Gen Con Indy 2016 takes place August 4-7, 2016, and as the largest and longest-running game convention in the U.S. – more than forty years! – it's no surprise that U.S. publishers will demo or sell many new games at the show in order to introduce fresh releases, build buzz, and (of course) make sales.
This Geeklist highlights titles that, to the best of my knowledge, will (1) debut at Gen Con 2016, (2) be released shortly before the convention, or (3) be available in demo/preview form. To add titles to this list (or send me general game news for coverage on BGG News), please write me at wericmartin AT gmail.com. Thanks!
Flippin Monsters is a card game that employs both deck-building and memory mechanics. Players are given 10 starter cards and cards will be in the middle to capture.
The starter cards are placed faced down and apart from each other. On the player's turn, they can flip over any 5 of these cards they wish to help them purchase new cards or to earn points.
While some Monsters allow you to purchase other Monster cards, others give you actions like being able to flip over another card or flip over an opponent's card. The trick is remembering where you left that one Monster that allows you to do that one action you really need.
If you hung around your local zoo after it closed for the night, you'd see the nighttime rituals of the exotic animals you visited during the day. You'd see cages being cleaned and souvenir stands being restocked. If you were lucky, you might catch an impromptu seal show or moonlight nightingale concert.
And if you stayed late enough, long after the last employee had left for the night, you just might see the greatest, and most secret, of all zoo attractions—the late-night Kung Fu fights!
Welcome to Kung Fu Zoo!
Kung Fu Zoo is a dice-flicking dexterity game for 2-4 players. You control a team of highly-trained animals, from crocodiles to zebras, in a Kung Fu battle against your rivals. Who will be tonight’s champions of the zoo? Grab some dice and find out!
In Kung Fu Zoo, players use six-sided animal dice to do battle in an enclosed arena. There are two gameplay variants: Cage Battle and Points Match. In either variant, players start with a team of dice-animals. But the similarities stop there. In a Cage Battle, players take turns flicking their animals into the arena. Your goal is to knock your opponent’s animals onto their backs (stunning them) or through holes on the board (the “cages”). You win the match when all of your opponent’s animals are stunned or in cages. The first player to win three matches wins! In a Points Match, players take turns flicking their animals into the arena. Your goal is to score 21 points before your opponent. Points are awarded at the end of each round, based upon the position of your dice that are left on the board.
• Available for demo games in the First Exposure Playtest Hall on Thursday (8 p.m. to midnight), Friday (6-8 p.m.), and Saturday (8-10 a.m.). To see the game in action, check out the demo BGG recorded at the 2016 Origins Game Fair:
This isn't really a game, but it should be used to categorize miscellaneous game related items such as dice, dice towers, dice trays, timers, tokens, pawns and movers, etc. Items in the BoardGameGeek Marketplace may refer to items listed here.
• Sean Sullivan, creator of Nuggit Games Dice, will be wandering the halls at Gen Con — updating his location periodically on his Twitter account: @nuggitgames — and if you spot him, he'll hand you one of these preprinted handmade dice that you can punch out and assemble.
Thanksgiving Day, the unthinkable happened. The earth shook. An earthquake of a 9.6 magnitude on the Richter scale opened a giant inter-dimensional rift around the White House, bridging the free world to some kind of mysterious void.
A massive horde of monsters came out of this dark void. Evil, frightening creatures hell-bent on crushing freedom and the man who represents them — The President of the United States!
They took the whole White House staff by surprise, slaughtering each and every single person. The Secret Service and Marine Guard gave their life heroically to protect the President, but ultimately failed at containing these hideous monstrosities. The President stands tall, undaunted. He has sworn an Oath to lead the free world, and he won't let us fall! Yet the end is near. Our President's life is at risk, and all hope seems lost...
But in the midst of this absolute chaos rises the silhouettes of men and women. Out of the rubble citizens & tourists become Patriots! They are this nation's last hope and together they stand! With one mission: Save the President, save the world!
Save the President, Save the World is a co-op game with offbeat humor & references to Z-movies. The action takes place in the White House and you have to protect POTUS from horde of monsters.
