This is our third straight day of coverage on UK Games Expo, I opened by talking about the entertainment, Chris discussed some of his favourite games, and we’re still a long way from done talking about it. We had a fun weekend. The greater part of my weekend was ambling around taking as much in as possible, not wanting to sit for too long for fear that I might not have time to see it all. Here are my impressions of the best bits: (more…)
As Joel (terraphi) mentions in his article we were at UK Games Expo 2017. Over the three days I spoke to a lot of people and walked several miles wandering around the show but we both walked away feeling like the show was generally very good. Joel and I sat down and had a little chat at the end of day 2 about what we liked and didn’t like about the show.
Let’s start with awesome Polish publisher Board And Dice, I managed to get a bit more of an in-depth look into two of their games. Pocket Mars is a worker placement game where you aim to take all of your astronauts from Earth and place them on Mars and bills itself as a big game in a small box. From the explanation I got I can definitely see why and it’s gone onto my wishlist for the future. The second game of theirs was SuperHot a card game based on the computer game of the same name. SuperHot is a deck building game with a difference, where you can play in a solo mode, co-op or against a second player who plays as an AI and there is even a 2 on 1 mode where two players can try to take down the AI. It’s very true in the way the game looks and feels which is a huge credit. The game and the designer have even implemented a mechanic that attempts to simulate time moving when you do.
Next, we will move onto Brain Crack Games, who are based in Southampton. I played their corporate greed based card game called Down Size where you have to build up funds in a company as fast as possible and then think about firing all of your employees. I also played a fantastic little exploration game called Mined Out where you mine for gems in a very unstable mine, both of these games again appeal to me because the boxes are quite small and portable and there is enough gameplay in there.
I also had a go at a nearly complete version of Grublin Games heist game called Perfect Crime. This one is a bit more long form but is a very novel new concept and as far as I know, the only board game that uses blueprints as part of the design. As suggested by the title you play the part of bank robbers who set out to plan and execute a perfect heist. One player plays as the bank and then all other players (maximum 5 including the Bank) act as the robbers to try and find their way to the vault. The team at Grublin are looking to get this complete for September and even though I don’t do long form games that much this one has me rather intrigued.
The thing with RPGs at a show like UKGE is that you have very limited time to absorb them. That is unless you have done some research beforehand, so I tend to go on instinct with these things. I did come across two RPG’s that caught my eye and with any luck, we might be able to get hold of copies of them to give them a full review.
First off we have an RPG called Sins. Sins is a really interesting sounding game with a simplified dice system that I feel really works with its premise. It’s being billed as “a high-octane, dark and driven game of cinematic proportions“. I love the fact that the creators have already embraced that music can be very influencial in setting a tone and they have released a few Spotify Playlists to help players and the GM alike. I spoke to the designer Sam who is a really nice guy and very enthusiastic about his own product. Rightfully so, the demo book he had was beautiful and when he explained the dice system my interest really accelerated.
The second RPG that I found is from the Italian game designers Tin Hat Games who we hope to get hold of their new board game Dungeon Digger that was kickstarted in an amazing 3 days. They have a really nice super being based RPG called Urban Heroes. Having seen the actual print book again I must say it’s beautifully put together. Urban Heroes has been around for a while and if we can’t get hold of a copy for review then I am more than willing to dig into my own pocket for a PDF version at only $19.99 (USD).
That’s not all folks?
There is so much more and Joel and I will be working on getting more posts up related to UKGE over the next few weeks/months. Trust us when I say we have plenty of content to write up. I certainly would say that UKGE was a great expo and well worth checking out. Speaking to some of the people who attended it I got confirmation from them that it was well worth the money even if you only went for a day trip. Did you go to UKGE and if so what was your experience of the show? Did you manage to pick up any bargains from the show? Tell us all about it in the comments section below or over on Facebook.
I am overly excited to bring you the second GeekOut Meet for Shrewsbury! We got off to a great start in March, and April is already shaping up to be even better, we already have a few new faces signing up on our Facebook and MeetUp pages, and I have a few extra plans to make the day just that little bit more interesting.
From 12:00 onwards we’ll be back in the basement of the Shrewsbury Coffee House, a few warm up games, cake and drinks (personally I recommend the brownies) while those willing and able to join us for the afternoon have chance to join us for a meet and greet, and those of us who are in it for the long haul can get settled in for the big games of the evening. We also have a heads-up from management, due to a staff holiday we may have to leave a little early, but this is Shrewsbury, we are not short of places to go.
We have the VIP section at Monty’s Tower from 18:00, and a spare table or two to catch any over-spill. This month’s feature game – at least from my library – Lego: Minotauros, a cat and mouse game of luck and cunning. Lego make some of the best everything so it would seem, toys, films and one of the most fun and simple board games I’ve ever had the privilege of building myself. It does not take very long however, so be sure to bring along anything you like.
