Hidden treasures of GTS ’04

There were a number of unexpected products lurking in the exhibit hall at GTS last week, which is always refreshing to see. When a product I’ve never heard of appears at a major industry show, it gives me a touch of the wonder I had when I discovered my first CCG, first boardgame, or when I first roleplayed. It’s not often I feel that way anymore, so I enjoy it when a new game blows into view and kicks up dusty memories.

Just across the aisle from the KublaCon booth was a company called Quest Machine, with a boardgame called Heroes Incorporated. In the city of Megalopolis, “Fighting Crime Does Pay!” apparently… at least, it does if you become a popular enough crime-fighting duo to become appointed as the city’s official defenders. The goal is to bust enough criminal heads to reach a certain level of popularity first. Using the superheroes’ rule-bending powers, a d6 and the game’s cards, 2-4 players use their paired heroes to one-up each other in meting out justice. Claim jumping crimes and adding supervillians to an opponent’s target crime is just part of the fun.

Only those who made it to the open gaming room for late evening demos had a chance to discover Vapor’s Gambit by Crystal Spider. In my case, I know a local retailer who showed me the demo copy he brought back to his store. In Vapor’s Gambit, you race hoverboards on a course of interchangable track sections. Naturally, you get to screw with your opponents by throwing garbage in front of them, or making a ramp appear in their path to throw them into the wall. Crystal Spider has quite a gem with Vapor’s Gambit, one I’m sure we’ll be seeing in stores soon.

Why Did the Chicken… by Play Again Games is a party game with strong similarities to Apples to Apples. This time, instead of matching a card to a particular concept, players respond to a riddle created by another player. The best answer gets the point, and 4-8 players strive to be the first to get enough to win.