Any resemblance to real and actual names is purely coincidental.
The wild-west town of Showdown holds an annual shootist competition - luring the fastest guns in the west. When the six-shooters go off, which gunslinger will be left standing?
A Town Called Showdown is a card and dice game for two to four players. Steeped in theme, tension builds as the gunslingers either pace their way down a street (two player) or in a saloon (3-4 player).
Based on the tension level, Players can play from their hand of five cards. Gear up with weapons and health that give your gunslinger the edge when the shoot-out happens. Bystander cards are played as they gather in anticipation of the shoot-out; some are there to help the gunslingers by adding bonuses and dice to their pool, others to hinder by removing benefits or changing die results.
When the eventual shootout happens, players fire using their "six-sided shooter" dice - adding and subtracting for bonuses from bystanders and modifiers. Hit your opponent enough times to remove him or her from the competition.
Gun down an opponent to earn a victory star. The player with the most victory stars at the end of three shoot-outs is the winner!
• Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 in Hall H: Green
'You are the top manager at one of the big oil companies, tasked with leading your enterprise into a future without oil. With peak oil looming ahead, you try to squeeze the last drops from oil fields around the world to gather the resources to invest into various oil replacement technologies. While you may try to emerge from the coming crisis by regular means, your competitors will most probably not, forcing you to dirty your hands as well.
On your turn in Peak Oil, you assign your agents to different action spots on the board. If your agents are in the majority at any given action spot, or you decide to send mercenaries to their help, they squelch the competition there and allow you to take the linked action. Actions include developing and harvesting oil fields, building pipelines, hiring new agents, buying new ship contracts, investing in oil replacement technologies, conducting PR campaigns, engaging in piracy, and manipulating public opinion and oil prices.
After some time, the oil — represented by a set number of small barrels you draw from a bag when developing new oil fields — will run out. This is called "peak oil" and marks the end of the game. Players tally the value of the technologies in which they invested and promoted during the game. Whoever shaped the future best (i.e. gained favor for their company) wins.
• Update, July 29, 2016: Probably not available for demo games at Gen Con 2016. Formal Ferret Games' Gil Hova will still help develop this title, but he's transferred publication rights to Leder Games given that The Networks is nicely taking up a fair chunk of his time.
• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2016 93 Made Games plans to have new versions of Viewpoint and Viewpoint Reflections available for demo games as well as demos of the new title The Winking Dead.
Board Game: No Fish![Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
You and your fellow fishermen are having a whale of a time on the high seas. The fish are literally jumping into your boats. So many fish are landing on deck that your boats are beginning to overload and capsize. The only way to tackle this fishy situation is to release all of the fish you've caught before you take a trip to Davy Jones' locker. The winner is the first fisherman to release all of their fish. Good luck and let cod be with you!
Each turn in No Fish!, players guess a number or special fish type. If they guess correctly, they release all of those fish from their hand and may take a special action; if they guess incorrectly, the other players call "No Fish!" and that player has to draw a card from the fish deck. The special action fish — Starfish, Toadfish, Flyingfish, Lionfish and Monkfish — are what separates this game from a generic number-guessing game to a game of strategy, bluffing and manipulation.
Each pack contains 54 cards: four types of basic fish (Goldfish, Dogfish, Rainbowfish and Clownfish) numbered 1-10, five types of special fish (Starfish, Toadfish, Flyingfish, Lionfish (three copies of each) and Monkfish (two copies)).
In a place outside the waking world where children go while they sleep. Wander the dreamkin—lost sleepers, whose souls this land seeks to keep. Underneath the gentle waves of lucid seas we fell. We’re off to find our missing friends in the vast Dreamwell.
Dreamwell is a 2-4 player competitive game featuring the art of Tara McPherson where players are trying to locate their lost friends in the Dreamwell. The Dreamwell is represented by a 4 x 4 grid of tiles. Each tile shows a environment and a creature, in addition to pathways to neighboring tiles. At the beginning of the game, players will be dealt two cards, each of which shows a picture of the friend whom he or she is trying to locate along with the two creatures and environment that will be required to find that particular friend.
