SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Utah board game convention SaltCON Spring event is fast-approaching, and are you game-ready? 

Board gamer and managing organizer of the board game convention, SaltCON, Dale Gifford, has a few game suggestions for both new and experienced gamers. 


In this game, players take turns building out a terrain area and adding wildlife to create the most harmonious ecosystem. This is a puzzle tile-laying and token-drafting game. 

“One of my new favorites. Easy to learn and play, but a lot of variation with the different point scoring cards,” Gifford said. 


A party game with six rounds where players will write down six different things each round, hoping to either match or write the most unique thing. The player with the most points wins. 

“This is one of my favorite games, and I have been teaching it and gifting it to a lot of family and friends. It is great with a group of people young and old. Crazy and funny to go through the answers that people write down,” Gifford said. 

Creature Comforts

Play as a family of forest creatures to prepare for the winter. You take your critters out through spring, summer, and fall, gaining supplies through strategy and dice rolls. The family with the most comfortable den wins the game. 

“Another one of my new favorites. How will you assign your workers, and will you effectively use the available dice?” Gifford said. 


In Everdell, you must gather resources, construct new buildings, meet characters, and host events. This is a dynamic tableau building and worker placement game. 

“This one is very popular but I just finally had the chance to learn it. I liked it and am looking forward to playing it more,” Gifford said. 


In this game, each player must create a wildlife space without cages or fences. Animals also need their natural wildlife. For instance, a bat needs rocks, bush and water, and a zebra needs grass and water. There are 68 different animal tiles to choose from. 

“I really like this one as well. There are many ways to score points if you can meet the requirements of the tile,” Gifford said.  

If you’re new at gaming, and aren’t sure exactly how to start learning, Gifford suggests going online. 

“There’s a bunch of great videos out there. There’s so many podcasts, there’s so many reviewers, so many video walkthroughs. There’s usually a ton of great videos to get a better idea of the games, and I see people do that at the big board game conventions,” Gifford said. 

However, if you prefer a more social interaction, Gifford suggests SaltCON. During the convention, attendees have a chance to learn new games by other attendees who understand that game.

Simply grab a “teacher wanted sign” to find these individuals, or if you’re feeling friendly, you can grab a “players wanted sign.” That way, if someone is walking around the convention on their own or with a friend, they can have the opportunity to learn a new game with a group of people.”

“As everybody retreats into their personal devices, you can’t even get them to look up,” Gifford said. “What we really need right now is dialogue. We need face-to-face interaction, group thinking, and cooperation. So many games are cooperative and RPG (role playing games) are cooperative,” Gifford said. 

Tickets for SaltCON’s Spring convention March 2 – 5 are planned to sell out. Gifford suggests getting your tickets soon.