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PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

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PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by coopasonic » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:06 pm

Directly competing with BoardGameGeekCon :P
http://unplugged.paxsite.com/

ABOUT

PAX Unplugged will be an exciting analog-focused extension of our already existing portfolio of PAX events. We've found that the Tabletop parts of PAX have grown and grown to the point where we said, "You know what? Let's make a show that's just that."
-Coop

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:26 pm

The plot thickens.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by Daveman » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:51 pm

I've never been so interested in the various gaming conventions to make the trip as they're all just a little too far away for my tastes. This one is <20 minutes away so I'll be following this one closely.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by Holman » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:02 pm

A major gaming convention in Philadelphia (where I live)?? That is awesome (for me)!!

The Philly Convention Center should be a good site for it.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by Holman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:56 pm

So as this gets closer, I'd love to know if any OO'ers will be attending. This would be a great way to pull off the Mid-Atlantic meet-up we've occasionally talked about.

I (and I'll bet Default as well) could be a source on places to stay/eat/drink and how to get around in Philadelphia.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by Scoop20906 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:17 am

I'm tempted to attend this.


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PAX Unplugged Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Jamesgoole » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:47 am

have I told you yet that youre awesome?

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Re: PAX Unplugged Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Blackhawk » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:56 am

Jamesgoole wrote:have I told you yet that youre awesome?
Oh, James. I knew you were the one! :wub:
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by Punisher » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:57 pm

Wife and I are going to this. Anyone else going?
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:16 pm

The travel distance involved for myself means that BGGCon gets all of my planning for that weekend.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by AWS260 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:53 pm

My wife and I have kicked around the idea of going, since it's the only board gaming con remotely near us. I worry that my kid (7 yrs old) would get bored/cranky. He likes board games, but three straight days of board games would definitely test his patience.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in Novemb

Post by Holman » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:08 pm

I live in Philadelphia and have tickets for me, my two boys, and at least one of their friends on Saturday 11/18. We'll be at the con all day then, but I'll be pretty busy with the teens.

I'm thinking of getting another ticket for me for Friday or (more likely) Sunday if any OO'ers will be available for a meet up. Who's coming? A lot depends on what else I might have to deal with that weekend.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Punisher » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:22 am

So.. This is coming up this week and I'm pretty psyched for it. We are getting a hotel about 20 minutes from the convention center and are heading down on Wednesday. Will probably figure out the parking situation and travel time on Wed as well, then use Thursday to rest up. We will be going all 3 days.. Some people from work are going and we might meet up, but no plans have been set and I'm not sure where my focus will be...The only thing that is a must see right now is Star Wars Legion. I'll probably give the schedule a once over on Thursday, but usually just wing it unless something really exciting stands out... Would have been nice to stay at a hotel within walking distance, but my room from Wed-Sun cost less than most hotels near there's day rates.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Holman » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:16 pm

OMG, I can't believe I forgot to post this tip for Philadelphia visitors!

If you're at PAX, you're at the Convention Center, which means you are right next door to the awesome food and other offerings of the Reading Terminal Market. It's located in the block immediately south of the eastern half of the convention complex: the intersection of 12th and Arch Street will get you an entrance.

The Market is a giant indoor collection of farmers' markets, bakeries, delis, cafes, grocers, and all sorts of other food vendors. Seating is available. It's full of great options.

If you're at the Con and find yourself eating fast food at any point, you're doing it wrong.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Punisher » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:23 am

Holman wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:16 pm
OMG, I can't believe I forgot to post this tip for Philadelphia visitors!

If you're at PAX, you're at the Convention Center, which means you are right next door to the awesome food and other offerings of the Reading Terminal Market. It's located in the block immediately south of the eastern half of the convention complex: the intersection of 12th and Arch Street will get you an entrance.

The Market is a giant indoor collection of farmers' markets, bakeries, delis, cafes, grocers, and all sorts of other food vendors. Seating is available. It's full of great options.

If you're at the Con and find yourself eating fast food at any point, you're doing it wrong.
I disagree.. My wife and I accidentally stumbled onto to this while taking a quick walk outside... That place is not conducive to a quick lunch.. That place appears to be a huge time-sink! I told my wife, that if we started walking through it, we would probably have to skip the rest of the convention that day..It's pretty damn bug and has a LOT of choices.. We could easily do a couple of hours taking our time to walk through and sample it.There were also a lot of lines... They also close at 6PM so we couldn't even go after the vendor part of the convention closed. Plus everything smelled delicious.. On a food related not.. The convention people must be high. They wanted over $5 for a 16oz bottle of soda... We did pay $17 for a cheesesteak and fries. The fries were $6, but were a decent size and VERY good.. nice and crispy..
Anyway, day one was fun. We were able to make 2 painting workshops I wanted to do.. Had to register as soon as they opened.... Also was ver heartbroken when I found out that Fantasy Flight Games did NOT bring Star Wars Legion with them.. They did have Fallout though and there was a line to play it all day.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:11 am

I am jealous. I had convinced my wife to leave the kid with her folks so we could go, but then I got called away on a work trip. No pressure, but I am living vicariously through you for the next two days.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:02 am

I am going this year. Anyone else?

