Last weekend, we attended a day of experimental games hosted by Come Out and Play, New York's annual street games festival. Teams of intrepid game designers converged on Governor's Island with boxes full of foam swords, hoola hoops, wolf masks, airplane wings, and traffic cones. Lots of traffic cones.
We only got to play a few of the games on the docket, but we were floored by the diversity of game mechanics on display. Our impressions can be found below, but see also the CoaP Field Day website for reasonably detailed descriptions of most events.
Wild Blue Yonder
Freeze tag with balloons and airplane noises! (We may have been the only ones making airplane noises. Shame on everyone else.) Players adorned themselves with cardboard wings and plastic aviator scarves, then played freeze tag for control of balloons scattered across the playing field. The props breathed new life into a familiar play experience.
Into the Woods
A collection of games centered around a folk tale premise: human villagers vs hungry wolves. The first round was essentially a game of "Are You A Werewolf?" (aka. Mafia), where the players took turns accusing one another of werewolfitry. In another, two blindfolded players, one villager and one wolf, tried to navigate a "whispering forest" formed by their teammates. The remaining rounds were played in a circle with villagers and wolves facing off in the center. It was a great format for party games: simplicity, variety, and social interaction. We were particularly impressed by how well each game supported the general theme.
Hoola Hoop Obstacle Loop
Everything's a challenge when you're falling-down drunk or, in this case, dizzy. More of a race than a game, this one demonstrated how easily fun can be assembled from simple props. Players had to spins themselves around a hoola hoop ten times, then throw some balls through a hoola hoop and run a boot camp style obstacle course... made of hoola hoops.
And The Rest
We missed Suntrial and Mont Trottoir (the sidewalk parkour game) in their entirety, but at least snapped a few photos of Hunter-Gatherer and Killer Queen (the boffer game with balls).
Thanks to the CoaP crew for orchestrating the event. We just wish we could've spent the whole month in NYC and played their street games, too.