Wrapup from Unpub Mini at 7th Dimension Games

A short writeup for the Unpub Mini event at 7th Dimension Games is now up over on the Unpub Blog. There are a bunch of photos there, so check it out if you missed it. I only got to play 3 of the games that were there, but I wanted to give a quick write up of everything I saw.

I started off with Joe Stanziano’s So Monsters Attacked, which had been picked up by Game Salute after Unpub 4. This is a light to mid weight dungeon crawler game that pulls a lot of inspiration from early 90’s RPG video games, like the early Final Fantasy games. It strips down a lot of the complications to be very accessible to newcomers and veterans alike, with plenty of interesting choices along the way.

The second game I played was Jack and the Giant by Dan Cassar, a 2-player card game that was another finalist in the Dice Hate Me 54 card challenge. This game plays like an adaptation of FreeCell (the card game) to a two player game, and adds an original theme on top of it very naturally. The designer was working on balance between the “Jack” player and the “Giant” player, but this game feels like it is almost there.

I ended the day playing Arboretum, also by Dan Cassar, which has been officially picked up by Z-Man. This is sort of a tile laying game, where players must make runs of increasing card numbers (numbered 1-8) that start and end on the same color. Using all cards of one color increases your scoring potential, but the twist is you can only score a color if you have the highest sum of that color remaining in your hand at the end of the game, so you have to think carefully about what you play, what you hold on to, and what you discard. It’s a great twist on a simple set-collection-like mechanic.

I saw a few games being played: Take My Word for It by Baked Fresh Daily Games, which is like a more interactive card game version of Scrabble, where players build the word one letter at a time. But there are risks in completing words because another player can extend it or change it to steal the points. This looks like a great substitute for Scrabble where you don’t have to memorize the official dictionary. Kevin Kulp had Kingship (which I’m told has changed a lot since I first played it last year), but I saw him showing off (and working on) Crashtastic, a car crashing game, where you place road tiles and crash into dice in order to collect them. There was also Meddling Mine from Ian Reed & Daniel Yee, which looks like a neat combination of mining and monsters, with some resource management thrown in. This game generated a lot interest, judging by the number of feedback forms, there always seemed to be someone in the middle of a game when I looked, so keep an eye on it. I did not get to play Duane Kolar’s Wu Xing Landscaping on Saturday, but I’ve played previous prototypes of it. This is sort of a combination card placement/movement and set formation game, where players use 5 different card suits in a rock-paper-scissors style setup to move other cards around a common area while trying to form sets of all 5.

Because I was hosting, I didn’t get any of my own games out on the table, but I had a lot of fun anyway. And now I’m looking forward to my next opportunity.

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