I was pleasantly surprised at the flow and ease of this convention, the helpful staff, the friendly table neighbours, and the depth of the conversation had with everyone who stopped by our table, as well as the tables we were able to venture out to visit.
What I love most about being able to get out to the convention is the rekindling of inspiration. Being a room filled with creative, fun-loving people, re-visiting my own creative projects and remembering why I loved them in the first place, and meeting with people who make you want to make your next piece even better than the last (and RIGHT NOW!!!). As a full-time mom who came from full-time teaching, that spark can feel so lost under the weight of everything else that needs to get done TODAY, and while convention days are long and busy, they are also a chance to spend some time with that part of myself that I'm pleasantly surprised to find isn't lost at all.
So it might just be a little party sparkler right now, waiting to ignite into something greater, but for this post I'd like to raise my little sparkler to a couple of up-coming board games and their design teams for daring to pour their heart into something new.
Unscrewed by Mean Hyena Games
90's Cartoon Throwdown Mayhem (in a Box)
I'll be honest, this game does not speak to my personal aesthetic, however, I happen to have married a board game geek who enjoyed the 90's classics far more than I did (it helps that he's also a little bit older than I am and probably remembers it better than I do anyway).
I instantly saw images that made me think of Ren & Stimpy and Rocco's Modern Life, cartoons that hubs and I reminisced about recently as our sons discovered Spongebob Squarepants for the first time just a couple of weeks ago. Hubs remembers these shows with great fondness. I myself have vague recollections at best, and yet somehow have the Log Song firmly planted in my brain -- ironically enough hubs did not remember the Log Song at all!
Is this a game I would be drawn to if I were single and just playing with my current collection of girlfriends? No, probably not. But did I jump excitedly and run back to my hubs about this game because I know HE would love it? Absolutely! And I am adding this game to our "must-have" list because I can already picture it on our table, me cynically trying my darndest to pulverize my husband all of his friends, while probably sliding uncontrollably into a lava pit with no time to relish in my victories.
We have such fond memories of playing chaos games like Dragon & Flagon, where you stumble around sometimes one turn too late to punch someone who isn't there anymore, only to get hit by a flying chair you didn't see coming.
I wasn't able to sit down and play a full game at this event, but Chris Cooke humored me into walking through as much of a game as he could while still needing to answer questions of other passers-by.
Unscrewed is a game for 3-5 players, plays for around 30 minutes (or less!) and is waiting anxiously to launch on Kickstarter! For more details (and probably far more accurate details) check out their official website: https://www.meanhyenagames.com/ or any of their socials for MeanHyenaGames. And while I cannot yet give a detailed review of gameplay, I'm confident enough to declare that this game is "BETTER THAN BAD, IT'S GOOD!"