MY INCREDIBLY LATE DEXCON REVIEW!
KATE THE GEEKY REDHEAD 15-JULY-2015 I want to apologize for the lateness of this review. My computer decided that it no longer likes its own hard drive during a month that has already been incredibly busy for me. Clearly, that presents a problem to creating typed documents.
Thank goodness for a semi-working laptop.
I was thrilled to be there to be honest. It was the first con where I was given a press badge so I totally had a “OMG I’M LOIS LANE” moment. I wish I could have seen my friend and editor Amber Love the day before, but it was great to be there.
As a confession, I’m not a giant board game person. That has less to do with the games themselves and more with several particularly bad experiences playing board games with hyper competitive gamers. Nothing wrong with that mind you, it’s just incredibly not me. I prefer casual and light hearted. Co-op. So I was a little nervous about this con, would this be a crowd that I would have anything in common with?
Turns out, yes, yes it was. The con staff were incredibly friendly as were the dealers, vendors, and the game creators.
Honestly the layout of the con is the only criticism I have. It’s mostly on one floor, which is great, but it’s difficult to figure out where the different parts are. My group and I actually wandered into several of the game rooms trying to find the information booth to pick up badges. This is partially just due to the shape of the venue however a few more signs and this is by no means a major complaint. A few more signs along the walls would be fantastic though!
The hallways themselves are fairly wide so they are accessible for folks in mobility devices. The elevators between the con and the parking garage are adequate – a little cramped but functional. I found the garage to be somewhat confusing to navigate but the parking fees weren’t bad (*Editor’s Note: the Hyatt will validate parking so it should be free for all con attendees.). By the way, there is an Indian and a Chinese restaurant as part of the complex. If you eat at one of them, you get four hours of parking free.
I didn’t get to explore the nearby areas at all, only being in for one day. The con itself had some food offerings that I didn’t try – mostly because there was a vendor selling geek themed cupcakes. There was Mountain Dew cupcake. You understand why this took priority to me…
As I mentioned, there are some restaurants in the building. Excellent food but a little pricey. If you are on a budget, I would bring something from home. In terms of diet restrictions… I would probably also bring at least snacks that you know you can eat. I was able to eat as a semi-Kosher Jew (no pork, don’t mix milk and meat… usually).
Small but great!
I would have liked to see a few more vendors just because – let’s face it- I love shopping. What they had though was quality over quantity. There were several board game vendors (of course) with a wide variety of games. I was pleased to see my personal favorites like Gloom around. One vendor has old console games for the Super Nintendo and other early systems.
There were also vendors for LARPs as well, with a nice selection of fantasy clothing, bracers, umbrellas, shawls and dresses. In addition, there was a steampunk vendor with some vintage military accessories and jewelry.
Of course my favorite booth was probably the tea booth – they sold fancy loose tea. I bought a small bag of 9th Doctor inspired tea and some flavored honey sticks. Because… honey sticks damn it. Honey sticks!
I saw two or three people in cosplay, one of whom was in my group. I was, for the first time since maybe 2009, not in costume myself. I wasn’t surprised though next year I will probably wear my Dragon Age cosplay.
Saving the best for last….
The point of the con is, of course, gaming!
I loved that I didn’t run into any “I’m the best gamer ever” folks. Everyone I spoke to was genuinely warm and cheerful. When I talked to them about the kind of games I like, they were happy to make suggestions that were legitimately things along my interests. I got to demo the game Bad Medicine which was a BLAST. I actually can’t wait for that game to come out and suspect I will be buying a copy for myself. It’s a fun game where you create medicines to cure outrageous ailments and then have to come up with a sales pitch for the medicine. In addition, you have to explain why the side effects are not really that bad. It reminded me a lot of Snake Oil, which I love as well.
I also bought a little game for myself called Elevenses, a game of afternoon tea. It was an inexpensive impulse buy because the idea of serving afternoon tea in a game amused me. My friends and I figure it out while waiting for a raffle drawing to finish and I have to say that it is a pleasant little game. It’s a deck based game where your goal is to set out the nicest afternoon tea spread, while trying to prevent the other players from laying out a nicer spread. You can also end the round early if you think it’s in your best interest and you have the right card.
I would honestly suggest this con for people who are new to board games or have had trouble finding their board game genre. Nearly everyone there is genuinely in love with their games and would really enjoy helping you figure out what games would be fun for you. While I have played games like Gloom, King of Tokyo, etc, I don’t know a lot of the board game lingo. Nobody rushed to correct me and, while I’m sure there was at least one jerk floating around because there is always at least one, the atmosphere is warm and pleasant.
I didn’t run into any mansplaining, nobody made crude comments to me in or outside of the con. One vendor even made point of avoiding mansplaining by stopping himself and asking if my (female) friend and I were already familiar with the subject before he started in, saying that he didn’t want to mansplain us.
I would really suggest this con for someone looking for a small, relaxed con environment to hang out with friends!
Kate Foil is a hyperactive redhead drawn to games with shiny objects and whimsical artwork. She can currently be found trying to save her computer with unicorn summoning circles. As well as on Twitter at GamerNationGirl and Facebook at The Geeky Redhead.