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Tao » Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:22 pm

Just booked a hotel for this event for a buddy and I. Damn hotel's in Philly are crazy. Hopefully see you there.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:47 am

Dang, that was a lot of gaming onDay One. Don't know if I'll make it to Sunday!

Games I played for the first time today:

Paper Tales - a quick, sharp engine-builder. Loved it. Prob going to buy a copy.

Root - I went to a learn-and-play run by the Heavy Cardboard guy. There is a heck of a lot of game to learn, but I had a good time. It'll probably be better the next time, now that I actually have a rough sense of how it actually plays.

Dinosaur Tea Party - this is a re-skin of the old "Whosit?" game, with prim British dinosaurs instead of odd humans.

Everdell - a really robust worker placement game in an absolutely gorgeous package. I'm debating whether to buy it.

7 Wonders Duel - a 2-player engine builder about building a city over centuries. Liked it, didn't love it, although I can't really articulate why.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Tao » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:48 am

Hey AWS260 let me know if your interested in trying to meet up . We can try and pick a designated place and time.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:02 pm

Tao wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:48 am
Hey AWS260 let me know if your interested in trying to meet up . We can try and pick a designated place and time.
Sent you a PM with my contact info. Hope we can connect!

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by wire » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:10 pm

If you are at PAX Unplugged stop by and check out my friends booth.

Master Monk Gaming
Booth #1738

We are in a gaming group together and he brings in prototypes of his dice boxes all the time to check out and use.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:01 pm

I remember you posting about his kickstarter before. I walked by that booth this afternoon, but it was too crowded to stop. (A good sign for him, I hope.)

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Holman » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:13 pm

I was at PAX today, but it was a last minute thing. Wish I had coordinated better to meet some folks, but I was riding herd on three kids already. It's my son's birthday.

Unfortunately I won't be there tomorrow, but I hope people are having fun. The vibe is a good one, and we had a good time.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:45 pm

wire wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:10 pm
If you are at PAX Unplugged stop by and check out my friends booth.

Master Monk Gaming
Booth #1738

We are in a gaming group together and he brings in prototypes of his dice boxes all the time to check out and use.
I stopped by their booth this morning. Wow, that is impressive craftsmanship. Some gorgeous designs, and the box design is so clever.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:48 pm

It looks like I'll be making it out with my wallet mostly intact. I bought Everdell, but missed the boat on Paper Tales - it was sold out by Saturday morning. Picked up a cheap minigame about pandas and a plush tacocat for my son, and that's about it.

Of course, I'm not leaving for a couple more hours...

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:54 pm

More impressions from stuff I tried at PAX Unplugged:

Lightseekers - I got to play this CCG with Tao and his buddy, who are great guys. I don't have much experience with CCGs, so I couldn't tell you how Lightseekers compares to, say, Pokemon. But I enjoyed it a lot -- plenty of interesting combinations and a clever card-turning mechanic (you literally rotate the card and each side can have a different effect).

Agricola - We borrowed this classic from the PAX game library, mainly because it's famous and we'd never played it. It was not the smoothest learning game -- my family had to keep eating their pet sheep to avoid starvation. I was surprised and impressed by how strongly the actions and overall flow evoke the theme, but I'm not itching to play it again.

Age of Civilization - We played a pre-production copy in the "First Look" section of the conference hall. The rulebook was pretty terrible -- poorly translated (I think the designer is Chinese or Taiwanese, based on his name) and unclear in multiple areas. I suspect the tulebook is still a work in progress, since it was printed on two double-sided sheets of printer paper. But once we figured things out, the actual gameplay was clean and tight. This is a short, small-box version of your typical worker-placement civilization-builder. There are wonders, research, and war, but everything is streamlined into a brisk 20 minutes.

AuZtralia - A weird, kind of dumb theme (settling Australia + fighting Lovecraftian Old Ones), but intriguing gameplay. I only played a demo, not the full game, but I'd like to try it again. It's too fiddly to make my wishlist -- my family would not enjoy it -- but I hope that someone in my regular game group picks it up.

