The Chicago Toy and Game Fair is over and it’s time to recap a few of the interesting games I played while I was there! There were so many publishers there so these are only a small sampling of games I haven’t already covered. Which means I have to skip games like Rummikub, which I could have sat down and played all day with random strangers at the Goliath booth. Maybe next year I’ll enter into the Rummikub Tournament! (If you’ve never been to the fair, there are huge companies like Spin Master and Hasbro all the way down to little companies who have only one game and are just getting started — plus everything in between!)
Selfie – USAopoly
Don’t be so quick to write this one off because the title makes you think of some vapid teenagers who have filled their Instagram accounts with photos of themselves. It’s actually quite fun! The game is rather simple, you take a card from your hand and it will say something like “You are trying to flirt your way out of a speeding ticket “ or “Someone just mooned you.” You make a face to match your card and snap a pic with your phone. Then you show the pic to the rest of the players and they have to select a card from their hand that best fits your pic. You get to judge whose card is best and they win the round.
Knock Down Barns – Emerald Den Games
Knock Down Barns was invented by Chicago native Greg Burhop. He’s been busting his ass to get his game out there and I’ll admit I’m impressed with his determination! He’s invited me to event after event and only at ChiTAG did we finally have a chance to… and then he promptly kicked my ass when we played his game. Nice.
Normally, Knock Down Barns doesn’t quite fit the game criteria (easily purchasable, under $30, etc.) for a review on this site, but since this is the recap article, I say to heck with the rules! It’s a bit pricey at $45, but it’s a big game with a lot of pieces. There’s a board, a divider, 52 blocks, 20 marshmallow-like weapons, plus storage bags and the list goes on. It’s made from reclaimed barn wood blocks that players build up and then they try to knock their opponent’s pile down (hence the name). You have to stack your blocks so they are a certain height and all touching each other and then you take turns flicking the marshmallow shooters in an attempt to knock down your opponent’s tower. There are some more intricate rules as to where you can shoot from and when pieces are removed from the board. There’s about a 1-2 game learning curve and then it’s a mix of how well you can build your tower AND how well you can shoot (which I stink at. Ha!) You can see a bit more about Greg and his game in a little video done by the Chicago Reader.
Loud About – Keji Inc.
Loud About is another game that wouldn’t normally be mentioned on my site because it’s currently being Kickstarted. It’s a quick paced party game that’s like Befuzzled by Fun Q Games meets Anomia by Anomia Press. Players select an action and word at the beginning of the round for both of the categories on one of the blue category cards. Each player draws a card from the pile and makes a stack in front of them. If it matches another players card they have to remember that player’s action/word before they remember theirs. I’m guessing that this makes a pretty decent drinking game. Double secret bonus points for coming in a cute little velvet bag that would be easy to toss into your purse or pocket and bring to the bar.
The Game of THINGS… 10th Anniversary Edition – Patch Products
The Game of THINGS… is a hilarious party game that I’ve covered before on this site when I interviewed Tom Quinn right before he won his TAGIE Award. It’s quick to explain and learn so it’s perfect for a holiday party (hint hint). This year at ChiTAG there was a new version of the game – the 10th Anniversary Edition that includes all new topics! It comes in a dark wood box, versus the lighter wood box we saw in earlier editions. I’ve heard there are very limited quantities so you’d better get your copy FAST!