Sunday, March 31, 2013

PAX East 2013: Emperor's New Clothes Demo and Recap

Last weekend at PAX East, I met up with Jonathan Liu and played his game Emperor's New Clothes at the Game Salute booth. The game is still on Kickstarter right now (ENDS MONDAY!), and I even had the chance to contribute to a Pixel Lincoln version of the game that will be available to the backers. We're joining the ranks of artists such as Munchkin's John Kovalic in the ensemble of talent behind this game. If you haven't seen the game, or heard the many discussions that it has initiated, go check out the Kickstarter page. It's a brilliant take on the classic tale and a wonderful experience for the creative gamer.

My brother George said it was the best game he ever played. I asked if he meant at PAX (where we had just played the awesome and highly anticipated Kingbrick re-make, Cube Quest) and he said "No.... ever." My brother-in-law Marty couldn't stop talking about it as well. I felt the same way. Anything that challenges my imagination and encourages creativity is going to score big points for me.

More thoughts after the break.

Now, Jonathan has revealed in his last update that the game is exactly what you see, a blank canvas. This has been shown all along, but in the context of the setting, the game is what you want to see. While the rules are blank, Jonathan has crafted a wonderful suggested ruleset of a game with role selection, dice rolling, resource cubes, and much more. What makes the game so interesting is the order of events. You each choose a role from the pile of cards. THEN you roll dice for resources and take the resources from the piles. THEN you reveal roles. The most exciting part of the game comes into play when the player before you reveals the role that you planned on the entire time. This is where the quick thinking and creativity comes into play. Players have a hand of cards that can be used on the fly, which reminded me of a less permanent 1000 Blank White Cards, and I can say that we were heavy on the instant cards, making a very unique experience.

I've used the word experience twice already and that's exactly what this is. It's a game that will leave you talking for a long time afterwards. You leave the table with a story, more memorable than a score, a victory or anything like that. It's not for all gamers, but it's perfect for my group. I'm thrilled to have Pixel Lincoln as part of the history of Emperor's New Clothes and looking forward to telling our stories for years to come.

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