May 26-28 Comicpalooza: Pinball, face paint, and Ultimate Werewolf

So even at an event like Comicpalooza, where I spent about 8 hours volunteering (over two days, Friday and Saturday), I still managed to find some time to get a little pinball in, courtesy of Joystix who brought some arcade games to the event (on free play of course). The lineup consisted of Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic Park, Avengers Infinity Quest, and The Mandalorian, all titles which I have played before (unfortunately I didn’t take notes on if these were Pro, Premium, or LE; I think AIQ was at least a Premium).

The Guardians score was perhaps the highlight of my time behind a pair of flipper buttons: 297.0M+ with no player benefit malfunctions. That’s mainly the result of a couple of good Groot Multiball rounds. The AIQ score was perhaps one of my better runs but not a record breaker.

The Asteroids score was an emulated cabinet that was out on the show floor. I post it only because I feel like 4800 was a good score given the highly unusual control layout: a joystick for rotating, then buttons for shooting, thrust, and hyperspace (X was hyperspace, Y was the fire button, and B was thrust if I remember right; it took significant trial and error to figure this out).

Yeah, I even found a gap in the long line of kids at the face painting booth to sneak in. (I am mindful of when the majority of expected guests at a face painting booth are children and avoid taking time that would have otherwise gone to a child. Had I not seen other adult guests get painted I may have passed on the opportunity, or actually, not considered it an opportunity intended to be open to me.) This pinball-inspired design was done by Cassi Moon who was at the show Friday and Sunday.

The weekend ended with a couple of games of Ultimate Werewolf, which I’m mentioning here in passing as it may well become something I play a lot more often. I’m not giving up pinball, whether competitive or casual play, but I do need to broaden my horizons. For those who have never heard of it, Ultimate Werewolf is a published version based on the original Werewolf game by Andrew Plotkin, which was in turn modified and adapted from Mafia by Dimitry Davidoff.

So yeah, the mysterious number 7 and 16 cards against the carpet of one of the rooms of the George R. Brown convention center are what signify the two games of Ultimate Werewolf. The game doesn’t lend itself easily to documentation nor are the games themselves something I would consider blog-worthy narrative. I will say I was a villager both games, and wound up getting eliminated (“killed off”) prior to the end of both games. Once being lynched as a suspected werewolf, the other having my body taken over by someone with a special role (which is a strange way to end my time in a game, I will admit).

All in all it was an enjoyable weekend, and a very different volunteer experience than what I have been used to. I definitely plan to return to Comicpalooza next year, hopefully with more money to buy from the many vendors on the show floor.