I had an awesome time at Origins today. One day really isn’t enough time to even scratch the surface of everything there was to do, but unfortunately it was all I had. You could probably spend all 5 days of the convention in the exhibit hall and still not do and see everything in just that area alone. This is where I spent most of the afternoon in fact, browsing and demoing games. Most of the heavy-hitters were there, with Mayfair games of course having quite the spread. No surprise there really, since they are the largest sponsor of Origins, but I’m still always impressed by their free play area in the exhibit hall and the super over-sized gaming area where you can play Settlers of Catan on a 10×10 carpet game board. Catalyst Game Labs had quite a presence too, and they were really pushing the Battletech and Shadowrun hard, with lots of advertisement and scheduled events focused on teaching those games to beginning players. Personally, I haven’t cared much for Shadowrun since 2nd edition and I thought it was kind of a train wreck even then. A fun train wreck, but a train wreck none the less. If Shadowrun is your thing though, then more power to you.
Conspicuously absent was any real presence from Wizards of the Coast and Dungeons and Dragons, especially considering that Mike Mearls was one of the guests of honor this year. I don’t think I say the D&D logo plastered anywhere, but I did see Pathfinder regalia prominently displayed in the RPG area of the convention hall. I didn’t spend much time in those parts though, since I knew my limited time wouldn’t give me much of a chance to do any roleplaying – at least not if I wanted to see anything else.
Anyway here is what I ended up spending my hard earned money on:
Run Fight or Die by 8th Summit Games was the first game that I demoed in the exhibit hall, and I was very impressed (obviously). It’s a fast playing zombie game with a dice mechanic similar to Elder Sign, where you have to match die symbols to accomplish tasks like searching locations, finding survivors, and of course killing zombies. The core set supports up to 4 players and even has a solo play option – with expansions available that add rules for more players, cooperative play, and different types of zombies. It’s super fun and plays in 30 – 60 minutes and I didn’t have a zombie game in my collection so I grabbed it.
The other game in the picture is by a German company called Haba Games that makes several board games for toddlers. These games feature large, colorful components that kids can engage in free play with as well as very simple mechanics that children as young as two years old can pick up on – mainly things like matching and color recognition. Since I have a soon-to-be three year old I pretty much had to get her one of these games, and I wish I could have grabbed all of them for her.
Alright, that’s my post for the day. I’m going to go kill some zombies now.