Root - There's been plenty written about this highly asymmetrical strategy game, but I was still surprised by how asymmetric the different factions were in practice. As the Woodland Alliance, I came in last, but I'd love to try them again now that I understand their mechanics. The Eyrie also looked like a lot of fun to play.

Schrodinger's Cats - Take the bluffing mechanic of Skull and piles up other systems around it. I'd rather play Skull. (In fairness, I only saw a rules explanation, and didn't actually play through it myself.)

7 Wonders Duel - Two-player, card-based civilization building. I found it pretty "meh," although I'd be willing to give it another try to see if there are subtleties that I didn't pick up on.

Adorable Pandaring - We picked this up sight unseen for my son, because it was cheap and he likes pandas and cute things (he's 8). Turns out that it's a pretty cutthroat card game, and I made him cry.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Tao » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:53 pm

TL;DR - Great time, played games, bought some stuff, awesome meeting AWS260 and his wife!

Rolled in to Philly on Friday afternoon, waaay later than I had planned thanks to my wife’s inability to be anywhere on time. Headed over to the convention center and was presented with a line to get inside that stretched outside the door and part-way down the block. FU to all the terrible people in this world that make it necessary to have security and metal detectors at a gaming convention. The event coordinators could have also handled this way more efficiently than they did all weekend. Every morning was an incredible line and wait to enter the event.

Friday, we sort of milled around the different halls and exhibits aimlessly for some time particularly the vendor/exhibit hall. The Pathfinder folks were there and were “supposedly” accepting sign-ups to participate in a RPG demo event. Unfortunately, they were fully booked for Friday and Saturday morning. We were told to check back in Saturday afternoon to try and reserve a seat. Took a break for dinner and afterward we wound up in the lending area. This was pretty awesome with a really large selection of games you could simply check out and play. The first game we grabbed we brought back pretty quickly after looking at the instructions (way too complex to figure out in a short time). My buddy noticed a Samurai Jack board game so we grabbed that (both big fans) and played for awhile then observed a few others games until closing.

Saturday the lines were even worse. As I approached the entrance nearest my hotel, I was directed by a PAX volunteer to head over a block or two to an alternate entrance where I was assured the line was much quicker. He was wrong, the line extended out the door on to the sidewalk and wrapped ¾’s of the way around the entire block and then folded back in on itself half-way back around the block back to the entrance. I immediately beelined back to the original entrance and after about 25 minutes was inside the building.

On Saturday I made a beeline for the Chip Theory Games booth and quickly purchased a copy of Too Many Bones core set. I have been looking to pick this up online but it has been sold out. Some folks have been putting it up for sale at $350, Chip Theory is accepting pre-orders at the MSRP for a 2019 Q1 delivery start so this was a score. Got the core game and they threw in a neat little mat that folded/snapped in to a dice throwing box. My buddy eventually made his way through the line and we spent the major portion of the morning/afternoon exploring the vendor hall. We played several rounds of different games with very nice volunteers explaining the mechanics. We played Mistborn, a game based on the Brandon Sanderson novels which was pretty interesting and seemed to be fun. We attempted A Song of Fire and Ice Stark vs. Lannister however this game appeared to require a HUGE amount of space and once the gentlemen teaching us brought out the rulers and started explaining movement we did not last much longer and politely extracted ourselves. We again attempted to secure a spot in the Pathfinder RPG demo but to no avail. My friend and I came across the Lightseekers booth, a game neither of us were familiar with and were invited to play a good long round of LightSeekers CCG, which was quite a bit of fun and both my friend and I bought the “PAX Only” special deal which was 2 of the latest starter decks, 2 of the original set starter decks and a pair of play mats. More than enough to get us started and even play a 4-player game with AWS260 and his wife. Speaking of which, I was able to contact AWS260 and we were able to meet up Saturday evening which was really great. He and his wife are very lovely people, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and am sorry we did not get too hang out and do more gaming. Also, sorry I missed Holman and his crew.

