Gaming Sessions Every Saturday: Play Board Games with GEEKMO Student Club
What’s the best way to have fun in the fall? That’s right: play board games at ITMO! Every weekend, the GEEKMO student club offers you the chance to try out some of the 100+ games in their collection, including recent titles – and even some developed at ITMO. We asked Vladislav Gaas, an ITMO student and the head of GEEKMO, about the best games to play at the club.
GEEKMOROLECON board games festival. Photo by ITMO Mediaportal
Star Realms: conquer the galaxy and build your own empire! In this, you can assemble a space fleet, equip your bases, and defend them from your opponent’s attacks while seeking out their vulnerabilities for your own advances. May the mightiest win!
Spirit Island: become one with nature to defend an island from unknown invaders. Each player can use their unique natural powers to strengthen the island’s protection and help Dahan, the local tribe. If the invaders get to conquer the island, the spirits lose.
Terraforming Mars: colonize the planet and turn it into an inhabitable environment. Raise its temperature and oxygen levels, cover deserts with oceans, and develop infrastructure. But remember: you are not the only player on the hunt for some land on Mars.
Games for three and more
Sagrada: you are a stained-glass artist who can make a masterpiece worthy of the famous Sagrada Família in Barcelona. The goal is simple: get as many points as you can by following various rules and throwing multicolored dice.
Ghost Letters: here, you get to play detective and solve a mysterious murder with a ghost as your assistant. In this game, one player is murdered and becomes a ghost, while the others turn into detectives and try to piece together the truth. It’s not simple: one of the detectives is actually the murderer, who is doing their best to cover their tracks, and the ghost cannot talk – they can only communicate via pictures. If you are a true detective, you will solve this puzzle, sifting the culprit’s lies from the truth!
Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, and Starfinder – these are all lengthy role-playing games. Each of them involves a game master who writes the story and the game’s setting. A session can last several hours and usually involves 4-5 players. Before they start playing, each player fleshes out their character’s traits: from their appearance to backstory and skills. You can be a swordsman turned treasure hunter, a druid protecting a forest, or an assassin ready to serve any customer. During the game, players make decisions that change the story, while the game master makes sure that everything stays within the outlined setting. Each session is unique and full of new experiences.
These days, GEEKMO’s game collection features over 100 titles – with regularly added new releases, such as the following:
ITMO.Game: you get to play as an ITMO student who spends eight semesters at the university and has the chance to become the best graduate. This game, meant for ITMO first-years, was developed by Anastasia Bogacheva, a recent graduate of the Bachelor’s program Computer Technologies in Design and now a Master’s student at the Institute of International Development and Partnership.
The board game is meant to help newcomers to adapt to their studies at ITMO and learn about all the extracurricular activities. Just like in real life, in the game, students go to classes, perform in ITMO.Megabattle, ride with the Rector, win the I Am a Professional contest, and present their research at ITMO Open Science Rocks and the Congress of Young Scientists. By joining various activities, players spend their energy to earn points. You win if you pass all your exams, but the very top spot goes to the player with the most points.
You can try out ITMO.Game and share your impressions with its creator at GEEKMO’s Saturday gaming sessions throughout October. After that, Anastasia is planning to add some improvements and secure funding for the game’s release.
Zombie Kittens: a new Halloween edition of the popular game Exploding Kittens. Here, players have to evade each other – and exploding kittens – to survive a zombie apocalypse. The kittens can be neutralized with special cards, but eventually the deck will have only exploding kittens. Who will survive?
Shamans: you need to perform an ancient ritual to save the shadow-ruled spirit world – or destroy it. The game’s mechanics are similar to Mafia: the players here also secretly divide into two teams – shamans and shadows – who play against each other. Shamans work to save the spirit world, while shadows – to conquer it. It seems like a team game, but only a single player wins – the one who’s the first to earn 8 points and settle the fate of the spirit world.
How to attend a gaming session at GEEKMO
The sessions are held every Saturday at the library on Lomonosova campus. The events are open to staff and students, as well as their guests. Every participant has to register before each session: you have to fill in a form until 3 pm on the day preceding the session.
Every Monday, the club posts the schedule for the upcoming week. At a session, participants can choose to play in their own groups or join a role-playing game. If you have a penchant for a specific game, you can request it in advance by sending a message to the club’s VK page. And if you are new to board games or a particular game, the club’s members are always ready to assist you.