalek and a Minataur among several. I wish I got to pop them…then again maybe I am ok just watching the carnage…errr fun.

As far as companies went there a LOT I had never heard of. I tend to stay near the family aisles for games but I always look at the other booths too. If you focus on things you know you will miss opportunities to discover new and wonderful things. Which I did! Several booths were on the opposite side from the Family Games area but they had games that kids could play. Just because it isn’t in or near the Family friendly areas doesn’t mean it isn’t safe or appropriate for kids so always look all over. Now on to the new awesome! Complete with links to their websites if you click the title name.

gen con copy (29)Rather Dashing Games:

Mike Richie, Grant Wilson (yes the one from Ghost Hunters) and their wives run this company and Grant even does the art work. They have 5 games out so far with their newest Pirates, Ninjas, Robots and Zombies debuting at Gen Con 2014. PNRZ is really easy to learn and adjust for kids as young as 3 but fun enough for adults. Their other games, Silly Peppers, X Marks the Spot, Four Taverns and Dwarven Miner all look like a lot of fun and I cannot wait to play them and share them with you. Yes, I will be reviewing them so keep checking back but in the mean time, go check out their website.

R&R Games:

I had the pleasure of discovering this company a little before Gen Con when they emailed Press Releases about their booth and their game Strike a Pose. This game is a hilarious fun time! One person has to every other player is posing as while the other players freeze themselves like statues in various ways to “be” the thing on the card. I’m working on teaching my kids a version of this game. That should be tons of fun! They also have Hearts Attraction (which involves sliding magnets so my kids LOVED it), Pass-ack Words, Too Many Cooks, Igor, Flea Circus and Birds, Bugs, and Beans. Look for those reviews in the next year! So many fun games so go check out their website.

Talicor:

I almost over looked this company to be honest but I am SO glad I didn’t (thanks Bill!). They make amazingly fun and mind challenging games. 5th Gear is a challenging game involving….yep! Gears! Kor is a dice game that has you literally rolling until the dice tell you to stop! They even make activity balls called Thumballs. One has the alphabet on it, one has different emotions on it, my favorite has movement options to keep kids (and adults) active! Diva’s favorite were the gears. She can’t play yet but she plays with the gears and to me that is a great start! Look for my reviews on several of their games in the next year. You can also check out their website and see all of their wonderful games now.

gen con copy (102)Action Phase Games:

You might remember my post awhile ago about a game called Heroes Wanted. This is the company behind it and their booth had the game (and shirts) for sale along with expansions and chance to demo the game. You get to be a super hero and fight a villain! I mean who doesn’t want to do that? Select your Super Hero cards to form an awesome title with various abilities that will help you stop the villain (which you also name using cards) while they try to litter, jay walk or ship pirated DVDs. We got to play this one during one of our game nights at Gen Con and it was a lot of fun. I’ll share more in the review so check back for that one or check out their website.

MindTwister USA:

I was introduced to Pentago at this booth. I liked it but am dreading playing with my husband. He is VERY good at these chess-thinking type games and while I am ok at them…he tends to kick my butt at them. Still Pentago is fun to play and is only one of several amazing looking games. Repello, Colorio and Fandooble which even sounds fun! Some games make you think which I like but Fandooble is a fun dice rolling game that even younger kids could play. Keep checking for my reviews on some of their awesome games.

Vision 3 Games:

If you haven’t played Incredibrawl yet you NEED to. This fun paper-rock-scissors type card game pits you against other players to get the most points. Each player has the same cards in their deck so you have to be more clever than everyone else and/or more lucky. Look for my review on this game coming soon. In the mean time check out their website!gen con copy (81)

Peaceable Kingdom:

One of my children’s favorite booths! This company makes adorable games like Race to the Treasure, Fish Stix, Hoot Owl Hoot and Feed the Woozle (which I will be reviewing in the next year). Feed the Woozle is a great game for kids that teaches them to work together and keeps them active too! They even had a giant Feed the Woozle with a giant spoon and giant pieces to feed him complete with giant die to roll. We visited this booth every single day and one of the days twice! They just HAD to feed the giant Woozle and the people at the booth were so patient. Go check out their site for all of their kid friendly and fun games.

