Origins Game Fair (or simply Origins) is the annual board and tabletop gaming convention that has been in operation since 1975. Some of the biggest games hitting your table this year (and sometimes next year) arrive on the show floor first for other players to get their hands on. These are games from some of my favorite publishers, and about some of my favorite IPs, including Gale Force Nine, Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Lock ‘n Load Publishing, and more.
You might not have made it out to the big conference this year, but here are some of the games you need to know about coming out of Origins Game Fair 2016.
Tyrants of the Underdark
Tyrants of the Underdark (from Gale Force Nine and Wizards of the Coast) is the game I just couldn’t leave Origins without playing at least once, every day. For starters, it’s a Dungeons & Dragons board game. More than that, the game involves Drow, the Underdark, and the Sword Coast. That pretty much screams ‘play me’ to me. It also only requires 2-4 players, and has a standard playtime of about an hour. It’s currently at the top of my board games to buy list, as it seems perfect for those days when your regular D&D group can’t get together, and you still wanna get some D&D gaming in. Click over to the official Tyrants of the Underdark Game Overview site for more information!
Simon’s Cat: The Card Game
Steve Jackson Games has done gone and made one of my favorite Internet series’ into a card game. Simon’s Cat: The Card Game is based on the very popular Simon’s Cat YouTube series, illustrated by series’ artist Simon Tofield, and designed by Sam Mitschke and Randy Scheunemann. Tagged a “lighthearted (and downright silly) romp for 3 to 6 players”, the object is to play cards (as the cat) that will help you stay out of Simon’s attention. You accrue Blame if he catches you. Get caught too many times and you will be the last one to get fed. And if it’s anywhere near as fun as Munchkin, then it’s a hit game already.
A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich
As an avid wargamer, I couldn’t imagine going to Origins and not playing a quality wargame and that’s exactly what Lock ‘n Load Publishing make. A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich is designed by Erik von Rossing, and lets players “assume the role of a Commander of a Squadron of B-17 ‘Flying Fortresses’ stationed in England during World War II.” The mission is to successfully accomplish a campaign of daring daylight bombing missions against Axis targets. The majority of my wargaming is done with army ground forces, and I’d like to get into more air warfare. This looks like it would fill that desire well. A Wing and a Prayer: Bombing the Reich isn’t officially published yet (as of this writing).
The far out artwork in Paradox is what initially drew my attention to this sci-fi adventure puzzle game. The game is designed by Brian Suhre, with the help of a team of 15 artists. For something different to read one day, I downloaded and read the Paradox Operator’s Manual, and it seems to be one of those deceptively complex games I would really enjoy. It reads as having a bit of a Doctor Who flair; you play as a scientist tasked with moving through the past, present, and future, in an effort to confront The Quake, a space-time storm destroying worlds. Hoping to one day see this played on TableTop. Check out the official Split Second Games Paradox page and see the cool artwork, which has a Heavy Metal the movie vibe to me.
Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk
Speaking of TableTop, my favorite season 2 episode is Betrayal at House on the Hill. The Betrayal episodes are almost as fun to watch as the game is to play. Famed game makers Avalon Hill have the first expansion for the game scheduled to be published later this year, called Widow’s Walk. It looks like it definitely keeps all the spookily intense gameplay from the core game, while adding 20 new rooms, another entire floor, 50 new haunts, and a host of new events, items, monsters, and omens.
Assisting lead developer Mike Selinker is a team of about 40 prime contributors, including such notables as Wizards of the Coast founder Peter Adkison, RPG designer Will Hindmarch, Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian, video game designer Liz Spain, and many others.
Which board and tabletop games at this years’ Origins are you most interested in? Tell us in the Comments below.