PAX East 2014
All About Tabletop Games at PAX East 2014

Jonathan Bolding | 16 Apr 2014 18:45
PAX East 2014 - RSS 2.0

We Got Huge Through Kickstarter

Out in force on both the main show floor and the secondary tabletop area were Kickstarter funded miniatures games, from "humble" $300,000 dollar grossing companies to folks with multiple $1 million or higher efforts to their name. Jokes aside, some of these companies may fade away within the decade, but it's almost for sure that one or more of them will parlay Kickstarter success into huge, ongoing business. Pay attention to them.

Greenbrier Games

Zpocalypse publisher Greenbrier Games had a great booth where elevated tables provided access to quick, easy demos of their games. I was able to preview their new game Heavy Steam in-depth, and can say that it's one of the most unique resource management games I've ever played. There was also had a fully painted version of Greenbrier's Jim Sterling model for its Zpocalypse game on display. Thank god for that.

Soda Pop Miniatures

Soda Pop Miniatures was out in force, showing off its new companion expansion for Super Dungeon Explore. This company grossed a million dollars on a kickstarter, and it's obvious by the amount of demos running and people passing through their booth, that the chibi art style and dungeon theme of the games are a not-so-secret sauce for success.

Japanime Games

Speaking of Chibi art, the folks from Japanime Games were showing off their game Krosmaster Arena in giant-size form. The game, based on popular French MMOs and Anime Dofus and Wakfu, is a super-light arena skirmish game that's been receiving lots of positive reviews. I didn't see them showing off even a prototype of their recently-funded expansion Frigost, though.

MERCs Miniatures & Megacon Games

MERCS Miniatures has been around for a while now, but got a major popularity boost from their successful Kickstarter for cooperative fantasy miniatures game MYTH. The attractive sculpts of MERCS models were drawing a lot of praise from attendees, and their staff definitely won the award for friendliest, most outgoing booth at the con.

Cool Mini Or Not

Cool Mini or Not was showing off a veritable wall of Zombicide copies at PAX, and demoing their new game Rivet Wars to all comers. After pulling in $2.25 million on their Zombicide: Season 2 Kickstarter last year, Cool Mini or Not has definitely established themselves as one of the premier capitalizers of the miniatures game revolution that Kickstarter has allowed.

Privateer Press Goes Family

One of the big surprises at the show was Privateer Press' new game Zombies Keep Out, a family-friendly horde defense game that plays out in a frenzy of chaos and hilarity. The players must collect various parts to build insane weapons to fend off the zombie hordes, and they are truly ridiculously maniacal creations like water blasters and zombiphage cannons. The best part is that the more you get bit, the more zombified you become, forcing you to lose your ability to speak with other players. You can't talk in complex phrases at first, then you can only gesture, and eventually you're reduced to making groaning noises and not moving only. It's due to release this month. Just when I thought I was completely done with zombie games, people, they give it a cartoonish twist and they drag me back in.

There was, of course, the requisite amount of Warmachine, Hordes, and Level 7: Omega Protocol prettiness on display. See gallery above.

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