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GenCon 50 Recap

GenCon 50 just came to a close and I wanted to touch base with everyone to talk about some of the BIG HITS according to publishers, attendees and some reviewers. Mostly from my perspective.

So let me set the stage a bit. Every year I help out at Arcane Wonders booth as a member of the team as Retail Liaison, I run the front end of the booth. Thus seeing what is important or relevant from our booth as well as others….based on the many bags coming around our booth.

Now this year was completely foreign to me in the fact that a very large number of people came to our booth for Viral and Sheriff of Nottingham’s expansion, Merry Men.

This amazing combination of desired games made our booth the epicenter of must see and must have games at a booth this year.

We had a line circling the booth almost 2.5 times. It was a constant stream of eager GenCon attendees for 3 hours until we sold out of the entire allotment of Viral. 2 hours later all 500 Merry Men were gone. This definitely tells me these games are going to do very well for us this season. Especially since we brought in twice as much as we sold out of and sold out again.

*** VIRAL IS IN STOCK ON WEDNESDAY!~ at The Game Annex….Reserve your copy today.

Next without a shadow of a doubt is Photosynthesis which was hilarious to me as it has been in our store since early last week. But MOBS of GenCon attendees swarmed the Blue Orange Games booth. (which we can all agree is not something we are used to saying) But between Photosynthesis and Kingdomino, Blue Orange Games is having a great year.

Next we would be amiss if we didn’t talk about Code Names Duet – Which will be in our store on friday. If you missed Czech Game Edition, it is because they are in a side room versus the main hall.

The game itself is labeled this years best 2 player game already. So we will soon see. I have not played this version yet, but am really excited to try it this friday.

The biggest LCG (living card game) was without a doubt, Legend of the Five Rings. This will be something like the third reincarnation of this game. Formally a collectible card game, the new format combined with a fan base like no other, has caused quite the media buzz. And The Game Annex will be hosting all sorts of events to support our many fans that already love the IP and now are excited to have Fantasy Flight in control of the game.

You would think that The L5R release would have been enough for Fantasy Flight Games at GenCon, but alas……nope.

So beyond the parades, starting party and tournaments……..Fantasy Flight couldn’t be satisfied. They had a major announcement. Star Wars Legion. Yes another Star Wars game. However in this version it appears they will be competing with another miniature hobby giant and bring all those miniatures players a way to relive their childhood on a miniature board. Who could say no?

Next we move on to Iello Games. Iello brought back designer Richard Garfield (King of Tokyo) for this years anticipated game: Bunny Kingdom.

Bunny Kingdom is a 2-4 player area control/area influence game with card drafting, where you will lead your clan of rabbits to glory by gathering resources and building new cities to have the largest bunny kingdom.

Some famous bunny impersonators show up in this really adorably designed game. But don’t let the cute bunnies fool you. This game is very solid.

Next I would be amiss if I didn’t mention Designer Rob Daviau’s newest game, Mountains of Madness. Iello brought him on board to tell the story of an expedition to Antarctica in 1931 which unveils what scientists believe to be and ancient city in impassable mountains…..but as the title suggests, there is so much more here than meets the eye. Ripped from the theme of H.P. Lovecraft, this game has more to it than just a Cthulhu theme. Unique game play you would expect from Rob Daviau (creator of Pandemic Legacy, Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill, Seafall, Downforce and more…) is the focal point for this game.

Also available in store this week.

So these were some of the big hits…..but with it being GenCon’s 50th anniversary, we are aware that so many others are sure to be talked about. We also have our predictions of what will gain momentum after the show and will dive into those in a later post.

But until then, don’t forget about our GenCon Show and Tell this saturday night. It is where you can bring games you found and love. Show them off and learn to play or simply come see what everyone else has. We understand not everyone was able to make it. So come on out and see what all the excitement was about.