Hey Gamers! I wanted to do a not-so-quick post (there’s a lot I want to say, so it’s gonna be long, okay?) to recount my latest PAXU experience! As always, I had a great time. It was my first year with a media badge, and it was a great privilege to have, so I’m very appreciative of that, thanks PAX! I felt like it helped me make more connections with publishers, which was awesome! Without further ado, let’s dive in!

General Pros & Cons of the Show

I want to preface this with saying that I don’t know how much of this is on PAX vs the convention center or other factors (i.e. there was another convention happening the same weekend) but these are just things based off my personal experience:

+ Queue line moved quickly each day
+ Sky bridge being opened made it easy to get to the show every day and not brave the outdoors
+ Security was quick, even if you had to have a bag checked
+ Expo lanes were wide enough to allow traffic to keep moving even when others were stopped at booths
+ Enforcers were incredibly helpful in the First Look area, offering to teach games and answer questions
– Bad layout; it was a bit confusing to navigate at times, the 1st floor rooms were also not all accessible from the same elevators which was just annoying
– There was a lot of trash overflow on the show floor and in the bathrooms
– The freeplay area filled up very quickly Friday and Saturday, so more gaming tables would have been nice

Publisher Meetings

I sat down with Rock Manor Games, WizKids, Van Ryder Games, CGE, Wise Wizard Games, and Forever Stoked Creative, plus had a few impromptu conversations with other designers/publishers. Here are the highlights:

Rock Manor:

  • A new expansion for Set a Watch is coming to Kickstarter Q1 2023 entitled Forsaken Isle. It will feature a lot of familiarity as well as a new mechanisms such as Runes and Doom Tokens. It will also feature new characters such as the Merchant, the Fire Sorceress, and the Corsair.
  • The late pledge for Seas of Havoc is still open! This game has a bit of deckbuilding, resource collection, worker placement, and combat, and a whole lot of pirate coolness! It looks great and I’m excited to see the finished product.
  • Maximum Apocalypse: Wasted Wilds is coming to backers soon. The is the 3rd big box of the game, and introduces an environmental focus, which is sure to be an interesting change for players.
  • Keep an eye out for my reviews coming soon of Set a Watch & Merchants of Magick! Thanks to Mike and Sam for meeting with media groups!


  • WizKids is experimenting with more miniatures / DnD tie-ins (i.e. plushies for the new movie, bag of teeth, foam models, and more) in an effort to help make a more immersive experience for players. They even have some miniatures that go back to the history of DnD with some of the original monsters. I don’t play a lot of DnD myself, but all the new products I saw look incredible!
  • They are also a company that has access to a lot of licenses, so they want to make full use of those. We specifically discussed 2 upcoming Marvel games that I for one am stoked about!
    • Marvel: Age of Heroes is an X-Men (my favorite!) themed game which has worker placement, similar to Lords of Waterdeep (same designer, fun fact) and then battle phases. To me it sounded similar to the old X-Men games from the 90s, but more strategic, which will be awesome
    • Marvel Damage Control is a deckbuilding game where there will be a rubble pile of mish mash, which is a neat way to get cards. I think it will be interesting because cards in your deck don’t score at the end; you have to choose when in the game to add them to the vault, so it’ll be a fun balancing act there.
  • Keep an eye out for reviews of a paint kit and Fantasy Realms soon! Thanks to Emily for meeting with me!

Van Ryder Games:

  • I got a chance to check out Final Girl which seems right up my alley. This love letter to horror movies solo game has a focus on hand management with your character trying to save people, heal, gather supplies, and so on, and it really tries to work with the horror theme to do it justice, so I can’t wait to play a full game.
  • We also briefly discussed the Graphic Novel Adventures series, and a new set is coming soon which will include 4 new books feature a Sherlock story, a zombie story, and more.
  • Keep an eye out for reviews of Final Girl, and 2 GNA reviews Dark Mage & Your Theme Park. Thanks to Julie for meeting with me!

Czech Games Edition (CGE):

  • I got a close up look at Starship Captains which sounds so cool! It has some tableau/engine building, action selection, hand management, and various tracks and missions. It’s a little bit of all things sci-fi in one neatly wrapped up game, looks good on the table, and I can not wait to play it!
  • I also saw Deal with the Devil which, I’ll admit, looks kind of daunting, but I am beyond excited for it. It has an app to facilitate a lot of the hidden role/trade stuff, which I think will work really well. It is a 4-player only game, which is weird, but I understand why it is necessary. It’s definitely a heavier game, but I think the theme will really pull gamers in.
  • I also caught a glimpse that a new expansion for Lost Ruins of Arnak is in the works!
  • Keep an eye out for a review of both Starship Captains and Deal with the Devil coming soon! Thanks to Nathan for meeting with me!

Wise Wizard Games:

  • We spoke a little bit about Robot Quest Arena, which looks so adorable! I like that you can’t really ‘die’ in the game, and you always come back and keep playing to hit different win conditions. Looking forward to seeing this one when it comes out.
  • We then talked about (and played!) KAPOW! which is a simple dice chucker but with the fun mechanism of building some of your dice. Not a lot of games do that, and I think it is really cool. It works well in this one, so I’m excited to play it more.
  • Keep an eye out for a review of KAPOW! and Hero Realms soon. Thanks to Debbie for meeting with me!

Forever Stoked Creative:

  • I took the megabooth tour and got an overview of a bunch of neat games. For one, Master Dater is a new Cyanide and Happiness game that plays in the same vein as Snake Oil where you are trying to sell a single on your available date. It’s silly and can get really creative with the right group
  • Kumite: The Card Game is coming soon and is a 2 player game where you are playing cards to try and gain control of the 5 available areas. Points and abilities on cards also change things up a bunch.
  • Made Up Movies is on it’s way to backers now, and it’s all about pitching fake reboots on the fly, and dealing with questions from execs to convince everyone your movie is the best!
  • Finally, Team3 is a game for 3 where one person can’t speak but must communicate information, one can’t see but must build with the information, and one can speak but can’t help build. It sounds super silly and wild and fun! Thanks to the team for showing me, and other media peeps, around!


  • I very briefly spoke to the designer of CATastrophe who was nice enough to give me a copy to review, so keep an eye out soon!
  • I also stopped by the Thunderworks booth and caught up with Tim Virnig a bit who told me about their upcoming Kickstarter for Metrorunner, which looks awesome, and he assured me there is more in the works as well! He was also nice enough to give me a puzzle with some great Roll Player art, so I’m excited for that


I did actually have time for games too! It was a lot from the First Look area, which was awesome, since that was a lot of the stuff I was most interested in. I’ll highlight there in more detail with my reactions in my December new-to-me list, but here’s what I got played:

  • Only One Collection
  • Come Together
  • Die Wandelnden Turme
  • Piazza Rabazza
  • 12 Rivers
  • Pokemon Trading Card Game
  • Vivarium
  • Dracula: Walpugis Night
  • Touch It
  • Don’t Wake the Dragon!
  • World Splitters
  • Lawyer Up
  • Shapers of Gaia
  • Treehouse Diner
  • Beer & Bread
  • KAPOW!
  • Tiwanaku
  • Swindler
  • Take a Seat
  • Deities
  • Applejack
  • Etariya

I really wish I could have played Lacrimosa, Woodcraft, and/or Revive, but the tables were always full for those unfortunately, so maybe in the future!

That’s a wrap on PAXU 2022! Can’t wait for next year! 😀