Covering Gen Con Indy 2010: The games

Each year that I’ve gone to Gen Con Indy, billed as the “Best Four Days in Gaming,” I’ve transitioned more from a gamer’s wife to a gaming wife.  This year was no different.  I think I’m making the transition nicely and surprising myself in the process.  Add in the opportunity to write about something I enjoy, and it’s a winning combination!

This year, I covered the Con, as some refer to it, for The (Anderson, Ind.) Herald Bulletin and in a roundabout way for IC Optimist, a publication of the IC Network for patients with a bladder condition called interstitial cystitis.  I found a couple of Anderson residents attending Gen Con Indy who were willing to talk with me.  I put together the article on Friday in the corner of the exhibit hall.  (Unfortunately, the press room has no areas to work.)  The second article will focus on how games can be used as a pain distraction and is coming soon.

Overall, I enjoyed Gen Con.  I attended Aug. 6 and 7, though the event ran Aug. 5 through 8.  Last year was my first year to try game demos.  I was too intimidated to do so before that.  This year, I was ready to bring it!

The first demo we did was for a new game called Ascension.   The game premiered at Gen Con Indy.   It enjoyed a grand premiere indeed.  We purchased the game on Friday and got stopped to ask where the booth was.  People were searching for it.  We played the demo on Saturday morning.  It’s a trading card game without the trading part.  You don’t have to keep buying more cards to be successful at it.  That appeals to my frugal side indeed.  Add in the fact that I won the demo we were playing, and I am glad to have added it to our collection of games.  I also liked that it was easy to pick up on.

The other demo we tried was for Fantasy Flight’s Arkham Horror.  It’s an in-depth game with lots of rules, facets, twists and turns based on the writing of H.P. Lovecraft.  I’ve got to say I didn’t enjoy the demo.  I think I might enjoy the game, but it wasn’t a well-run demo.  Though the lady running it was nice, I had no clue what was going on half the time.  My husband explained most of it to me afterward.  He takes to games like ducks to water and picks them up almost instantaneously.  While I’d give Arkham Horror a try again, it wasn’t worth the purchase for me.

We were also disappointed that Fantasy Flight wasn’t running a demo of Descent: Sea of Blood.  We’ve been playing Descent for a couple of years now, but the Sea of Blood expansion was just discussed at last year’s Gen Con and released later.  We were hoping to run a demo before purchasing the expansion.  With no demo to be found, we decided to go ahead and make the purchase in hopes it won’t lead us astray.

My husband hopped in on an open spot for a new game from Flying Frog Productions that will release in December called Conquest of Planet Earth.  That demo was also a bit mediocre, but the game seemed cool enough.  We did get a kick out of seeing a couple of characters from our favorite Flying Frog game, Last Night on Earth.  Even better, I found the expansion pack of heroes that included one named Stacy, the investigative journalist.  Though they spelled the name wrong, I’d still be excited to play that character!

One disappointment for Gen Con this year was the paltry showing from electronic games.  I didn’t see any except for a brief highlight of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.  Though it’s not set to release until the fall of 2011, the game is already generating hype.  It has a few big names on board with it, including R.A. Salvatore, Curt Shilling, Todd McFarlane and Ken Rolston.

For photos from Gen Con, be sure to check out my Facebook page, and stay tuned next week for a bit more information about Reckoning and some other Gen Con experiences I had!

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  1. Chris wrote:

    It was a fun experience. Honestly four days isn’t long enough.

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