The Mice and Mystics release continues to crawl closer and closer and the wait gets more agonizing. If you can't stand to wait any more, head down to Buckeye Game Fest here in Columbus, Ohio at the end of this week, September 20-23 and demo the game with me.

Be aware there is a cost to get into Buckeye Game Fest, although besides demoing Plaid Hat stuff, you can play all sorts of games with all sorts of friendly people.

I'll be around all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so stop by our table for some Mice and Mystics, Dungeon Run and Summoner Wars. If you know what you're doing and are willing to teach any newbies, that'd be much appreciated.

Since I'm running these demos, I've had a Mice and Mystics demo copy at my apartment for over a week and have played through a few chapters solo. Wow, this game rocks. I don't think the fun comes through entirely via videos and rules explanations... You have to play it to understand. You've heard a ton about the innovative story and the amazing components, but there's also some great dynamics going on with the mechanics.

For example, I love how, when rolling dice, there's more to the results than just hits and misses... there is cheese (used by mice for abilities, by minions for surges). It builds in a variety of experience and mitigates luck at the same time. If I roll 4 dice and get all misses, chances are I've rang up a couple cheese and can come up with a backup plan. And the opposite is true. It's  relief when a minion goes 0/2 when trying to block my attack, but if he picks up a cheese in the process, foreboding doom is that much closer.

When you pick your first ability, you're not sure what will help the most, but mid game when you're funneling everyone's cheese to one guy because you're in desperate need of a certain ability, it become very strategic. Abilities/items really help add that tactical skill factor that Summoner Wars is so rich in, supported by the fact that the whole cheese system forces you to make tough choices between adding new abilities and paying for current ones. (Sharing cheese among mice is also a big deal--you have to be adjacent and use your free share action to pass it back and forth.)

Finally, I love how the game flows. It's never too rules heavy because each room is taken one at a time; you can't leave until all the minions are defeated. So you just focus on each room as it comes, and 3-4 rules for each of those tiles builds a mega-rich theme into the game.

Of course, the biggest appeal is still the story and the fun that comes with that.

So come out to Buckeye Game Fest if you can this weekend. I'll be there demoing Thursday-Saturday and my friend Adam will be there demoing Friday and Saturday. Stop by, say hi, and play some Plaid Hat with us.

And don't forget to order Mice and Mystics by September 30 to get the pre-order discount.

(To prove our fandom, I've added a recent photo of us each posing as our favorite Dungeon Run character.)