Saturday morning I got there a little earlier, and walked around the tabletop gaming area before the expo hall opened. There were some folks that were already set up, including Blackball Games. They were running demos of a very silly dice game called Monkeys With Knives and Guns. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Each person gets a number of dice, and when you roll them, you get some monkeys with, well, knives and guns. And bananas. The ultimate goal of the game is to get the most bananas, but the knives and guns help you eliminate the other players’ monkeys, reducing the number of bananas they get.
Blackball Games also has a line of Lovecraft-inspired miniatures called Book of Fragments, which are really creepy. I mean, look at that thing. It’s so scary the monstrous fish creatures are running from it.
Out in another area I met Dave Weinstock of Mindspan Labs, who was showing his “new ancient game” ZoxSo. He has a line of collectible cards called ChessHeads which works in conjunction with a regular chess set to add a bit of randomness and powers to the game, but ZoxSo was what really caught my attention. It’s a very elegant game, with only three types of pieces and simple movement rules. It feels a bit like chess but with fewer rules to remember, and I tried a couple games of it over the weekend. (His webstore is at Chessmate.com but Weinstock said that his games should be available at local game stores as well.)