Gen Con 2022: Polygon’s best board game is also the most chaotic
Gen Con 2022 feels like coming home to me. After nearly two decades of attending the Super Bowl of board games, I’ve developed some very close friends that I enjoy seeing every year. Two years without resuming those relationships is simply too long. This year, after the vendor floor closed, we weren’t interested in playing the latest Euro-style game, or a campaign in the box, or a big, vibrant Ameritrash strategy game. We just wanted a bird and the selection of new games on offer perfectly suited our needs.
In fact, I think the best games at this year’s Gen Con are the lightest, most frivolous ones you can imagine. But more than anything, this year’s best games are chaotic – including the title that may just be my own personal game on the show.
Spiritual pizza delivery people to Ghost Town
Spiritual pizza delivery people to Ghost Town is a hidden environment game for 3-5 players. Note that I’m not saying hidden motion – like saying Nins on the Run, Last Friday, Letter to Whitechapelor Specter Ops. In this game, each player is given a large multi-layer grid and a dry erase marker. The aim is to discover and deliver a pizza to people living in Ghost Town. What kind of pizza does each family want? You won’t know until you find a pizza, and then use your superpowers to analyze where it belongs. The concept is as the name suggests – especially when you accidentally fall into a teleportation space and have to start performing Zork-like mapmaking all over again.
You can buy Spiritual pizza delivery people to Ghost Town directly from Board Game Tables Dot Com for $39.00 directly from the publisher.
Here’s a bit about the rest of the messiest new titles, presented in alphabetical order.
Latest News from Smile and Smile Game, Boop is an absolutely fascinating little box game designed by Scott Brady. Inside, you’ll find a collection of wooden meowing cats and a plush duvet. Turn the inside of the box over, place the duvet on top, and proceed to take out your opponent in a failed match-versus-area-control.
Boop will be available as soon as possible.
Cat in the box
Cat in the box is a cheat card game – like Heart, Spades, Euchreand Pinochle. Players compete to collect decks of cards based on playing the highest card in a given set. The wrinkle point is that all the cards are black. Players call up the suit they’re playing with, then mark the card they’ve played on a two-layer board with a unique token. If for any reason you break the logic of the board you are creating – for example the color of the card cannot be played or the number of cards is missing – you will create a paradox and all the points you have scored for so far turned negative. This is a complicated twist on the neighbor game, but also surprisingly fast and light.
Cat in the box now available directly from the publisher for $29.95.
The first thing I throw out when opening a board game is the punch board. The second thing I throw out is a sand timer, if any. The tension of that thing makes absolutely no fun for any game I’ve ever played – except Kite. Every different timer is different, some at 30 seconds, others at minutes and a half. Players take turns playing the cards corresponding to the timer, cooperatively trying to keep all of these “kites” in the air before the sand runs out. Again, absolute chaos – but also a great way to warm up at the start of a long night of board games.
You can pre-order Kite now for $20.
I was lucky enough to get a demo of AEG Bet ready is none other than Ruel Gaviola, who told the gathered influencers that he’s both consulted on its design and contributed voice work on the companion app. He describes it as “a party game for board gamers,” which makes perfect sense. It basically takes horse racing and roulette, mixes them together in a real-time game, and then adds some alternate win conditions in the form of a stack of cards. This way, members of your family who love going to the casino, and understand things like triple bets and… well, math… can compete on a relatively even playing field. with those of us who like to play. Ride ticket.
Bet ready will $39.99and is expected to be available for purchase later this year.
Academy Games is known for its engaging historical simulation and strategy games. I am happy to report that Gunter Eickert’s Stellaris: Infinite Legacy coming out in a unique way. But the real good thing for me is Actual conversionobviously inspired by the iconic light motorcycle racing in Tron. It’s just that this time the track moves, with the cubes rotating and rotating along their axes. You didn’t live until turn four and sent it plummeting behind, disabling your opponent and sending them back to the starting line. There is a deluxe version, as well as optional rules for playing full Mario Kart with peels, bananas, etc.
Actual conversion Only on sale this year at Gen Con, with the luxury set priced at $65. Looking forward to getting a chance to buy it soon.