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GAMA Trade Show 2012: Part 1

Hello game fans, the GAMA (Game Manufacturer’s Association) trade show was last week in Las Vegas and I got to walk around and play some new games, learn about some that are in the works and take a few shaky pictures with my trusty smart phone. Not too much stood out to me and the trade show itself seems to be a much smaller event than the one I went to many, many moons ago but I did see a few things I liked and will want to get to the table as soon as possible.

One of the first booths I hit was Cryptozoic which is quickly amassing a graphically stunning library of games. Deck building games are a big push with the success of thier Penny Arcade The Game: Gamers Vs. Evil DBG, and we got a sneak peak at GAMA of the stand alone expansion Penny Arcade: The Game: Rumble in R’lyeh. Ruble in R’lyeh introduces gold cards which will need both Tokens and Power to be purchased and introduces new interactions with Red and Green cards from both sets when you mix up your card pools.

Building on similar mechanics to the Penny Arcade DBG is the soon to be released World of Warcraft: Clash of Champions where you get to play as iconic heroes from the MMO fighting the raid bosses from the well known lore. New mechanics include leveling up your heroes as the game progresses adding special cards to your deck making it more powerful.

I also got a sneak peek at the box design for the just announced DC Deck building game built on a new engine called Cerebus. This engine will be used for other soon to be announced properties and all games on this engine will have the same card backs so you can mix universes. (Edit: I just read an announcement that they have licensed 4 properties from Capcom, so look for Street Fighter, Final Fight, Rival Schools and Darkstalkers to follow)

And one last box that caught my eye was Hot Rod Creeps. There wasn’t much info to be had about this game, but the box says it’s a customizable racing game. I’m looking forward to it solely for the homage to old Big Daddy Roth art and CARtoons Magazine nostalgia.

I’ve been watching D-Day Dice on Kickstarter which was put up for a $13,000 goal. It quickly received that and more, making $171,805 before the smoke cleared. The guys had a prototype mock up at the show (with a few pieces still in the works) and gave me a quick run down on how the game is played. It comes with 8 different beach head maps to traverse, each with their own unique scenarios. 1-4 players will cooperatively play to storm the beach and gain a foothold in this historic battle. While there is rolling dice, it is more about resource management and planning and you will have cards to play that can affect or change your roll results. I’m looking forward to giving this game a run.

Mayfair Games was also at the show, and were kind enough to show me a few new games, 2 of which caught my eye. Rocket Jockey is set in the future where human colonies have spread to all the planets in our solar system. 2 to 4 players will act as ace starship pilots delivering cargoes to these colonies. You will earn points for important cargoes, fancy maneuvers and for visiting as many planets as possible. You accomplish all this with a set collection mechanic similar to Rummy, but with other support decks of cargo and planet cards.

Giza, the Great Pyramid is a worker placement game where 3 to 4 players are working for the Pharaoh to to complete the enormous tomb before his death. Each player is in charge of his workers and will gain great rewards for contributing the most to the completion of the pyramid through harvesting crops and managing resources for the army of workers. You can also contribute fine art for the tomb to gain favor. There is a sectional plastic pyramid that will be put together and completed when the game ends. Please the Pharaoh the most and you will earn great wealth and power.

And while not exactly a game itself, I did find an interesting gadget I may invest in. It’s a 6-player Cube or 4-player Pyramid that will act as a timer for up to that many players. It’s pretty simple to set up and if you have players in your group who are notorious for analysis paralysis it could be your cure. You can set up the time you want to give each player, and when it’s their turn, they will grab the cube and put their color face up starting the clock. There are different settings which will mimic classic chess clocks, to just a simple timer. You can also set it to reset to X time for each turn, or bank away any time not used for the next turns.

That covers part one of my GAMA coverage, I’ll have part 2 ready next week!

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