On this Saturday, March 9, 2019, your mission, if you accept, will be to go to Epinal to discover the fun festival and come back with game reviews. Confident in our abilities, proud to receive this quest, we set out on a fun adventure. For the first time, I went to the festival Jeux et Cie d'Epinal, in France. Fortunately, to help me and support me in this heavy task, Barry (second time at Epinal) accompanied me and guided me in the pouring rain (as well as play the role of chauffeur).
After several hours of driving, we arrived at the site: the Congress Center. Easily found, rather well located when you come from far away and with plenty of available parking spaces, the mission seemed to be starting on a good track.
This is a free festival, which offers you the chance to discover new or old games in a good atmosphere and for all tastes. That's what the poster promised us. Once inside the room, we actually find ourselves in a family atmosphere, dare I say zen. The stands were quite spaced out, a lot of tables available, people were smiling, even very welcoming. On site, besides the games we found some service in terms of restoration (although I found the thing a bit expensive), games to bring back (wide choice in the local game stores). As for the types of games, the target audience is still family and children even if, here and there we did find games a little more focused on the expert public. The demonstrators and volunteers present were very good, friendly and quick to explain the rules with joy and good humor. A nice surprise for a festival this size. It is regrettable that some publishers did not make the trip or bring protos to test, while others were just not present. Overall it's really nice. Too bad it is a bit far, (a 3 hour plus car journey) if not with pleasure I would go back (especially in such a charming company). Especially since the festival only lasted for three days! Wow.
As for our original mission ... So we tried no less than thirteen games. Here are these titles with a (very) short summary and opinion. Plus we pick out our top 3 gaming experiences of the event.
Attention, these opinions are first impressions within the framework of a festival (noise/fighting for a table/rules not explained correctly/fatigue from continuous playing), as always in this type of events. These opinions can change by playing the game in other configurations, like at home or different player counts or after watching a Rodney Smith video =).
Traveling around the world isn't like dusting crops. But I have done it. This time, for the very first time to go to a gaming convention.
This one was Gen Con.
From car to train to plane. So you could say "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."
Yes, beware this blog may contain film quotes!
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Coming to America is an experience and a half. The same heat, but it felt different. The street were packed full of Gen Conners and the food was BIG. Taco's and burgers for breakfast was one way to fill your stomach and everything was spicy, to keep you regular.
But I wasn't here to sample this other life, I was here to work. And maybe catch some online friends.
Our team of four were kept on our toes from dusk till dawn as the booth filled up. Which is great because it would make the longest day fly by. Players seem to really enjoy their experience and gave positive feedback.
For more info and images from the show, check out the video below...
Board Game Geek hosted a large room in one of them. Everywhere I looked, there was someone I knew. Lance Myxter, Joel Eddy, Rodney Smith and a bucket load of others (sorry if I forgot you). Played a few game with the shiny Keith Collins and attentive Forest Bower and the golden voice charmer Anthony Racano .
We played games like Gizmos, Dinousaur Tea Party and I presented an up and coming game, Badass Force.
But the highlight had to be the time that Burky meets Badger (I know, it should be Harry meets Sally) in the flesh. Hanging out with, playing games with and getting covered in cigar smoke with Kevin Burkhardsmeier, my podcasting buddy, was priceless.
And seeing his Game Toppers in most of the booth was like the Holy Grail. Elegant and comfortable.
more storys from gen con here...
How lucky I am to be invited to the wonders that are known as Gen Con, in Indiana?
The big side of the gaming world is having it's annual event and I will be there, all four days with Monolith. Once again, I will be helping out in the booth (2830), showing people how to play Batman: Gotham City Chronicles and Mythic Battles: Pantheon. On top of that, I will be demoing the next big game in the pipe-works, Claustrophobia 1643.
So while I am away, you may not see a lot of new videos pop up. I do have some uploaded and ready to go but am waiting for the "OK" from those publishers. So look out for new videos soon and some inside info on Monoliths new game.
Ciao for now, and I hope to see you there.
The heat is comfortable.
The wind blows genitally. Then a little more forceful, making cards fly off tables and frantic gamers scramble after them. Only to return to the table with a giggle on their lips and the game continues.
Yes, we are outdoors at a weekend festival called Paris est Ludique. Not "Gay Paris" but "Playful Paris." Where publishers from all over France come to demo their new game, classic big sellers and games for the future. First time and famous designers show up to to get reactions from their prototypes and maybe their signature on a contract. Also Belgium publishers get in on the act and somewhere, hidden away there is even an English one too.
But that is not what you see as you walk around the Pelouse De Reuilly. It's all the smiling faces from the thousand guests that are walking around. From the demonstrates, content to retell the story of why their detective is addicted to cigarettes or why it's important to save the animals in the zoo. Even from the security personnel, who are amazed to see some many gentle people having fun together. And these smiles reflect in the environment all around.
This is not the first time that I have been here and felt this ambiance. PeL (Paris est Ludique) is my local big event, where I get to catch up with friends and contacts that I have made over the years. It is the second best event that I attend every year, after Essen (nothing will beat that). And I enjoy every minute of the wondering and babbling that takes place there. It's family friendly exterior entices thousands of parent to sit down and have fun with their kids.
So I played as much as I could, so I could show you what is new and coming to our hobby. And maybe a be of that smiling has been captured on video and rubs off onto you. Roll on PeL 2019... =)
Overviews and interviews from Pel
Solomon Kane (KS prototype)
Gravity Superstar (prototype)
Los Angeles: Vice Division
Yoka by Tsume
Kung Fu Panda: The Board Game
Sorry We Are French
Apocolypes at Caron City Zoo
Catch Up Games
Twitch is another channel all to itself. And I thought about dabbling in doing live videos of game play, rules explanations and blogs. While keeping my Youtube channel full of fully produced content.
I have starter tinkering with the components and idea of doing this, to try and broaden my viewing audience. Also the chance to pump out a little more, ad-lib content that will keep me up to date. As you know, I spend a great amount of time playing a game before I start a camera rolling. Giving you a rounded view of a game that has been played many times and not just a first impression, as many other reviewers do. Maybe I'll keep twitch as a "First Impression" channel for games that I have just that second played!
I will give a try and see how it lands.
What do you think about a Twitch channel?
And what content would you like to see?
leave me a comment...
Many thanx in advance
Guilou & Arnauld
Act In Game
Alderac Entertainment Group
Blue Orange Games
Burky & Badger
Catch Up Games
Clyde & Cart Press
Cool Mini Or Not
Czech Games Edition
Druid City Games
Fantasy Flight Game
Flying Carpet Games
Golden Egg Games
Holy Grail Games
How To Play
Inside Up Games
Jolly Dutch Productions
Jumping Turtle Games
Junk Spirit Games
La Boite De Jeu
Lucky Duck Games
Meeple City Games
My Cup Of Tea
Next Move Games
North Star Games
Oka Luda Editions
Paris Est Ludique
Plan B Games
Renegade Game Studios
Second Gate Games
Sorry We Are French
Tasty Minstrel Games
The Flying Games
UK Gaming Expo
White Goblin Games
Yoka By Tsume