Origins 2004: dig those crazy napkins!

I have several proper packs of Pirates of the Spanish Main in my hot little hands now, as opposed to just the promo ship in the schwag bag. The 12-page card-sized rulebook is fairly complete, at least for a two-player game. I hope to get to play tomorrow. These were sold as previews, the game doesn’t hit stores until July.

I am about to collapse, but first, some more quick impressions:

  • I met a couple guys in the back of the hall selling hand-made wooden tables for a dexterity game called Kineti-Go, in which all the little wooden caroms have strong magnets in them. So does the small frame thingy which you use to help launch them. The board also has magnets in several key corners. Overall, it doesn’t feel like the magnets are affecting play much, aside from the launch and the occasional wonkiness, but it was a lot of fun – somewhere between darts and crokinole – and exactly the sort of weird little find that I love Origins for. Plus, the tables had built-in cup holders.
  • Twilight Creations is showing The Haunting House, and has announced a game due in October that features cute wind-up toys – zombies, of course – that fight each other (according to stuff you work out with gameplay, telling you how many winds you get, whether you get to adjust your facing, et cetera). It’s called All Wound Up and I don’t think I have to tell you that it’s going to be the coolest thing ever.
  • I played Bandai‘s chess-variant CMG Navia Drapt. It’s more chess-y and not as simple as Creepy Freaks, but it also has lots of exception-based goodness that keeps it a little light. The most elegant thing about it is that using pawns gives you your money, so even though they don’t have much power or flexibility, you need to keep them in the game. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, how cheap the handsomely-appointed starter sets were ($30… although the starter might be for one player), and how fetching the minis were. It hits in August, of course.