GAMA Trade Show 2010 Report–Part 11

This is Part 11  of our ongoing coverage of the GAMA Trade Show 2010! While this is the last post highlighting the individual vendors, more GTS related content will still be coming as we go into more detail on some specific things that caught our eyes. Watch for these posts in the weeks to come as we clear out the very long game review queue.  As a reminder, these companies are not presented in any special order (just the order their booth was visited).

Crystal Caste

Crystal Caste is a manufacturer of dice and gaming accessories. They are known for their Dwarven Stone dice made from semi-precious stones and Crystal Dice, which are dice in the shapes of geometric crystals, not the traditional polyhedron shapes. My personal every-day dice are Dwarven Stone dice made from Steel, Brass, and Copper. There new products for 2010 include Hybrid dice (mixture of traditional and Crystal Dice), giant-sized dice in a variety of colors, and the d10,000 (4 d10s – one for the singles, tens, hundreds, and thousands digit). If anyone creates a chart for any current RPG with 10,000 unique options, let me know and I will buy you a set of these dice.

WorldWise Imports

WorldWise Imports is mainly known for two things. Party (mostly murder mystery) games and beautiful varieties of classic board games (mostly chess). They always have a new and interesting chess board coming out. And this year, they have a new party game as well, Curses! of the Vampire.

Royal Chess

Royal Chess is a card game that you add to the chess board of your choice (I recommend one from WorldWise Imports). The game creates more strategy and chance  because you can only move your chess pieces based on the cards you can play. So you can make more risky moves hoping that your opponent doesn’t have the needed card to take you out.

North Star Games

North Star Games, and its flagship Wits & Wagers game, is getting a new version. Wits & Wagers Family takes the game and makes it a bit simpler to include the kids in the party fun. Instead if the gambling chip nature of the original, W&W: Family uses their new “Meeples” as answer markers.

Queen Games

Queen Games has several new games hitting store shelves in 2010. There will be New York and New York: The Card Game based off the same rule set as their multi-award winning (including the Spiel des Jahres) Alhambra and Alhambra: The Card Game. Other new games include Show Manager, Junk, Samarkand – Caravan to Riches, Fresko, Sh‘t Happens!, and a special edition rerelease of the classic game Wallenstein.

Koplow Games

Unlike the other dice companies present, Koplow Games is known for its strange and unusual dice. You need 6 sided dice with Math operators written on the sides in German?  They got you covered. However, the stuff that was new from Koplow at the show wasn’t all that strange. They do have an expanded line of language dice coming out. These dice come in 18 different languages and have the words written out in that language instead of the number (i.e., one, two three instead of 1, 2, 3). Other than that, they have jumbo place value dice, d10 in spotted form (think dominos), d4s with the number on the top for easier reading (they are one of the last hold-outs), and d16s.

Flying Buffalo

Flying Buffalo was on site as usual, though the didn’t have anything new going on. But after 40 years in the business, they can sit back and relax as gaming royalty. They are holding the 38th annual Play By Mail (PBM) convention in Scottsdale, AZ on July 22-25, 2010. It is good to see that group still kicking!

The Spoils

The Spoils is a pop culture CCG with a more adult and a more tongue-in-cheek theme. The game has been around for a few years, and is gaining popularity as a tournament game. There was nothing new with The Spoils currently. They were  at GTS  to continue spreading the word about their game. However 2-player starters of the game are available and a new expansion is planned for this summer.

A special thanks to Michael Bowling (Crystal Caste), Cheryl Stern (WorldWise Imports), Rob Valentine (Royal Chess), Julien Gupta (Queen Games), Schar Niebling (Koplow Games), Rick’s Sister [Sorry I forgot your name] (Flying Buffalo), and Red Craig (The Spoils). Thanks for showing me all of your new games!
Check back tomorrow for more great GTS 2010 exhibitors!

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.