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AEG hosts a Big Game Night at Gen Con each year where they run demos of their games. This year, AEG is opening up the event to folks who can’t make it to Gen Con, too: game stores have the opportunity to host a Big Game Night, which also gives them (and you) the opportunity to get a few new titles ahead of their official release dates.
Gen Con attendees who buy a ticket to the Big Game Night get a loot box with a few games in it. There have been some ups and downs over the years when it comes to the loot box, but this year’s mix looks pretty good. It includes Curios, Walking in Burano, and Point Salad. All three will be released about a month after Gen Con, so the Big Game Night is a chance to try them and pick them up early. The store events will also feature the World Tour: Culture Shock expansion for Smash Up.
AEG sent me copies of the three early releases so I could get a sneak peek, and I’ve gotten to try each one at least once so far. Walking in Burano is licensed from EmperorS4, and is about creating a street of three-story buildings. There’s an interesting card-drafting mechanic used to get the building cards, and your score is based on the various visitors you attract to your street: each one is looking for different features in the buildings. I actually had a chance to play a prototype of Point Salad at GameStorm a couple years ago, so I was excited to see that AEG had picked it up. It’s a quick-playing card-drafting game that has you collecting vegetables and scoring cards—appropriately, there are lots of different ways to score points, and you’re trying to maximize them all. Curios involves bidding on various artifacts, but you don’t know their exact values until the end of the game. Everyone has a little bit of information about them, and you have to decide how much you really want to share that with the other players. I’ll have full reviews of these games later on!
Unfortunately, the Gen Con event is all sold out already, but you can check out the AEG website to see a list of participating game stores that will be hosting their own AEG Big Game Night!