GenCon 2014 was a fabulous experience. The con was brimming with great people, amateur films, swag and lots and lots of games! Gaming giant, Wizards of the Coast, was there in full force, with the completed launch of Dungeons and Dragons 5E and an entire exhibit hall dedicated to Magic: The Gathering. Competitor Fantasy Flight Games had a great show too, with a massive plot of real estate in the main show room. Their play space and shop were busting with people every day, and by Sunday they had sold out of the majority of their retail.
Still, the best part about GenCon is the way indie games and Kickstarter projects can shine. There’s room for everyone at the con, and you can practically feel the enthusiasm permeating the Convention Center.
Today’s post is a collection of some of my favorite finds this year. Throughout the rest of the week, there will be more in-depth articles about specific games, movies and features. Get psyched!
Gems of GenCon:
Indie Game Delight: Iron & Ale is a card based drinking game from Table Forged LLC. Funded through Kickstarter, the game revolves around each player assuming the role of a Dwarven Lord/Lady. Then, you do what all dwarves love to do: mine for gold, fight and drink. Players complete Mountain challenges and Meadhall challenges for “honor” – player with the most honor wins. The Meadhall challenges are where the game rewards players for belching, cursing, arm wrestling and dancing like dwarves – failure results in a drink penalty. It is loads of fun, with or without alcohol, and these guys sold out in the first days of the con.
Wonderfully Ridiculous Short: Qunitipus is the story of a hand shaped alien rebel fighter-pilot who crash lands on Earth. Now, you might think that watching a film of a hand walking around the Earth would be terrible, but this was one of my favorite films at the GenCon film fest. The hand, performed by Chris Murdoch, is so surprisingly expressive, you actually get the sense of a narrative and action. It sounds weird, but trust me, if it’s at a con near you, you should watch it.
Surprisingly Innovative Game Demo: Golem Arcana. This latest concoction from Harebrained Schemes was very popular, with some of the most enthusiastic demo players on the show floor. Look for a special feature from the private demo I had with game maker Mitch Gitelman on Thursday. This game has the potential to shake things up in the table top world for years to come. I’m very excited about it.
Most Niche Retail Booth: Yes, thanks to Doctor Who, the resurgence of the fez hat has gripped the nerd world in its velvety claws. Fez-O-Rama had hats for every nerd, from dice rollers to Lovecraftians. It was fun to try on these hats and the custom options were very cool. These folks also get props on presentation as this was one of the best looking booths at the con.
Cutest Cosplay: I am totally bias, but this Wonder Woman princess cosplay was the most adorable thing I saw at GenCon. She was a sweet kid, when I asked her (and her mother) if I could get a picture she immediately struck the classic crossed arms pose. Proof it’s important to have female superheroes in the media! Give this girl her Wonder Woman movie! (Okay, soapbox moment over.)
I hope you enjoyed this little round up. If you’ve never been to GenCon, and you love board games, you must get there in the coming years. Look forward for more content in days to come.