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Game Storm 12 in 12 quick reviews

By Petrea Mitchell| March 29, 2010 | 4 Comments

I’m now recovering from the Portland-area gaming convention, Game Storm. In lieu of pictures, here is a quick cross-section of one gamer’s whirlwind 4 days:

  1. The pre-con scheduling system: Aieee. Managed to hit the trifecta of poorly designed, poorly customized, and just plain buggy. The window of only about a week for pre-con signups suggests that it was a monumental task to get it as operational as it was. Luckily it’s not heavily used; most people sign up for one or two can’t-miss games and then wing it at the con itself.
  2. The rest of the con: On site, everything was working smoothly (or nearly everything, but you can’t blame the concom for FedEx losing the sign-up sheets for a few hours). Particular kudos to Hospitality, which had a great selection of tasty, high-energy, and mostly healthy food.
  3. Star Munchkin: Munchkin goes to space! Worst pun spotted: the Klaatu Barada Necktie. Also includes a surprise for Schlock Mercenary fans.
  4. Snow Tails: A dogsled-racing game, although change the artwork and it could just as easily be a game about drifting. Simple and relatively quick.
  5. Super Munchkin and expansion The Narrow S Cape: This is the Munchkin superhero game. Favorite card I never got to play: “Ate at the Convention Snack Bar”, which gives +3 to either side in a fight. (Actually, the artwork suggests it should be -3.)
  6. Gold is for the Greedy: An unpublished perennial feature of Game Storm, the scenario is that your party has defeated the last of the monsters in the dungeon, only to find other adventurers jumping in to grab the treasure. A little complicated to learn and set up, but gets moving quickly once everyone has the hang of it.
  7. XCrawl: Described as “D&D meets the WWE”, it’s a D&D 3.5 supplement depicting a future in which simulated dungeon crawling is a popular sports entertainment product. Sadly, the game doesn’t live up to the implied hilarity or entertainment value.
  8. Ubongo: Each turn, you first solve a puzzle with Tetris-like tiles, then select a location to grab counters off the board, all while racing against other players who are doing the same thing. As a Tetris fan, I absolutely loved this; as the only Tetris fan I know, I will probably never get to play this again.
  9. Gamma World sneak preview: Remember the original Gamma World and how it borrowed pieces of the AD&D system? Well, the upcoming edition is, in the same way, kinda-sorta based on D&D 4.0. Except that while I hate D&D 4.0, I had a lot of fun with this stripped-down and moderately wacky adaptation of it.
  10. Myth Fortunes: It’s the little-known Myth Adventures board game, which I’d never heard of until I found it for sale at Studio Foglio’s table this past Kumoricon.

    Here is the really neat part about the boardgaming room at Game Storm: go to an open gaming table, start setting up something that looks interesting, and the additional players you need will start materializing almost immediately. Thanks to five random strangers, I can now report that while the rules for this game look like a barely playable muddle, it comes together fairly well. Next time, though, I’m going to have copies of the mini-guide to all the special squares for every player.

  11. “Knights”: A game without a proper name because it was still in development; in fact, this was the first time it had ever actually been played outside of the designer’s thought experiments. Hard to give much of a review because we didn’t finish a full game, and the final product will probably be substantially different.
  12. Wits & Wagers “game show”: The basic Wits & Wagers involves multiple teams guessing numerical answers to questions, laying out all the answers, and then placing bets on which is closest (not necessarily betting on their own answer). This special session was run by the con chair, with all the questions being about the the history of Game Storm, starting from its humble beginnings as a 117-person gathering in a banquet facility connected to a Denny’s.

I’m looking forward to next year already! Well, except for that scheduling system…

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Comments

4 Responses to “Game Storm 12 in 12 quick reviews”

  1. Rodney Thompson
    March 29th, 2010 @ 6:55 am

    Glad you had fun in the Gamma World game! I certainly enjoyed running it. A bit tougher only using playtest versions of the rules that were in rough form, but I think it turned out OK.

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    March 29th, 2010 @ 10:55 am

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  4. subhan
    April 6th, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

    The pre-con game sign-up process is a perennial nightmare, especially for people who both want to run sessions & play games. It would likely see heavy use if it were more functional. Past years when it’s been up & running earlier it’s been quite heavily used.

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