On your turn, you will be able to take three actions from the following list: move one of your pawns, rotate a tile, draw a card, replace the display, or locate one of your missing friends by playing a card. Only by carefully navigating the maze-like Dreamwell can you locate your friends and win the game.
• Only two hundred copies of Dreamwell will be available at Gen Con 2016.
The foul forces of Darkmoor have amassed their legions to strike at the Capital City. Despite their well-laid machinations, something awaits them within the city walls: the realm's legendary heroes, who have gathered to council the king. Failing to siege the city, each overlord's minions must now retreat to Darkmoor lest they be captured—or worse.
In Retreat to Darkmoor, 2-4 players assume the roles of dark overlords of the realm, each commanding an identical deck of minions. Your goal: to successfully evade the legendary heroes and take refuge in the various locations of Darkmoor. Each minion that manages to escape will count toward control of a location, but beware of your so-called collaborators, as each overlord also scores points for eliminating rival minions!
• Only one hundred copies of Retreat to Darkmoor will be available at Gen Con 2016.
Brewin' USA is a thematic Eurogame in which players control a start-up brewery at the inception of the craft beer revolution. Players will need to collect key ingredients, launch a product line of "liquid gold" craft beer, and strategically compete for regional control across the nation.
A game turn consists of three phases: Ingredient Auction, Launching Beers, and Resolving any Brewfests. During the Auction Phase, players compete for the ingredient cards needed to launch their beer via a turn-based bidding system. Any bids entered are then turned into craft beer "market demand" that is dispersed at the discretion of the players making each play through unique and delivering many interesting decisions. Each beer card has an ingredient recipe that must be satisfied before the beer can be brewed and one of six different beer styles that tailor better to certain cities which will be key when competing for regional control. When a player brews a beer, they must choose to control an open city location or challenge an controlled city to a brewfest where the winner of the brewfest will control the city. If any player controls the most cities in a region at the end of the game, then they control the region. The game ends when the first player brews three beers, and points are then totaled counting beer quality and reputation on cities and any regions you control.
Brewin' USA aims to deliver a quick strategic euro experience paired with a very approachable theme and thrives on its player interaction. The game play revolves around Beer Coaster tiles delivering new twists on fun mechanisms and components including 105 Bottle caps to be used for both money and victory points. The player interaction comes from the Brewfest event in the game, which ramps us as more players grow their craft beer product lines and are chomping to establish their control in the regions.
In The Goonies: Adventure Card Game, you play as a ragtag group of kids from the Goon Docks neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon. You must join together on a quest to find the treasure of legendary pirate One-Eyed Willy so that you can save your homes from demolition! You will need to keep your wits about you and use your unique skills to avoid One-Eyed Willy's booby traps and also stay one step ahead of the Fratellis, a family of criminals intent on claiming the treasure for themselves.
In this cooperative game, you'll work with your fellow Goonies, taking actions to clear obstacles, defeat the Fratellis, and discover secret paths to long-lost treasure.
You all win the game if you discover the hidden paths to One-Eyed Willy's ship and manage to secure his booty. But if too many obstacles mount up, you run out of event cards, or too many Fratellis hit the board, it's all over...
• Available in extremely limited quantity at Gen Con 2016 ahead of the game's expected retail release in Q4 2016.
Archer: Once You Go Blackmail... takes the engine at the heart of Love Letter and adds intrigue, vice, and phrasing as well as new card effects.
In short, each player starts the game with one character card in hand; one character is set aside out of play. On a turn, a player draws one card, then plays one of their two cards, carrying out the effect of their character. Try to knock others out of the round or have the highest number in hand when the round ends. Win enough rounds, and you win the game.
Gather up a team of heroes in Fantahzee: Hordes & Heroes to defend the town, roll the combinations to activate their awesome abilities, and fight your way through the monsters to the bosses. Defeat three of the five bosses, then tally up your trophies from the day. Collect the most VP to win!
"Mages, warriors, dwarves, and their fantastical contraptions, all call Devil's Burden home. But in a town with that name, you know trouble can't be far away, and today things just got serious! Hordes of monsters have attacked. The Town needs leaders to bring its heroes together to defeat the dread generals and their armies.
