Heading to GAMA

Hello internet gaming friends!  It's been way too long since I last posted so I've made a little catch up ditty to share on my way to the GAMA Trade Show before I get back to posting games from the list.  I've only been home for 4 weeks in the last 3 months because there have been a lot of changes afoot including some fun plans for 2016 so I've listed and linked it all up to make it easy to share:

  • Deciding to move west from DC to Portland! I will be doing a cross country drive in the beginning of June before Origins with my brother!!!  I'm hoping to stop at game stores along the way so please send suggestions if you think of them!
  • Attending BGGCon for the first time last November. Which. was. so. fun. I played so many prototypes, dexterity games, games from the list of 100 games, and games I'd not tried yet that had been recently published. I'm very excited to return this Fall! Crokinole 4ever!
  • Planning my trade show and convention schedule for 2016. Right now it looks like I have 20 trade shows and conventions planned for 2016. How you doing, frequent flier miles? The best part is that a few are just for fun, like DiceTower, BGGCon & GrandCon.
  • Learning to play CCGs, starting with some secret prototype stuff, then some vintage Magic decks, and now HEARTHSTONE! My Magic post draft is really weird already, because as I learned to play, I kept thinking of each mechanic in terms of Fluxx mechanics - I know this is kind of backwards but unlike a lot of gamers, I have no history with Magic and a LOT of history with Fluxx.
  • Thinking about the women in gaming panel that I'll be part of at GAMA on Monday at 7 pm. If you'll be in Vegas for the show, please show up and participate!
  • Playing the new Patchwork app - which came out just in time to replace Monument Valley, my last app obsession. I also noticed that Monument Valley and Threes each have some really cute merch for sale - I want a wooden totem so bad!
  • Trying to step up my Instagram game - it's not as popular for games as Twitter but I really love it. Let me know if you're posting there!
  • Enjoying all the attention escape rooms are getting. I did a REALLY difficult one in January at Escape Room SF that our team couldn't solve but it had great puzzles.  There are a lot of boxed escape room games coming out too - I'm excited to play this one from Think Fun in the next couple of weeks. 
  • Waiting to play Pandemic Legacy and it's killing me - but I need to be in the same city for a bit so I'm still holding off and hoping it happens this month after GAMA.  And I need to grab a copy of Tokaido Deluxe if I can still find one. Collecting games is hard when you are planning a move!
  • Planning a really fun party game about one of my favorite TV shows with some of my favorite people in the industry - a nice surprise that came out of Toy Fair in February.  Another highlight of the show was seeing the reactions to the Munchkin Guest Artist Editions that I showed off with Steve Jackson Games. I also fell in love with a new company from Switzerland called Helvetiq that has really beautiful packaging and elegant, light games and puzzles.
  • Visiting some really great places in New York after Toy Fair - from spying some of my favorite street artists' works to Brooklyn Game Lab (game design for kids), NYU Game Center (game design for grown ups), and Twenty Sided Store (a shop in Williamsburg with nice owners, and lots of RPGs). 
  • Loving this post recognizing games that represent women well by Candice Huber.
  • Playing Bunco with my friend Katie's group that has met monthly for 30 years. They were very kind to include me in their tradition this month and I'm hoping to get to go back before I move. Those ladies know how to party!
  • Realizing how many restaurants and art exhibits I have to visit before I leave DC in a couple of months!

Thanks for reading my list of -ings! My post about Can't Stop is next in the queue!

Game 4: Threes

Have you played Threes? It’s AMAZING. I heard about it last year, downloaded the app and have played this game an embarrassing number of times since then. 708 times to be exact, most of the time on airplanes… I’m not just wasting away hours of every workday gaming, I promise! Somehow it doesn’t leave me feeling as guilty as playing Candy Crush always did. Threes is an elegant puzzle that was originally released on iOs and won the 2014 Apple "Game of the Year” award. The game is designed by Asher Vollmer, illustrated by Greg Wohlwend and scored by Jimmy Hinson.

Playing Threes is as simple as it gets as you can see by the amazing demo below: you combine the 1 and 2 blocks on a four by four grid to create 3s. 3s and 3s are combined to create 6s and so on. The trick is to make the combinations with as few moves as possible because a block fills the grid with each combo you create. The goal is to create combos until really high number blocks are made. The game ends when there is no room left on the grid for new blocks to be added. I have seen some ridiculously high combos-- so far mine is 768 for a total score on that game of 21,609. I’m still working toward a 1536 block and I think I’ll throw a little party when I get there. Well, I’ll probably be on an airplane so it may not be much of a party but I’ll be pretty excited. 

If you haven’t played Threes for yourself, I highly recommend you download it and get yourself addicted. It’s now available for free on iOs. It’s also on Amazon, Google Play, Windows Phone, Xbox and there is a web interface. I think it’s worth noting that if you haven’t played or heard of Threes, you may have played 2048 and if so, I’d recommend this article from Wired that explains why you should delete 2048 and download Threes.

Asher was kind enough to reply to my email asking what else he is up to and he pointed me toward Royals, which I had a lot of fun with. You should also check out Puzzlejuice. I’d also recommend heading over to his website where he announces any updates or new projects and links to so many talented people you can get lost for hours exploring their projects and dreaming up what they might do if they made projects for the tabletop industry. HINT HINT to you publishers out there.  

Now for a little self promotion: please head over and like my Facebook page.  To help it get going, my friend Travis who runs the very awesome Millenium Games in Rochester has offered to send out a copy of Smash Up! Munchkin to the 100th person to like the page. Steve Jackson Games recently announced that I'm working as their U.S. Sales Manager (YAY!) and Smash Up was one of my first posts for the blog, so it's a fitting gift. Thanks for reading! :)