Most of my gaming this week was at Zenkaikon. It’s not a game convention, but anything can be a game convention if you bring games.
Love It: John Company
Like It: 3x Chicago Express, Feudum (new), 3x Paris Connection (new), Puerto Rico, 2x An Infamous Traffic (new), Zendo
Neutral: BEEEEES! (new), 3x Knot Dice (new), Nothing Personal
Earlier, on Wednesday, we enjoyed Feudum - or the first three turns of Feudum. It’s a big shaggy mess of a game crying out for a developer to simply remove half of it; I think there’s a game buried in there, and I’m looking forward to finding out how I feel once we’ve explored it (honestly something I’m looking forward to right now)
Compared to Feudum, Chicago Express and Paris Connection are minimalist - tiny sharp little games. I first played Chicago Express a year and a half ago, and it never left my head. I just picked up a copy and I’m really starting to enjoy it. Paris Connection is even simpler, but smart enough to actually work and give you a problem worth thinking about.
I also made a tiny js app to cut a couple minutes out of the setup time, to make playing many games in one sitting easier.
Knot Dice is a game component packaged with a book of game designs and some solo puzzles. We played a couple 2p abstracts and a push-your-luck game; they were fine. Judith and Natalie seemed to enjoy the co-op puzzle game at the front of the book.
Learning An Infamous Traffic was good, and we started getting into it in the second play. But then we played John Company, the highlight of my weekend for sure. The game came to life in a way I hadn’t seen before. Promise cubes changing hands multiple times a turn, a series of game-distorting laws (which all passed), and the most unreliable dice in the commonwealth. This might become a game that I only really get to play at conventions, because I just don’t have the perfect group for it at home.