Play your cards right, and roll with the luck of the dice, and you may be hailed as the savior of the town in this game of cards and combinations for 2-5 players brought to life throughthe art of J Hause."
A curse has been placed on the Valley of Life. Hearing the spirits of nature cry out for aid, clans of druids have arrived, determined to use their blessings to heal the land and rescue the spirits. It will require courage and also caution, as the curse can overwhelm the careless who wield too much power.
In Mystic Vale, 2 to 4 players take on the role of druidic clans trying to cleanse the curse upon the land. Each turn, you play cards into your field to gain powerful advancements and useful vale cards. Use your power wisely, or decay will end your turn prematurely. Score the most victory points to win the game!
Mystic Vale uses the innovative "Card Crafting System", which lets you not only build your deck, but build the individual cards in your deck, customizing each card's abilities to exactly the strategy you want to follow.
Smash Up: Cease and Desist can be played on its own as a two-player game or combined with other Smash Up titles to allow for up to four players to compete for control of bases at the same time.
Smash Up: Cease and Desist includes four factions — Astroknights, Changerbots, Star Roamers, and Ignobles — with 22 cards for each faction. To play, you shuffle together any two factions, whether from this set or any other Smash Up title, then start playing.
Take on the role of Egyptian nobles at the time of the pharaohs, preparing for death and burial in the Valley of the Kings. Players want to fill their tombs with food, amulets, and other treasures, and to do so they acquire cards that are laid out in the shape of a pyramid; purchase cards at the base of the pyramid, and it "crumbles" to bring cards higher in the pyramid to the base where they can be bought. The pyramid resets each round with new offerings.
You score only for cards that you remove from your deck and stash in your tomb, so if you keep using valuable cards for their effects and don't entomb them before the game ends, you could lose out on big points! Whoever collects the most valuable artifacts in her tomb wins.
Valley of the Kings: Last Rites, the third standalone VotK title, introduces the various citizens and roles of people in the ancient Egyptian kingdom.
The Hundred Years' War is over and the Renaissance is looming. Conditions are perfect for the princes of the Loire Valley to propel their estates to prosperity and prominence. Through strategic trading and building, clever planning, and careful thought in The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game, players add settlements and castles, practice trade along the river, exploit silver mines, farm livestock, and more.
A Hunter has set up camp in a dark and dangerous forest. In the middle of the night she is awakened by a sound in the darkness, just outside the light of her small fire. Again! A guttural growl informs the Hunter that she is not alone. To survive this night, the Hunter will need keen wits and sharp aim with her crossbow.
Dark is the Night is a two-player game of hunt-or-be-hunted. One player takes the role of the hunter and can move in the lighted spaces surrounding the campfire while the other player is the monster, secretly moving through the darkness. With only limited tools at their disposal, each player tries to eliminate the other before daybreak.
• Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 ahead of a planned 2017 release date.
The Great Dinosaur Rush — or the Bone Wars, as it's otherwise called — was a period of incredible advancement in paleontology (i.e., the discovery of fossils).
In The Great Dinosaur Rush, players compete to grab bones from the best dig sites, and build new dinosaurs for prestigious museums, gaining notoriety in the process by stealing bones, sabotaging dig sites, and otherwise impeding your fellow paleontologists.
The game is played over turns, each with two main phases: dig and build. During the dig phase, players collect different-colored bones from dig sites and perform actions. Some dirty actions give players secret notoriety tokens. Notoriety adds to players' scores at the end of the game, but having the MOST notoriety SUBTRACTS from the score! During the build phase, players create their dinosaurs from the bones they collected, maximizing them to score points in various museum categories: length, size, height, ferociousness, etc.
You'll have to play dirty if you want to win — just not too dirty!
Well there you go getting yourself involved in a time war. Fortunately, you have the best generals in history on your side. Unfortunately, so does your opponent!
In Major General: Duel of Time, each player has a set of eight Order cards which they play beside the battlefield, overlaying existing orders. All orders for both players that are still showing are resolved after each card is played. Control the most territories at the end of the game to win!
• Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 ahead of a planned 2017 release date.
