FAMILIAR AND FRIENDLY
Casual Game Insider|Winter 2022
The true staples were all still in place. The Board Room, organized by Buckeye Game Fest and using the Columbus Area Boardgaming Society (CABS) game library, the social deduction/werewolf room, and the UnPub ProtoAlley — where I saw many exciting games in different stages of development — all returned to Origins 2021.

Like every year, the board game-adjacent was adequately represented: cosplayers, anime screenings, and computer gaming. And the authors, like every year, were mostly ignored. This time they were placed in a section of the lobby across from the Exhibit Hall looking mournful. The Origins Film Festival boasted 50 entries this year. And there was a vast assortment of hand-crafted plushies, jewelry, and gorgeous art for all tastes with a slant toward sci-fi and fantasy. There was a hilarious comedy show featuring nerdy comedians Larry XL, Mikey Mason, Violet Gray, and Jimmy Meritt. And around every corner, performers playing music or entertaining us in other ways.

Despite the size of this year’s Origins, the excitement of seeing colorful promotional signs and games was not dampened by the smaller show. I still felt the same wave of dopamine run across my shoulders and down my spine as I walked past table after table of my gaming brethren and sistren. The camaraderie was strong in 2021.

WHAT ABOUT THE GAMES?

Of course, it’s all about the games. Origins may have been half the con it usually is, but it was clear that designers and publishers had been hard at work during the pandemic.

Many of our favorite games saw new editions or got the “deluxe” treatment. IELLO was there with King of Tokyo: Dark Edition, a sleek and darker version of Richard Garfield’s classic family dice chucker. Designer Justin De Witt had Castle Panic: Deluxe Collection on full display in the Fireside Games booth. To be released next year, it is an impressive edition complete with plastic minis and all the expansions.

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