Games Expo

So, we went to the UK Games Expo in Birmingham last Friday. Despite the title of this blog, we actually left the baby at home with Grandma.

Expo is fun. This was our first time in Birmingham, although we’d been to Essen before. It’s exactly what you expect – a large hall filled with stalls selling and playing games.

Over the course of the day, we played four games. We a also went and looked at the few more, and bought a children’s version of The Call of Cthulhu written in the style of Dr Seuss, but these are the four games we played.

Sub Terra. Cooperative, fast, slightly nerve-racking. You’re stuck underground and need to find your way out of the cave, using your different skills and building the board as you go. It’s slightly less complex than Pandemic, more complex than Forbidden Island. Definitely worth getting, and very easy to leap straight into if you are familiar with the style of game.

Arkham Horror the Card Game. Like much other Arkham Horror stuff, this has a large element of role play. It’s all skill checks and reading stories on the backs of cards. While I enjoyed it, perhaps I’m feeling a little Cthulhued out.

Ghostel. This is a fun game from Tinkerbot Games. It is, for want of a better word, cute. It’s easy to pick up, easy to play, and easy to teach to others. This is one for Christmas with family (and a large glass of wine). It says age 14 up, but I think a competent 10 year old would get it pretty quickly. I bought a copy.

Spirit Island.  The complete opposite to the previous game…Spirit Island is a cooperative eurogame involving a quickly shifting board, cards with stackable powers, and many small pieces. Best defined as “Catan Kicks The Settlers Off”. It’s the type of game which you need to play through a couple of times before you really get the hang of it. It’s also the type of game which you can keep going back to. You could probably play this every night for a month and still find something new in it.

If you’re planning on going with a baby, then do. It’s not so crowded that you need to leave the pushchair at home, although personally I’d take a sling and put the pushchair in the cloakroom. There were certainly other babies smaller than ours being carried round.

Next year we’ll take the baby too…just look out for the toddler clutching a soft plush Cthulhu.

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