Eden Studios:

Adventure Maximus is the most recent game to come from Eden Studios and it is an RPG that is fantastic for beginners. You can make a character in under 2 minutes and everything you need to play is in the box. Best part is you do NOT need to be a GM/DM because kids can do all that themselves! Well once you teach them of course. Cannot wait to play teach my son so he can teach his friends. Excited to share with you later in the year too so keep checking for that review or check out their website now.

LM Studios:

I always love a portable game and Bit Crawl Pocket is such a fun one. A dungeon card game where you can help or not the other players? Yes please! Bonus: It is done in the style of 8 bit video games. I love that look though it could be because I grew up with it. I’ll be reviewing this one in the next year so keep checking back or check out their website.

gen con copy (13)Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures:

Super Dungeon Explore is an amazing looking dungeon adventure board game involving beautiful minis. With plenty of expansions available and in the works this game will be played for a long time. I will be reviewing this one and teaching my son how to play at least on a basic level. He loves games involving minis. Relic Knights is their newest one and is a card-based battle game. Can’t wait to check out more of their work and see what they do next. Check out their site and see all of their games!

Nazca Games:

I stumbled upon this booth, thankfully, while trying to find a My Little Pony plush of Luna…yeah we failed that mission but succeeded in discovering this fantastic company. Tricks & Treats is a card game that has you trying to get the most candy while the other player is trying to figure out which basket is yours so they can kick you out of the game! Sounds like fun to me! They also are responsible for Volt, a robot battle board game of careful planning and a little luck. Earn the most victory points by getting to the active control panel at the end of your turn OR by shooting and eliminating other player’s robots! So looking forward to playing this and yes I will have a review as soon as I can for you or check out their website.

USAopoly:

You are probably familiar with this company since they make all the awesome Clue, Monopoly, Connect 4 and Memory involving tons of our favorite characters, including a Firefly Clue! How did I NOT know that existed!! They also make fun games like Crossways, Selfie and Treasure Trax which is a fun parent/child find the clue and find the item game. Cannot wait to try that out! I will be reviewing Crossways and Treasure Trax later this year and hopefully more of the amazingly fun games in the future. Keep checking back or visit their website.

Tasty Minstrel Games:

Dungeon Roll is a big game in a little box. I have personally not played yet but my 5 year old son said he knew how. So we sat down at the TMG booth and I said prove it….and he did. I wasn’t the only one surprised! The person demoing the game for us was pretty surprised given my son was only FIVE years old but he picks up on games quickly and was taught by his uncle. The game looks fun and I can’t wait for my son to teach me how to play…kidding…sort of. I’ll be reviewing this game later this year so keep checking back or check out their site now.

So many wonderful companies and not enough hours in a day to play every game. Which is why we have weekly game nights. Literally every week we play games together and sometimes with a friend or two as well. Hopefully we will be starting a kids game night (and movie time camp out) that can coincide with adult game night too.

Here are the pictures from all four days! Well most…Enjoy!

Gen Con was extra awesome this year because all four of us were able to go and spend time together as a family. I love sharing games with my family and I love that both of my kids love playing games even more! They are fun, bring us all closer and everyone can learn so much from games. Seriously you can. I’m considering homeschooling and using games as a key teaching tool. Ok maybe I am not that extreme…yet but you CAN learn things from games.

I will have ONE more Gen Con post coming VERY soon which will go over each of my kids experiences at Gen Con this year. They are STILL talking about how much fun they had and all the things they saw. Each year this convention gets better and even though the crowds get larger there is still that sense of community that you just don’t experience at places like conventions anywhere else. Start saving and planning now for Gen Con 2015 as it comes a little bit earlier than this year.

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“Life is more fun if you play games.”
~ Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

Author: sandyz