The Stygian Society is a diceless dungeon crawl. Heroes work together to climb the cube tower, eliminating enemies as they work their way to the top and the tower's master!
Players drop cubes into the tower based on which skills they select but also cubes for the enemies. Both players and the enemies act based on what drops out the bottom. Strong strategic team play will be critical to make it to the tower's top floor.
—description from the publisher
• Available for demo games at Gen Con 2016 ahead of a planned 2017 release date.
Speechless is an exciting party game for 3 to 8 players. Players frantically act out words – but they can’t say a word! See how many you can get right in 90 seconds!
Players in Speechless take turns being the “presenter”. The Presenter has 90 seconds to act out 6 words, trying to get the other players to correctly guess what word they are presenting. While the presenter is acting out the words, the other players are watching and trying to guess what word is being acted out. If they think they know the word, they write it down on their marker board with their dry erase marker.
Both presenter and the other players are not allowed to talk during the acting!
After the presenter’s time is up, he or she will reveal the words to the players, one at a time, asking the players what their guesses were for each word. The other players, one at a time going clockwise around the table, reveal their guesses. After all guesses have been revealed for that word, the presenter then reveals the actual word.
Players score 2 points for guessing the correct word. However… If a player did not guess the correct word, but at least one other player made the same incorrect guess, all players with the same guess score 1 point!
• In addition to what's listed below, at Gen Con 2016 Ares Games will have two new Wings of Glory play mats — No Man's Land and Industrial Complex — available for $50 MSRP each.
• Ares Games will also run the following events during Gen Con 2016; note that dates are listed European style (day/month):
—Galaxy Defenders: Cooperative Sci-Fi alien bashing at its best! GMs will run the aliens, so players can focus on pure anti-alien strategy. Prizes awarded for completing the mission. 04/08 – 13:00; 05/08 – 10:00; 06/08 – 10:00. Duration 2h. Cost: $2.
—Sails of Glory: It's a high seas free-for-all. Players receive a frigate to keep as part of the entry. Prizes for the highest number of enemy kills. Sunk? You can take re-enter the next turn. 04/08 – 16:00; 05/08 – 10:00; 06/08 – 13:00. Duration 2h. Cost: $12.
—Wings of Glory WW1: Classic WW1 dog fighting. Players receive a plane to keep as part of the entry. Prizes for whose who rack up the highest number of enemy kills. Shot down? You can take to the skies next turn. 04/08 – 10:00; 05/08 – 13:00; 06/08 – 16:00. Duration 2h. Cost: $12.
—Wings of Glory WW2: Classic WW2 dog fighting. Players receive a plane to keep as part of the entry. Prizes for whose who rack up the highest number of enemy kills. Shot down? You can take to the skies next turn. 04/08 – 13:00; 05/08 – 16:00; 06/08 – 10:00. Duration 2h. Cost: $12.
Four powerful secret organizations are fighting for the right to rule in the old kingdom, and you can acquire safety, control, and economic dictates only through the conquest of political influence at the royal court. The more servants, nobles and dignitaries you can control, the closer you will be to the purpose. Intrigue, blackmail, or threats are suitable for all those who are struggling in the shadow of the royal throne. Power over each new aristocrat gives you a new method for influencing others. The man of absolute power behind the throne will be known soon.
Behind the Throne is quick and simple card game in which players collect sets of cards to get new special abilities. Player earn victory points for the heroes they collect, and whoever has the most victory points at the end of the game wins.
Last Friday is a hidden movement, hunting and deduction board game, inspired by the popular "slasher" horror movie genre. In the role of young campers, the players are challenged to survive a long weekend of terror – while one of them takes the role of the undying psychopath hiding in the shadows of the forest. In general, the murderer's goal is to remain hidden and to kill off each of the campers, while the campers are trying to fight back and kill the murderer before they are all killed.
The game is played over four chapters — Arrival at the Camp, The Chase, The Massacre, and The Final Chapter — and each chapter plays out differently as the hunter becomes the prey, then comes back from the dead looking for revenge.
• MSRP $50, with a promo card available with purchase at Gen Con 2016.