Dude Games: GenCon 2016 Line-up
It's that time of year once again.
Game manufacturers and distributors from all around the world convene in Indianapolis at arguably the largest board games show on the planet. We at Dude Games have a fantastic opportunity to be part of the massive throng of exhibitors that make the yearly pilgrimage to the Indiana Convention Center. GenCon 2016 officially launches Dude Games and we've scoured the European countryside searching for games that will appeal to those with a discerning temperament and adventurous inclinations.
10 Minutes To Kill
Our first treasure, 10 Minutes To Kill, hails from the kingdom of Francia, slightly to the west of the beautiful fortress-city of Paris, in a small monument-laden village called Versailles. Players take the role of dastardly assassins each with three targets they need to eliminate. Killing a target is not as easy as it seems. If you're too obvious in committing the crime, you might end up spending the rest of your days sharing a prison cell with a suspiciously sociable fellow called "Bubba" - and that's if you're lucky. The other assassins might decide to thin out the competition (while scoring bonus points), and since you've conveniently drawn a giant bullseye on your backside, well...
Hmm... I've always wanted to play a murderous anthropomorphic raccoon.
10 Minutes To Kill is a game for 2 to 4 aspiring hitmen aged 12 years or more. The game has a surprising amount of depth and decision-making considering how little time it takes to play a full game. Yes, it really does last only 10 minutes.
Our second and third finds hail from the equally impressive kingdom of Belgium. Hidden among the waffle peddlers and chocolate connoisseurs, our intrepid explorers happened upon a bespectacled fellow working intently on his latest creation. Having noticed them peering through the window of his workshop, he smiled and waved them inside enthusiastically. After an exchange of pleasantries, the members of Dude Games' Officium Exploratio learned that they were in the presence of none other than Henri Kermarrec, one of the most renowned games craftsmen on the continent. The anticipation for what Henri might show them nearly drove them mad.
In Sushi Dice, players are chefs taking part in a sushi making competition to establish who might join the august ranks of the Master Sushi Chefs. Players try to complete orders as fast as humanly possible by rolling one of two sets of dice to acquire the necessary ingredients. Once a player has all of the ingredients to complete an order, he gives a good whack to a bell placed at the center of the table. Play immediately stops and if the player correctly assembled one of the three orders showing, he wins the card. The games ends when a certain number of cards have been won depending on how many players there are. Life as an aspiring Master Sushi Chef isn't quite so simple, however.
The trials & tribulations of being a sushi chef without all of the mess.
Some dice have a black skull on one of their sides indicating a poisonous ingredient. If at any time a player rolls a black skull while putting together an order, his opponent may yell, "YUCK!!" This forces the unlucky chef to trash the dish he's working on. He has to re-roll all of the dice he set aside so far and start from scratch. Unfortunately, potential trouble doesn't stop there.
Sushi Dice is a game for 2 to 6 players, however there are only two sets of dice with which to complete orders. So what are the other players doing while the two active players are rolling frantically trying to complete an order? Why, criticizing their efforts at any given opportunity, of course!
If at any time an inactive player sees that both players rolled a black skull at the same time, he may yell, "STOP!!!". Both chefs are clearly incompetent. Play stops immediately and the player who put an end to the poisonous sushi clown-show by yelling "STOP!!" first gets a set of dice. The other set goes to the player who has the fewest orders completed. The criticizing player chooses if there's a tie.
Our third and final find is perhaps the most mysterious and abstract of the lot.
"Oh daddy dear you know you're still number one, but wraiths just want to have fun."
In Ekö, players command the wraith-like armies of four long-dead brothers cursed to eternally wage war against one another in the blasted remnants of a once flourishing kingdom. "Ekö" is the name of their father who actually did a pretty good job of running things while he was around. When he passed away, however, his four sons went to war against each other to seize the crown. They of course laid waste to the entire countryside, wrecking everything their father had built over the decades. Sickened by the death and destruction caused by his sons' power-lust, the spirit of Ekö condemned them to wage eternal war against one another fo all eternity.
The board is composed of hexagon tiles that are arranged differently every game depending on how many players there are. The playing pieces are then also randomly placed on the board. Each player then gets a playmat indicating which faction he controls. The object of the game is to build enough buildings to score 12 victory points or wipe all of the opposing armies off the map.
Although the playing area is very congested at the start of the game, space gets freed up as players use their pieces to build buildings and create stacks making for more powerful combattants. Players have more and more movement options as the game progresses making for an abstract strategy game where the tactical situation is constantly changing.
Ekö is a game for 2 to 4 players and can last up to an hour if you're playing with four. This is an undiscovered gem in the abstract strategy genre and shouldn't be passed over by anyone who's even remotely a fan of that type of game.
...oh, and that box really is super pretty!
Swing by booth 3009 and explore for yourself the findings of Dude Games' Officio Exploratio. Below, is an expertly crafted map from the High Cartographers of GenCon 2016. See you then!
In a never-before-seen strategy, the Dude Games marketing mavens have cleverly laid out many strips of fresh crispy bacon around their booth.