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Your Origins Game Fair 2016 Pick for "Game of Show"
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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For many gamers the impressions coming out of conventions are exciting and informative. Even more so for those of us at home wishing we were able to attend.

If you went to the 2016 Origins Game Fair, which game stood out to you as the "Game of Show", and why? Who do you think will also like it?

2014 / 2015

Thanks, in advance, for sharing!!

meeple Keep playing...
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1. Board Game: Alan's Adventureland [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:11403]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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I'm really interested in everyone's choices this year because there wasn't much I was really excited about. The few that piqued my interest I did not get to see or try. I chose Adventureland because I was interested in checking out a few of the theme park themed games that are all the rage right now to see which might be the best.


This was the only one I got to try and I liked the color and artwork. The gameplay was interesting but a bit underwhelming based on one play and I suspect would be better with more plays/experience and it did seem to offer a few different ways to play. We liked the game but all agreed as good as it was the theme did not really shine.

I suspect one of the other games (e.g. World's Fair 1893) would have interested me more, but I only got to look at its box. I would have liked to try it.

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2. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:365]
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
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There wasn't much "new" at Origins this year, so your choices are few. The best of what I played was Imhotep. It was also one of the hottest titles being checked out from the CABS Board Room library.

Honorable mention: The Networks a fun romp that will need expansions for replay value.
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3. Board Game: Tyrants of the Underdark [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:240]
Justin Gibbons
United States
Holly Springs
North Carolina
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This was my favorite at Origins 2016 hands-down. I'm not a D&D player, although I do enjoy fantasy-themed stuff. But this game has massive appeal. At it's core it's a deckbuilding game, with an area-control twist. The cards that you buy and use in your deck are used to control units on the board. These units are used to take control of "cities" and needle your opponents back. As you defeat units, you score points. As you take control of cities, you score even more. And you score points for the cards you've purchased in your deck, and even more for the ones you've "promoted" (trashed out of your deck). So there are a lot of strategies to win. I love the combination of deckbuilding with area control. The game is deep, yet it teaches quickly, and plays silky smooth.

I also enjoyed The Networks, and since I was a backer on Kickstarter I was able to pick up my copy at Origins. It is a unique card-ish game... I honestly don't know exactly how to categorize it. But it's also relatively quick, offers you interesting decisions, and there's a lot of fun to be had reading the titles of all the spoof-y cards.
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4. Board Game: Adrenaline [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:561]
Glen Just
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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That time when I was on The Dice Tower with Tom and Sam at Origins 2016 : )
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I played 21 games at Origins 2016. I mentioned earlier in the post that I enjoyed The Networks. But the game that was unique to me and enjoyable was Adrenaline. Czech Games Edition had a demo of this prototype during Origins which they said was 98% complete in mechanics and by GenCon they would have all the art and components finalized - so what you see in this picture may not be in the final product! They are hoping to release by the end of 2016.

This is a first-person shooter put into a Euro. Yes, you heard me correctly on that last sentence! Players spawn into a battle arena, choose from 20+ unique weapons with different powers, move, shoot, reload, drop weapons and pick up new ones. When a player dies, the rest of the players see how many hits they had on that player and get points accordingly, then the dead player respawns... first player to die 5 times ends the game. Looking forward to this one coming out and seeing the final product! Good times!

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5. Board Game: Guilds of London [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1207]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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The only game at Origins that I had an itch to see was Guilds of London. Amazingly, it may have been the only game it was not possible for me to see, because TMG didn't even have a demo left by Saturday.

Oh well.

In any year, Imhotep probably would be an odds-on fave for the SdJ, but if Codenames loses, I'll be shocked. I had the sales gal at the Kosmos booth give a demo later that afternoon after it had been sold out, but when she saw me smiling during her description of its play, she offered to give me a copy she was holding for herself. I can wait and see, though. Some of the lower ratings on BGG left me with too many questions anyway.

So, does it count if I mention two games I neither played nor purchased?
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6. Board Game: Kitty Paw [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:6422]
Ryan Post
United States
Covington
Kentucky
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I was only able to make it on Thursday, but I was able to demo a lot of good stuff.

This game stood out immediately though as the one that surprised me the most. Way more fun than I thought it would be.

It's a speed puzzle game where you try to get your kitties to match the picture. It stood out to me because of the different challenges it had: the game wasn't just one kind of spatial element.

It's not brand new to Origins, but it's the kind of game I probably would never had seen had I not gotten to demo it at a convention.

Honorable Mentions: Beyond Baker Street, Animals on Board, World's Fair 1893
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7. Board Game: The Voyages of Marco Polo [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:42]
Shaun Morris
United States
New Jersey
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This was my top pick of the convention.

The components are really nice and high quality. The mechanics are simple but contain a great deal of nuance and strategy and a great deal of replay value. It plays quick and there's not a whole lot of downtime between turns and when there is down time you're typically trying to figure out what you want to do next.

Great game and as soon as I finished playing it, I went over to the exhibit hall and bought it.
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8. Board Game: The Networks [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:539]
Matt Smith
United States
Troy
Michigan
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Without question this was my game of the show. I demoed it on Thursday morning, bought it immediately, and played it three times. It seemed like everyone I talked to who demoed it, bought it. I saw it being played a lot between The Board Room and the open play area. I think there is plenty of replay in the base game, but I agree with Jeff that an expansion will eventually be needed. Regardless, it's really fun to play, and the combos of shows/stars/ads provide many laughs.

My honorable mention is

I had not heard of Fuse prior to the show. I saw it being played in the vendor booth, and sat down to demo it. Even though the two young boys across the table were not engaged in the demo, I could tell there was a good game here. I came back later to demo it again with a couple of adult gamers, and we had a blast (pun intended)! We played it twice, then I bought a copy. It scratches a similar itch as Escape: The Curse of the Temple, but with a much smaller footprint and more forced coordination between players.

After buying a copy, I played it twice with a couple of other seasoned gamers. We followed the rules for building the card deck at Standard difficulty, and got our asses handed to us both times. This game is challenging, which is a good thing in my book.
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9. Board Game: Royals [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:871]
Steve O'Grady
United States
Jacksonville
Alabama
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Note, the image to the left is from the 2014 version, the new box cover of the (new at Origins) American release is yet to be uploaded.

There were other new games we did not demo or try because I spent a lot of my time playing in gaming events. But on Saturday, my son and I demoed this game in the Exhibit Hall. It has a Ticket to Ride card mechanic as you try to spread your influence to nobles across Old Europe. It gets competitive as players go after the same nobles, with bonuses to the first player to gain influence on each noble, and bonuses for having the most influence in each country (Spain, England, France and Germany). The cool part of the demo was the designer from Europe was there demoing the game with us, dressed as the king. Only at a game con. We liked this light game that plays in about an hour or so enough that we bought it after the demo.
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