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GenCon Buzz

N Updated
Gencon News
There Will Be Games

Jeff Bourbeau, our correspondent at large, is at GenCon bringing us the buzz. Unfortunately he has been experiencing some technical difficulties, so all we have for today are these transcribed messages. 

Black Angel has been a big hit.

The new Funkoverse games are really popular, but you have to do a demo in a different hall to buy a copy so collectors cannot buy them all, which is totally crazy. I can’t buy one!
The Power Rangers board game released here for $90 and is huge and awesome. 
Menace Among Us from Smirkand Dagger released. It’s a shuffle building scifi social game. 
Throw Throw Burito from the team at Exploding Kittens. 
Shazn which is on Kickstarter now is being shown and I got to see a demo.
Legendary: James Bond released from upper deck and they brought a car onto the show floor taking the GenCon nonsense to 'outside of a jcpenny at the mall' level of marketing. 
Talisman: Kingdom Hearts is here from the OP and designer Elisa Teague, but is now being released yet.
Brain Games is showing off a prototype of Iron Forest which is similar to their Spiel des Jahres winning title Ice Cool except it has two layers, a launcher, and new adult themes and mechanics. 

Also Riot Quest

Riot Quest

There Will Be Games Gencon News

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ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300423 02 Aug 2019 16:42
This is the third report I’ve heard that Black Angel is a big hit.

Iron Forest sounds cool.

We should have game pictures as soon as Jeff resolves his wi-fi issues.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #300424 02 Aug 2019 17:01
I like how Black Angel looks but...

Designer of Troyes and other not so good
Heavy euros.

Iron Forest looks amazing. Dark Tower does
too. I keep hearing that Power Rangers is
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300425 02 Aug 2019 17:36
Isn’t Dark Tower still in development? I thought it wasn’t due to release until 2020.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300426 02 Aug 2019 17:44
I saw Rob playing around with it this morning. First time showing off the working prototype of the tower. It’s super rad!

Unmatched has been a huge hit as well, selling out at both the Restoration and Mondo booths. I managed to grab a full set and cast my vote for Dracula vs Frankenstein’s Monster.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300427 02 Aug 2019 17:58

Thanks for the update. Hope you are selling tons of Lindsey’s work.

I know you are super busy, but if you get a chance to take some game photos you can email them to me, and I’ll post them for you.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #300428 02 Aug 2019 18:04
They are showing the tower on Twitter.
It looks CRAZY. The engineering is ridiculous, it has something to do with these tiles and LED lights. And you put Brigands (yes) on the board by dumping them into it and they randomly rush out onto the board. Looks really cool.

Hope they do Pop Up Pirate sometime.
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300442 03 Aug 2019 12:38
Funkoverse Harry Potter

Word is that the Funkoverse will have a universal system and scenarios. However, characters will have unique, themed abilities. Sets will come with different maps and characters, but you should be able to combine characters from different sets and play on any map.

This is going to sell like crazy.

Ah_Pook's Avatar
Ah_Pook replied the topic: #300448 03 Aug 2019 17:07
Harry Potter vs The Golden Girls, I mean this is a must have for my wife already
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #300450 03 Aug 2019 17:29
Well, at least they came up with a use for the most worthless pop culture detritus ever created...I can’t say I’m interested in any way shape or form but I’m sure some dude with 500 of these things boxed up inn the basement is thrilled.

Moon Sphere looks awesome, 2 player Japanese abstract. Cartographers looks neat. Raf and Charlie were tooting about Sovereign Chain with Fantady Realms as a comparative.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300456 04 Aug 2019 07:55
So me being an assistant to Lindsey turned into me be a rotating assistant to everyone in her circle who didn’t have one, so yesterday was a full day for me.

Still have a few updates for you:

-Horrified is a massive hit. It hardly made it through the first hour each day and the response to the game itself seems to be very, very positive. Lots of copies of Jaws floating around, too. Ravensburger and Prospero Hall are doing Back to the Future next year.

-Abomination: Heir to Frankenstein has also been really popular. Despite the early verdict that it’s way too long, sounds like folks are enjoying it. Word is it’s “Most thematic worker placement game to date.” Might just be that they brought more copies of Black Angel in after Thursday’s mad rush on it, but Abomination sold out on Friday and Saturday while Black Angel was still in plentiful supply (both are being sold by Asmodee, that’s what I’m making that comparison).

