Game Review: Gen Con Indy 2011
Today is an amalgamation of reviews for a few games from Gen Con Indy 2011. These are games that I saw, tried (most of them) and am either excited about or ready to pass on.
First up is Runewars from Fantasy Flight Games. I hadn’t played this game before, and I don’t see myself playing it again any time soon. However, it’s not a bad game. It’s just not my type of game. And it lasts three to four hours at least. There are some games I’ll play for this long (stayed tuned for a review of Descent), but this game isn’t one of them. It has two to four players, each of whom has a faction. You start with a hero and various types of troops/soldiers. Your goal is to conquer areas of the board. You battle other players and random monsters/neutral enemies to take over land area. The game goes through the four seasons and each season has different tasks that can occur. For example, in winter if you don’t have enough food, some of your troops die. In fall, you harvest. The demonstrator explained that Runewars is sort of a shorter version of Twilight Imperium. While its Web site says that Twilight Imperium takes three to four hours of game play for three to six players, everyone we talked to at Gen Con said it’s not uncommon for the game to last 12 hours. I’m definitely not interested in that!
If conquering and strategy games are up your alley, though, I’d say Runewars is definitely one to try. While it’s not for me, it seemed like it had decent game play with good character cards and rules that made it go well. I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
The next game is Food Fight from Cryptozoic Entertainment. I thought it looked fun. I love food, and the tables were set with diner style items including ketchup bottles and silverware. I figured it’d be fun to try. That’s where the fun stopped. Truthfully, I can’t really even describe the game to you. Basically players chose to battle at either breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a card game. That’s about all I know. The demo was crummy for me. I think I got a relatively bad hand, but the demonstrator went so fast, I pretty much was clueless as to what was going on most of the time. It might be worth checking out, but I don’t plan to check into it any more.
It may be unfair, but based on my experience with the demo at Gen Con, I’d only give it a 1 out of 5 stars.
Another game we demoed was the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. We have a few starter decks for the World of Warcraft TCG, but we had never actually played it. I found it to be pretty similar to Magic. Basically, players pick a character class to play and battle one another from there. You have one main character that you are playing. When that character dies, your opponent wins (in a two-player game). You get other character cards who you can pull out to fight for you and items to equip to them. Everything costs a certain amount to play. Unlike in Magic, where manna cards are limited and can be hard to come by, the WoW TCG offers quest cards that can be spent as manna and give you additional bonuses as well. I was excited to actually win the hand I played against my husband.
For me, the one drawback to trading card games in general is that you are supposed to keep buying cards to build a better and better deck. I guess if you’re playing more competitively with other folks that’s a necessity. For the way that we tend to game between ourselves and with close friends, I’d be fine not buying any more cards.
I liked the WoW game play a bit better than Magic. I’d go with a 4 out of 5 stars. I’m only knocking a star just because of the whole TCG scheme to keep players buying cards. Then again, I’m cheap.
Another game we demoed was the Munchkin card game. If you’re good, you might remember that I already reviewed this game back in June. I’m not going to go through all of the details again (please click the link and read the review if you’re interested), but I am going to mention that after doing the demo I like the game even more. While Steve Jackson, the game’s creator, was in sight while we were playing, we also learned that we were indeed wrong about our initial game play when we let players throw down monsters for other players to battle at any point during the game. Eliminating that mishap made the game go quicker and better. The demo was designed for people who hadn’t played the game before or much before (we fell into the latter category). We did get a pre-teen in our demo who had played a lot and was quite cocky. He almost ruined the fun for some of the new players, but the game demonstrator did a good job at reigning him in. No one was disappointed when he had to cut out early from the game, aside from my husband who was gathering cards to play against him.
While I liked it before, I like it even more now that I’ve played it with all the correct rules. I’d give Munckin a 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a fun game and a relatively cheap investment.
The final game to mention for this roundup is Oz Dark and Terrible by Emerald City Expeditions, LLC. I am only giving it a brief mention, because I didn’t get to try it. However, it piqued my interest. It is a role playing game. The premise of the world is that it’s the Wizard of Oz meets Steampunk. It had some pretty neat ideas and concepts that would be fun to explore. The rule set was its own, though. That was the one drawback for us, just because we are into the Savage Worlds rule set right now. But, I’d be interested in hopping in on at least a session of Oz Dark and Terrible. Since I didn’t actually get to play it, I’d be remiss to try rating it. However, it was interesting enough that I wanted to give it a mention.
Stay tuned next week for in-depth reviews of Descent and Quarrior. And, be sure to follow me on Facebook!