This year I had the good fortune to make my second trip to CMON Expo
in Atlanta, a three day worship service for all things CMON
. In addition to giving participants a sweet swag bag full of cool stuff, there were plenty of demos of upcoming CMON releases to whet the appetite of the masses. Despite only attending for a single day, I got try out several. Here is my recap.
2-5 players try to fill their 9 x 9 food courts with cuisine cards from five different countries. This game has a bit of puzzle solving to it as you place your food cards on your board in order to maximize the results of dice rolls which dictate what number pays out on a given turn. There are some similarities to Machi Koro in that regard, but overall I enjoyed this game more because it seemed less mean and much quicker. I am looking forward to playing the full version when it comes out.
2) Sugar Blast:
This 2-4 player Candy Crushesque puzzle of a game features a tilting board and colorful components. It is definitely geared toward family game night both in rule simplicity and artwork (along with the aforementioned tilting board). The goal is to line up at least three pieces in a row in order to collect sets of the different colored pieces and complete objectives. It was quick, light, and pretty fun.
3) Zombicide Invader:
A few rule tweaks and a new space setting look to add some sparkle to this classic cooperative game. Our six member team was tasked with snatching a prototype weapon and escaping the station before getting consumed by the ever pressing horde of alien zombies, called Xenos. There was dice chucking and mayhem galore, and it was good. We were well on our way to victory at the conclusion of our demo.
4) Blue Moon City:
This is a new edition of an older Reiner Knizia game for 2-4 players in where players gather sets of cards and then play them to control empty spaces in different locations on the board. The idea is that these are contributions to the building of said location. Once a location’s spaces are full, it is considered “built” and rewards are given to the players who contributed, often in the form of crystals. Once players have gathered enough crystals, they can trade them in for victory points. I found the game to be slightly reminiscent of Ethnos, another CMON title. I also found that I liked it a lot, just as with Ethnos. There were decent decisions to be made and the tension ratcheted as spaces filled up. I think this was my favorite title I played at this year’s event.
5) Wacky Races (The Board Game):
Apparently Wacky Races is a pretty famous intellectual property
from Hanna-Barbera. Who knew? Not this guy. Maybe I vaguely remember it – now that you remind me. Well, CMON has made a racing game out of it for 2-6 players and we got a chance to check it out. The minis were awesome and the game was good mindless fun, likely suited for families and/or those who may have some nostalgic feelings for the franchise. There was a lot of take that, especially through the mostly A.I. use of Dick Dastardly’s car, which zoomed ahead of the pack and left traps behind to cause mayhem. Of course once Dick sped off, this golden opportunity arose:
Anyways, it looks like CMON has a diverse group of new games coming out this year, if somewhat lighter and aimed toward families. There was still some Zombicide, and Blue Moon City and Foodies had legit medium weight strategy involved. But overall, the games I played were lighter than I expected. And maybe that is O.K. CMON seemed to be comfortable in their own skin at this year’s event. I’m glad I attended this year’s Expo and look forward to spending more time with CMON’s releases for years to come. Thanks for reading. Keep nerding on.
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