-Now, the news everyone here really cares about...Anytime I had on the floor yesterday was spent watching games of Dune. I stopped by Friday and spent some time talking to Bill Eberle, who is such a sweet guy and just positively lit up while talking about the game. He’s just as excited about this thing as we are. They took the many years of feedback to heart while putting it together, taking care to clarify the ambiguities and putting the best possible version of the game forward. The rulebook was out to flip through yesterday and, based on that,the hours spent watching it played and talking to Bill, this is it folks. The rules read great, the do nothing cards are still in, and they tried to make something more out of the basic and advanced versions of the game. From what I could tell, and I may be wrong about this, but supporting troops with spice is the only advanced rule. The advanced and basic powers have all been streamlined into one thing, which I appreciate. And hey, turns out newcomers still really like this game. There were several repeat players at the demo table because folks saw that this is a game you’ll like on your first play but love on your second.

Bill is really hopeful about it being a financial success as well, something the game never had when it was first released. He also said that the team was very excited about the two more games they’re working on, I’m assuming also set in the Dune universe.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300460 04 Aug 2019 10:28
Some RPG Hotness, if you’re into that....

Lots of folks picking up Pathfinder 2e. I looked though it, it’s not quite chasing after that 3.5 D&D glory and is much more of its own thing. It’s also much crunchier than 5e, which I’m not into but if you are, might be worth a look.

Cyberpunk 2070 Jumpstart box is the real sleeper hit. I’ve seen TONS of these things walking around, 2 at a time even.

The Fallout RPG was launched, I don’t think anyone cares. Ample supply all day, haven’t seen a soul walking around with one.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #300461 04 Aug 2019 10:39
Thanks, Josh!
ubarose's Avatar
ubarose replied the topic: #300464 04 Aug 2019 13:00
Relaying some more games that are getting buzz received via email:

Mystery House - An escape room game with an app and 3D puzzle box. Looks cool, but may just be gimmicky.

Machi Koro Legacy - Not a surprise. Machi Koro has lots of fans and this was a highly anticipated game

Obscurio - Mysterium with a hidden traitor

Medium - The Mind meets Codewords

Letter Jam - Co-op Code 777 meets Scrabble. Has sold out daily.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #300465 04 Aug 2019 15:24
Horrified is great, glad to hear it showed well. Ravensburger’s work with Prospero Hall is some of the most exciting stuff going on in games today. They are truly bringing hobby-style games to a very accessible, mainstream setting. Their designs are also far more creative and heartfelt than, say, any of the garbage CMON shoveled out there lately. Or fucking Marvel Splendor.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300468 04 Aug 2019 19:07
I got to play a quick round of Obscurio today and really enjoyed it. I also love Mysterium, but I feel like this might be the stronger of the two.

I’d have to wager that Machi Koro Legacy was NOT a hit. They always seemed to have plenty of stock and they were always trying to get me to try it when I walked by. The original was a hit when it first came out but the honeymoon is over and I think most people don’t want to commit to a Machi Koro campaign.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #300469 04 Aug 2019 19:18
I feel like legacy is running its course, overall.
Frohike's Avatar
Frohike replied the topic: #300470 04 Aug 2019 21:14
I think Machi Koro has run it's course, for the most part.
Gary Sax's Avatar
Gary Sax replied the topic: #300471 04 Aug 2019 21:21
People expect so much of very light games. Wingspan is like this too.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #300472 04 Aug 2019 22:45
Your wife making book Josh?
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300473 05 Aug 2019 07:29
You never know how well you do because just being there generates interest, makes connections, etc.

Even without that, she did really well.
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Michael Barnes replied the topic: #300480 05 Aug 2019 10:11
What’s the deal with the Gundam game CMON was showing? Are they doing the Japanese game that came out this year in English? That would be kind of weird since a) I’m interested in it and b) it’s all standees and not $200 worth of miniatures.
san il defanso's Avatar
san il defanso replied the topic: #300484 05 Aug 2019 10:44
I might have to rebuy Dune. I would love a more user friendly version of that amazing game.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #300485 05 Aug 2019 11:26

san il defanso wrote: I might have to rebuy Dune. I would love a more user friendly version of that amazing game.

Hush you.
Josh Look's Avatar
Josh Look replied the topic: #300486 05 Aug 2019 11:33

Michael Barnes wrote: What’s the deal with the Gundam game CMON was showing? Are they doing the Japanese game that came out this year in English? That would be kind of weird since a) I’m interested in it and b) it’s all standees and not $200 worth of miniatures.