On Sunday the lines were a bit shorter and we were able to enter the convention more quickly. We spent awhile watching some tournament play of various games and actually managed to get two seats in the Pathfinder demo for later that afternoon. We spent a good amount of time on Sunday speaking with several “artisan” vendors that focused on crafting tabletop tools, beautiful wooden dice holders, an awesome dice tower that was designed to resemble a scroll case, dice tossing boxes and quite a few vendors selling gaming tables that were fabulous and insanely priced. Most were in the $5,000 range for the low-end stuff. My favorite was a wooden pedestal with an electromagnet housed inside that produced a levitation effect when a small wooden platform with a second small magnet was placed on top. You could then place objects on the platform and they would slowly spin and levitate, very cool. Early on Sunday I came across a few folks playing a game called Dice Thrones, which again, I had never heard of that looked very interesting. Later in the day we happened by the vendor booth and again were invited to play a round. I enjoyed the game enough to take advantage (maybe) of the special they were also offering and picked up the Season 2 Battle Chest from the completed kickstarter and they threw in free shipping to my house since they did not have a copy on hand, so I did not need to carry it around all day. Oh, and we also did get to play Pathfinder RPG demo but it was a bit of a bust. We had a party of 4, my friend and I and a young girl and her boyfriend. We were given 4th level characters and the gentlemen running the adventure was really good. We did a bunch of exploring of an ancient catacomb and just as we started our first battle against an oversize Water Elemental….they called time and stated they had to end the session which had been about an hour long. We all called foul, combat interruptus! But they were politely adamant they needed to move on the next group. All in all I had a great time and plan to hopefully be able to attend next year, very much looking forward to trying out my new games in the coming weeks.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Thu May 02, 2019 3:13 pm

The 2019 PAX Unplugged dates have been announced.



We're thinking about taking the kid this time.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Holman » Thu May 02, 2019 6:56 pm

Excellent!
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Tao » Mon May 27, 2019 6:25 pm

I've booked a room for Thursday through Monday, so that I don't miss out on Friday again. My buddy Dave will be joining me again as well, possibly a co-worker or two. Look forward to seeing the OO folks there.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:53 pm

PAX is a month away! I'll be arriving Friday evening, and this time we're bringing the 9-year-old. We should definitely arrange a time to meet up for a drink or three.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Tao » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:18 pm

AWS260 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:53 pm
PAX is a month away! I'll be arriving Friday evening, and this time we're bringing the 9-year-old. We should definitely arrange a time to meet up for a drink or three.
So far still on track, although still have not received my passes. Look forward to seeing everyone and meeting the young'n.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Tao » Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:22 am

Has anyone received their badges yet for this years event. I registered back in May and still have not received my badges. I thought they were going to start sending them out in November.
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:52 am

Yes, ours arrived about a week-and-a-half ago.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by Tao » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:44 pm

Anyone else at PAX?
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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:24 am

We brought our kid this year, which made for a different experience. It turns out that 9-year-olds do not have unlimited endurance for marathon boardgaming or walking the expo floor. Lessons learned:

Panels are good. After the noise and flash of the show floor, a dark room with a single point of focus was a welcome and useful break for the kid. We went to two panels (the Shut Up & Sit Down ones), and in retrospect one or two more would have been a good idea.

Hotels with swimming pools are good. An hour in the pool was a good way to for him (and me) to get some physical activity and decompress after a day at the con.

Sleep is good. He didn't get enough of it, and was visibly worn out on Sunday and had a couple of mini-breakdowns.

You won't get to see much of your friends. I had several friends and acquaintances at Unplugged, and couldn't make time to see any of them. We stuck together as a family unit most of the weekend, with the exception of a couple hours when we traded off so that we could each spend more time browsing the expo hall.

Still, we all had a good time, and the kid has already said that he wants to go back next year. All in all a success.

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Re: PAX Unplugged - Tabletop Focused PAX in Philly in November

Post by AWS260 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:42 am

Oh, and here's the loot we returned with:

Era: Medieval Age. We really enjoyed this at SHUX a couple of months ago, and saw it for $40 (retail is $70). Couldn't resist.

Fugitive. Another game that we played at SHUX and had been planning to pick up.

One Deck Galaxy (beta). A beta tester version of One Deck Galaxy, coming next year from the designer of One Deck Dungeon. It introduces a couple of wrinkles to the core One Deck Dungeon experience -- I'll write something up once I've had a chance to try it more.

Combo Fighter. A card dueling game with a strong focus on combos. I had no interest in this (despite a positive SU&SD review), but won it in a raffle. It's not really my kind of game, but it is fun and fast.

Four micro games: Bus (about driving a bus), Sow (about planting flowers), Shh (a cooperative party-ish game, a bit like The Mind), and Hue (color-matching and territory control, sort of). Despite their tiny size, these are all legit, well-developed games. I was really impressed with the quality. Of the four, our favorites were Bus and Shh. Hue was a neat design, but hampered by the tiny components. Sow, despite the horticultural theme, was a mean and competitive brain-burner. I really liked it; my son hated it.

[edit]
Forgot about one: Mr. Face. If you've played Dixit, this is Dixit, but you're making silly faces using a set of shapes. Casual, fun, that's about it.

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