Games available to play this month:
– Boss Monster
– Bucket of Doom
– Eight Minute Empires
– Fluxx (assorted)
– Lego: Minotaurus
– Love Letter
– Magic: the Gathering
– Zombie Dice
And of course by “anything you like” it needn’t be a board game, for a start we have loads, and we’re not just in it for the board gamers. Manga, TV, film, comics, anything and everything geeky is welcome to the table. I just finished binge-watching Legion, the FX television portal for the X-Men following the story of an incredibly powerful telepath with incredibly powerful mental health problems and I need someone to talk to for hours about that show.
Remember, as the GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet is still in its early stages you have a chance to shape its future. Come on down and let us know what you want to see from GeekOut in the future, we have our ideas and our themes, but ultimately it’s all about you.
As a final note, for April’s Shrewsbury Meet we have a calling card, something of a running joke carried over from Bristol, look for this at each venue:
Up there in the skies! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s just the GeekOut Bristol Meet attendees flying over to the Old Market Tavern for a night of fun, games, drinks, discussion and much, much more. But of course, not everyone knows what we get up to during our meetups, so if you’re new to what we do, or if you’re simply curious about what’s going down this month, then join us today for a quick chat about what’s new, what’s not and what’s hot about this upcoming meetup.
A game for the criminally imaginative, that’s the tagline. Whilst board games have enjoyed a massive resurgence in the 2000’s and beyond, so too have games where there are less typical boards involved. This month, we investigate a game that’s been on my “to play” list for quite some time – Rogues to Riches. This was a game I backed on Kickstarter quite some time ago and I received it late last year. We finally got around to playing it as a small group at this past GeekOut Bristol Meet and I will say it’s one of the most funny games I’ve picked up in quite some time. Read on for our full review!
It’s been a long time coming, and fully a year of bold claims that the ever popular GeekOut Bristol Meet would eventually be getting the same in Shrewsbury. So why the hold ups? And what can Shrewsbury expect from a GeekOut Meet anyway? (more…)
Part of the committment I signed myself up to when I made this website, was to bring events to local geeks. I wanted to do it as much as I could; but time and money is a major issue. Not to mention the fact that venues are typically tricky for special events. However, middle of last year, we moved away from our first venue into the Old Market Tavern – and we’ve had a hell of a time since then. As such, I’m always looking for ways to bring everyone together for a fun time… And there’s one time of year that can be amongst the loneliest for all of us, yet also is a time for celebrating.
The thing about a town like Shrewsbury is that it would take you a full lifetime to uncover every corner, unveil every hidden gem. There are alleys off alleys, doors you could walk past a thousand times and never notice, and amongst them are some of the venues e-Collectica have used for their Games Days. The hall upstairs from a church, a hall hidden behind some shop fronts, and most recently the Darwin Community Centre, a little hall just outside of the town centre that’s innocuously concealed behind two gates and a fairly blank looking door, and a faded sign. About the biggest marker on the place is the Pokestop… or maybe the guy stood in the gate on Google Streetview?
When I led this commenting on hidden gems, I was absolutely talking about the Darwin Community Centre. As tucked away as it might be, that place has everything a bunch of enthusiastic gamers could want! Tables!
But seriously, there were a few issues in the build up to Games Day, namely a few of the staff being unable to attend due to illness or other engagements; this put some of the schedule out, but it didn’t stop people from enjoying themselves. People arrived and delved straight into the library of demo games, a few people brought new things to try, including guests from the Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare presenting historical skirmish games.
I had the chance to field a playtest of a little something I’m working on for something bigger: Six Goblins in an Overcoat. Players take the role of one of six goblins doing their best to present themselves as a single normal human trying to navigate a human town and break into a cat orphanage to get at the tasty, tasty cats inside. It was short but sweet, brilliantly chaotic, limbs were abandoned, swapped, badly coordinated, and I think it could go somewhere with a few more experiments. Anyone who’s in, just say the word…
And of course the day would be woefully incomplete without the raffle. It’s nice to hold a ticket that could win me something other than a bottle of wine, a pack of chocolates, or some ornament that’ll end up a Christmas present for someone who likes that sort of thing. A bag of dice for the first ticket, followed by Dobble, and finishing out with Back to the Future, which I did not think had a board game… the more you know.
Finally, the most important news from this Games Day, that there will be another. It was starting to look doubtful, but the venue and the people just made for a much better time, and more importantly a much longer time. Every event so far has had to shut down by 17:00, we squeezed an extra couple of gaming hours into the evening and made full use of every minute, we were still fighting for Tokyo right up until the last call.
There is no fixed date for the next event, but keep an eye on e-Collectica’s Facebook page, or just stay with us on GeekOut South-West, you know I’ll be all over it.