It’s the Japanese game. I’m pretty pumped on it getting translated, doesn’t sound like they’re going to be doing the usual CMON box of plastic with it.
drewcula's Avatar
drewcula replied the topic: #300507 06 Aug 2019 09:00
I have repaired my voice after an exhausting Gencon.
I have also repaired my faith in humanity, and feel I can dip my toes back into social media.

I have a different perspective.

Ravensburger is certainly killing it with Jaws and Villainous. Good on them. Horrified? Mmmmm... I'm torn. I'm the biggest nut for Universal Monsters, but this game is just 'meh' for me. I left my demo thinking it was too light of a co-op for my tastes. Mind you, I don't like co-ops. On the positive, its lightweight approach and availability at Target may get it into kids' gaming rotation. And if the younger generation gets any exposure to some good looking Universal Monsters? I'm all for it.

My Horrified rub is ultimately a production rub. It seems Ravensburger wants it both ways, and the end result looks dumb as fuck. I've grown my hobby into a painting past time, so I was initially excited to see my favorites in plastic form. The minis look good. I think I'd like to paint them. Except there's 'only' seven of them. The big bads get the sculpts. Townsfolk and Players? They get standees. God damn do I hate that. Pick one, and commit. It looks like a kit bash, prototype product when bits are mingled. I honestly would have preferred the streamlined and sleek meeples treatment that Jaws received. All of the illustrations are handsome.

Regardless, I'll keep an eye out at Target. Once Horrified goes on sale, I may pull the trigger just to have a fun little painting project. Dracula is my spirit animal.

Abomination caught my eye two months ago at Origins. No surprise, it's gothic horror. But it looked wickedly fussy then, and it looks wickedly fussy now. That's my gut impression, and I'll be happy to be proven wrong after I play. Until then, this remains a 'wait and see' title.


Restoration games... Man... Fuck these guys. Rob Daviau is a nice, and seemingly overtaxed, fella. No grudges against him. No, the problem I had was with the booth. I was an exhibitor. Exhibitors have an unwritten code of conduct, and it's based on the golden rule. At the end of the day, everyone there is trying to make a buck, and work some deals. Before the hall opens to the general public, exhibitors walk about and talk / trade / purchase / and help one another. Some of my colleagues work angles with other companies for product trade. Some of my colleagues pay cash to get something before getting stuck at the booth all day. Some of my colleagues help a dealer in need of bubble wrap. And I gave a few cough drops to associates with damaged pipes.

I also went to Restoration games to buy some stuff. With cash. Their response? "Sorry, we're not trading and we're not selling anything until 10am (when the doors open). You'll have to form a line, and we'll take care of you once the hall opens." WTF.

A policy for no product trade is perfectly acceptable. No hard feelings there. A policy for limited purchases is also perfectly acceptable. But asking another exhibitor to stand in a line for fifteen minutes before the hall opens is 100% horse shit.

It may read as though I'm being hyper critical of these guys. I am. Restoration may be relatively new on the scene, but Gencon was not their first convention. I expressed my opinions, and several other vendors did too. No matter. For four days, a line of ten to fifteen exhibitors pissed away their minutes before the hall opened to queue up in front of Fireball Islands.

If Restoration Games ever wants a favor at the next convention, they'll be a bit more hard pressed to find understanding colleagues.


Legendary Games seemed to have a hot miss on their hands with James Bond. Their booth was attractive as always, but I didn't see a lot of sales. I didn't see a lot of Bond activity at all until Saturday.

FFG is killing it with the displays. Their dioramas for the new Marvel stuff was out of this world.

Dune will do great. Too god damn bad they couldn't have copies to sell at Gencon. Shipping in 'mid August.' BUT. If you pre-order now, you'll get free shipping AND four exclusive minis. Well, my FOMO kicked in and I took a closer look. The minis are rubbish. The wall, worm, storm, and atomic cloud. Super small, and super ugly in cast brown plastic. I'll be happy with the retail release thank you. And as I reported in June, the next Dune iteration from GF9 will most likely be a re-skin of Spartacus. Sales dependent...

The folks at Kingdom Death keep selling product like mad. Good on them. It's not for me, but I appreciate the hustle.

Gwar was there. That blew my mind. They have a deck building game. Of course they do.

And Larry Elmore was in the house. He was signing prints. One legendary illustrator right there.

Rant over. Feel free to poke and prod my assessment.

FYI - I had fun at Gencon 2019.