I have been to a lot of conventions over the years, from giant ones like Gencon to tiny local cons. Rincon's one day fundraisers, taking up about three meeting rooms at the hotel, isn't even the smallest one I've been to.
I feel like every time I go to a Rincon event, fundraiser or the actual full con, I keep on having a better and better time. If it isn't well organized, they hide it well. Everyone is friendly and even the fundraisers have good game libraries.
I didn't have any problems finding games to spend the entire afternoon playing. When one group that I was playing with had to leave, I was able to find another to sit down with. Highlights included finally getting to play both Forbidden Desert and TAJ. The low light was Konexi.
While I honestly think that Forbidden Island has a definite place in my collection as a really easy cooperative to teach with plenty of eye candy, Forbidden Desert definitely takes the mechanics up a notch as well as the narrative. It definitely is not a simplified version of Pandemic, which I think is a reasonable description of Forbidden Island. Incidentally, we all died of thirst pretty quickly, which brought back memories of Outdoor Survival.
TAJ is one of the more complex and gamer-oriented games in the first series of Pack O Games. I haven't played GEM so I don't know if it is the most complex. It is a game of hitting goals and price manipulation as you try to get your favored rugs to be worth the most.
While I did enjoy it and I am glad to have gotten in the three player game, since I think two player game would not have done it justice, I was left wondering if actually had too many moving parts, mechanically speaking, for its short playing time. On the other hand, I would cheerfully play it again a few more times before deciding that.
Konexi is a dexterity game and a word game. It definitely has a nice toy factor with the large and stackable plastic letters that you to use. However, I felt like you were really limited in your choices. I also thought that including letters like Q and X made it harder to make words.
Rincon in its various forms continues to not disappoint.