GAMA Trade Show 2010 Report–Part 10

This is Part 10 of our ongoing coverage of the GAMA Trade Show 2010! Check back tomorrow for more or subscribe to the Livingdice.com RSS feed and not miss a single post. As a reminder, these companies are not presented in any special order (just the order their booth was visited).

Playroom Entertainment

When people think Playroom, they think Killer Bunnies. Well the bunnies are back in Killer Bunnies and the Ultimate Odyssey. There are also a host of other new kid and family oriented releases coming out soon. Check out Playroom’s online 2010 catalog for more information on this. The games that interest me the most right now from Playroom Entertainment, is their line of “Gateway Games”. Portobello Market, Ilium, and Livingstone were all on display. These games are designed to bridge the gap between family games and Euro-style games. We will have more information and a full review of LivingStone on LivingDice.com in the near future.

Chivalry Games

Chivalry Games was showing off their game called Chaostle. This game has been on hold for over three years while the company was dealing with a lawsuit against their previous manufacturer. But that is behind them and the game is in manufacturing once again. Chaostle is a three-dimensional strategy board game were the goal is for your team of characters to capture the castle for your own. Different characters and different play styles can make some interesting competitions. Chaostle releases this summer.

PKXL Cards, Inc.

PK Cards is selling itself as a “second-generation” CCG. Well, they have been doing some interesting things to prove that point.  They launched the first set for PK Cards, The Broken Seal, in late 2008. It is a fast-paced game using a trick-taking system. In the Fall of 2009 they launched online play. Each pack of cards you buy comes with “Gold Points” usable in their online system. Players can trade cards, wager, and play for worldwide rankings. This spring, PK Cards will be releasing their second series.  And no CCG would be complete with out a TV following, PK Cards is reversing the normal Anime to CCG system by creating an animated series based on their game.  You can currently see ads on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. The artwork for these cards are fantastic.  Look for more complete coverage of PK Cards from a future LivingDice article.

Armstrong Forensic Laboratory, Inc.

Armstrong was at the show telling game companies about their consumer product testing services. LivingDice is no stranger to the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act(CPSIA), which we wrote about several times last year. Well it is here, it is not going anywhere, and Armstrong wants to help.  This lab is certified to deal with CPSIA testing, and they have an interesting approach for companies. Armstrong partners with a Chinese logistics company, where the game manufacturer would ship its product for a 10 day holding period. In that 10 days, the logistics company selects random samples and ships them to Armstrong’s lab in the United States. The tests are processed within that 10 day period before the product is sent to the US. Therefore, there will be no surprises in customs once your game arrives. And in addition, they have partnered with an Insurance and Liability provider who will give a discount on their premiums if you use Armstrong’s services. With this discount you are close to getting the testing done for free.

Steve Jackson Games

When I showed up at Steve Jackson Games’ booth, it was being manned by the friendly guys at PSI. Apparently, SJG was there on Wednesday, but not on Thursday. No worries, I got the skinny on the new product none-the-less. Of course, there is new Munchkin!  They are doing a reprint of Fairy Dust (with cards that don’t curl up this time) due out this month.  In June there will be Munchkin: Marked for Death for classic Munchkin, Munchkin Cthulhu set #4 this summer, and a Munchkin Quest expansion this fall. There is also a new edition of Chez Geek, an expansion to Revolution!, and two new dice games (Cthulhu Dice and Zombie Dice). It will be a busy year for SJG.

Oh, and if you haven’t download the Munchkin Level Counter for your iPhone / iPod Touch.  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

GameScience

GameScience is one of those companies that I would see every year at Gen Con, but never pay much mind too thinking they were just “luxury dice”.  Well, I am really glad I got the opportunity to speak with these fine folks at GTS about their dice and their company. I encourage every lover of dice to hit the link to their website. While it isn’t much to look at, there are two videos from the company founder Colonel Louis Zocchi. In these videos, Zocchi talks about the GameScience dice and why precision is important. Some new things they have coming out are their Color Explosion packs of 12 dice for $6. This is a great entry point for precision dice. They also have what is called the Zocchi Pack. These dice contain some uniquely-sided dice. a 3, 5, 14, 16, and 24 sided dice are in these packs.  I am not sure what I will do with them, but I plan to add them to my collection.

Green Ronin

Green Ronin have some sure-fire winning products on deck this year. First is the DragonAge RPG. Readers of this site will know I am a fan of this video game, so it is exciting to see it come to life as a pen and paper RPG. DA has an entirely new rule system designed to be simple and welcoming to new players. This is a genius move on Green Ronin’s part to try to convert video gamers over into the world of RPGs. Also recently released is A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. You can’t go wrong with some of the best fantasy novels ever written. And finally their Mutants and Masterminds series is entering the Silver Age. This RPG sourcebook is a throwback to the silver age of comics, picking up from where their Golden Age and Iron Age books left it.

Strategicon

I went by Strategicon’s booth twice, and both times there was no one there.  Just a stack of flyers for the conventions. So bad boothing or bad timing, I don’t know.  But I can tell you that Stategicon is having their Trio of conventions on the West Coast. OrcCon (already happened in February), GAMEX in late May, and GATEWAY happening in September. Hit their website for more details.

Numbskull Games

Numbskull is a new family run gaming company that is turning out some interesting products. Their latest game is called The Last of the Independents. This Euro style game is themed around the American car craze of the 1950s. Each player is the CEO of a car company of the time trying to win the prestigious “Car of the Year”.  Numbskull’s games hit some sort of nostalgic old-school vibe with me visually. And am looking forward to sitting down with some of these games and seeing how they play out.

A special thanks to Michelle Villoria (Playroom Entertainment), Mark Jacobs (Chivalry Games), Lola Judy (PKXL), Doug Lanphere (Armstrong), Judy Vincent (GameScience), Hal (Green Ronin), Alex Stevens (Numbskull Games). Thanks for showing me all of your new games!
Check back tomorrow for more great GTS 2010 exhibitors!
Haaldaar

Stuart Greenwell

My first experiences with serious gaming came from the Hero Quest board game. I then made the next step to the RoboTech RPG and a lunchtime meeting of AD&D Oriental Adventures. My interests now are pretty much the same. Boardgames and RPGS. Some of my favorites boardgames are currently Settlers of Catan, Battlestar Galactica, and Space Alert. For RPGS, it is Monte Cook's Cypher System. But I am always down for a good round of Dungeons & Dragons.