Daily Illuminator

December 26, 2010: Pics Or It Didn't Happen

We always have fun on Game Days here in the office. Yes, the business of making games is often as far from "fun" as can be, but we're all gamers, and we had new games to try out.

In fact, I didn't share any photos from our Halloween Game Day, did I? Let's take care of that first.

Since Halloween hit right after a couple staffers got back from Essen, we had some new things to try from Germany. We played Bausack, where you stack oddly shaped wooden pieces; Tok-Tok Woodman, a Korean game about hitting a plastic tree; Perpetual-motion Machine, which has a nifty steam-punkish feel; Polizei-Alarm!, a noisy and frantic game of cops and robbers; and Sneaks and Snitches, a blind bidding game that was delightfully frustrating (aka "there was a ton of smack talk").

There were many more games around, and I've lost track of who played what. But costumes were worn as well! SJ was a bartending zombie and Jimmie was "V" from V For Vendetta. Alex and Gabby were characters from . . . something. Apparently they were unrelated, but could have been mischievous partners in some Tim Burtonesque film.

SJ also brought in some Lego constructs to decorate the office. (SJ note: In the first picture, the one in front is me.) In return, we got him another dino statue. Pretty soon, he'll need to delicate an entire room of his house to these -- if he adds in some Jurassic era plants, it could be a heck of a diorama.

For the Christmas Game Day, we had more deviled eggs (not that they lasted very long) and even more games. Bausack and Perpetual-motion Machine were pulled out again. Snow Tails, a dog-sled racing game I picked up at last year's BGGCon, got a play. Will tried out his new copy of Claustrophobia, which was billed as "Space Hulk, but with demons and in the catacombs of Jerusalem." A group set up Ascension, and played it about a dozen times. Alex says it's a cross between Dominion and Magic. I saw the World of Warcraft Boardgame set up, and there was a rumor of a couple rounds of Pocket Battles.

But the stand-out game of the day was Lightning Reaction. It's an electronic game that consists of four handles around a central base. The light on the base flashes red, and, after a couple seconds, turns green. Everyone then punches their button -- the last player to do so gets a shock, which is mild enough to cause the player to leap around and howl, but doesn't inflict any permanent damage. Yes, Alex Fernandez was the one responsible for bringing it in.

-- Paul Chapman

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