ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Review of Chicago Toy and Game Fair

Posted by Plish on November 23, 2008

Do Not Know When This Pic Was Taken But It Was Not Today In Chicago

Do Not Know When This Pic Was Taken But It Was Not Today In Chicago

Today went to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair-ChiTaG for short.  It took a bout 2 hours to leisurely stroll through the hall, chatting and checking out the various games.  The main take-aways were:

  • Eco/Green games are in.  This was clearly THE main common thread through the majority of the newer games.
  • You don’t have to come up with a whole new type of game to have something that’s pretty cool.  Just by tweaking the rules and adding or subtracting from well known games like Trivial Pursuit can result in totally new and cool games. 
  • Almost no high tech type games were there- only a couple even looked high tech.
  • Very few music related games or toys
  • The overwhelming majority of games were for indoor use.

Personally there were two games that caught my eye and even dented my pocketbook.  The first, called “Not Tonight Josephine” is a Trivial Pursuit type of game that is great for history buffs.  Though originally designed for the UK it comes with a US adaption kit for those of us on this side of the pond that don’t know much about Cockney English.   It even got good reviews.  By the way, this is the one that dented our pocketbook as my wife and I couldn’t pass it up. 

The second game that I really dug was called SiegeStones.  Players take turns placing towers or stones on a wooden game board (that would look totally cool if it was marble!) and try and claim the towers by gaining adjacent circles with their color stones.  A typical game lasts only 15 minutes or so.  I was taken by the simplicity and modern primitivity of it.  Didn’t drop any coin for this one, but maybe I’ll make a marble board for it first.

All in all, I recommend you checking it out if you’re in Chicago.  It’s still going Sunday the 23rd and you can get a $2 off coupon here.

Games are a great way to get thinking in non-traditional ways, so go with an open mind and see how innovation doesn’t have to be earth shattering to be new!

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3 Responses to “Review of Chicago Toy and Game Fair”

  1. Thanks for the mention of SiegeStones! I really enjoyed playing with everyone.

    If you do make a marble board for SiegeStones, could you send me a picture? I’d love to see it! I looked into doing a rock (or pseudo-rock) version of the board, but the price for something that didn’t feel plastic was out of reach.

    – Pat

  2. Thank you very much for your kind review of NOT TONIGHT JOSEPHINE.

    For anyone wanting one, I sell online at http://www.nottonightjosephine.com & ship the games from Wisconsin. By the way, I am looking for a distributor, any suggestions welcome.

    – Tess

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