We are preparing ourselves to attend UKGE again this year and believe it or not, I still have not had the time to review one of the games we were given last year. BARPIG is a competitive card-based party game with social group activities, and some elements where you can mess with other players.
Sins takes place in our own world, a century or more from now, which is in a post-apocalyptic state. Civilisation as we know it no longer exists, areas of the world are now hideously scorched by nuclear attacks and others have returned to their natural state.
I met co-creator and development team lead Sam Sleney at the 2017 UKGE, where after the past 6 years or so he had been developing the game and was heading to Kickstarter. I caught up with him again at UKGE 2018 where the game was nominated (and won) for the People’s Choice Best RPG award. He very kindly gave me a copy of the prequel scenario, Dead City, which is basically a quick start. Before I dive into this article, I just need to quickly apologise to Sam, because I have taken so long to get this overview out.
You may remember a that some time ago we attended UK Games Expo and during that time, we came across quite a few Kickstarter projects that were due to launch this year. Snitch is one of those projects I found, where I was lucky enough to play it with the creators. It’s a fast-paced social-deduction style game, that now has been released on Kickstarter and at time of writing, is well underway to getting funded.
Land some flip tricks, grabs and grinds to try to create the best line in this skateboarding card game brought to you by the folks at Blue Donut Studios who are based in Portsmouth and gave us a copy of the game for review at UK Games Expo 2018.
I mentioned in my UK Games Expo Kickstarter Roundup that while I was at the event this year, during my lunch I was set upon by pirates. While my initial thought was that they had turned up for the Viking LARP, but not read any of the memo’s, it turns out they were a mother and son team peddling their wares. Amongst their wares was a board game called the Pirates Of Penryn, but sadly I was not able to play a game during the Expo. It took a few days and a bit of back and forth with e-mails, but Caitlin wrangled up a magic eye so that I may see a game in play and indeed take part, albeit virtually.
Check out the Pirates of Penryn Kickstarter campaign here.
UKGE was huge this year, and Chris and I were two incredibly busy people all weekend, it’s a wonder either of us had chance to talk to the other. In fact if we hadn’t perhaps we’d have seen everything, played more games, chatted with more developers, designers, dug into the playtesting tables to find some new nugget of talent among the up and coming game designers who find their break at events like UKGE, or refine their ideas to try again next year, and maybe we’d have squeezed in a few more seminars.
Perhaps we’d have found the fabled “Press Area” that we’re reliably told exists somewhere. (more…)
Wow, what a weekend that was.
I’ve not been to any other board game expo to compare UK Games Expo to (although I would love to go to Spiel) but this year it felt huge. I would estimate that it was around 10-15% bigger than last year, at least my feet certainly feel like it was. There is so much to see and so much to play and Joel and I tried to do as much as we can. Let’s start with part one of two posts on Kickstarter projects that I encountered, some of these are active now and some will be sometime in the future but certainly, all of them are on my list of ones to watch or I want to invest in or I have already invested in. I’ve got lots to say, so let’s crack on!
This weekend (1st to the 3rd of June) was UKGE, which saw a tremendous turnout of nearly 22,000 geeks and nerds, a dramatic increase on last year and it showed in the density of packed halls of the NEC on the Saturday. Even the Friday was a bustling affair, with space enough to breath and manoeuvre, but every stand was still surrounded and occupied with interested punters, tables filled with gamers.
For me, this year was all about the RPGs. I went in knowing that I wanted to meet up with Will from Inked Adventures, whose gaming accessories I recently reviewed, and whose designs I also incorporated into the design of the Shropshire Dungeon Master business cards. I also had the opportunity to meet up with Creighton Brockhurst from Raging Swan (I may have mentioned I’m a fan) to talk writing and role-playing for half an hour between shopping and seminars. (more…)
Pocket Mars is a card game that boasts simple rules, and packs a lot of gameplay. I’ve had a copy of it for a while now and remember talking to the publishers Board and Dice about it back at UKGE, and at our recent September Meetup, I finally got round to playing it.
Chris covered some of the RPGs on show in his article last week but while he covered what was on the shop floor, I wandered the Hilton, who had mostly filled their rooms with tables equipped with DMs, GMs, Storytellers, and enough rulebooks, character sheets, dice and assorted other accoutrements to keep dozens – maybe hundreds – of people entertained all weekend. As someone who is obsessive over tabletop roleplaying it was amazing to see so many games going off at once, I mean just look at this:
Most of these photos may look like identical rooms, honestly it’s just the decor and layout. People were flooding into the sign up room, and I had to edge my way around the queue to get a photo inside.
Competitions and Tournaments
One of the NEC main halls was given over fully to competitions for the more popular games, on a national and international level. Wandering that hall I think I heard as much German, French and Polish cast around as English. There were games I expected, like the Magic tournament, the Pokemon tournament, I even fully expected to see people competing in the X-Wing miniatures skirmish game, but I wasn’t expecting to see Infinity or Dropzone.
I already talked about what these guys got up to, here’s a few images from the guys over at the Living History Camp, and the time they went to war against a pillaging horde of small children:
Yeah, the best part is just wondering around wherever we pleased (up to a point at least). This has only been my second occasion as a member of the press so I’m still never certain what I can and cannot get away with, but dammit if I’m getting all-access I’m going to work hard for it.
It was incredible wandering the hall before and after the horde joined us. The difference was simply astounding, the freedom to walk the floor reduced to swimming through a crowd; strange echoing silence turned to a cacophony of voiceless sound. These events are made by hard working people who put their livelihoods out on trestle tables to be judged, exhausted staff and volunteers fighting to keep every moment organised and controlled for the good of everyone involved, and by the people who keep coming back year after year to make it all worthwhile.
Here’s what we saw:
Pictures will be on Facebook soon enough, if you see yourself, tag yourself. In the mean time, so long UKGE, see you next year.