Many prototype board games were on display this year at Gen Con, from companies large and small, as well as individual designers. There was a special playtesting room called First Exposure organized by Gen Con. Several designers had their games out in the pick-up-and-play room. And in the evening, a loosely organized group of designers met for mutual support in the large gaming hall.

Here are just a few that caught my attention in the exhibit hall:

Jungle Ascent from 5th Street Games is styled after Donkey Kong. The board is built during play and the goal of the players is to make their way to the top. Each turn, a player has the option to build a path upward with platforms and ladders or play hazards to interfere with opponents’ movement. Hazards can include crushers, which move down through the platforms, and fireballs, which rise.

Linear, from Catalyst Game Labs, is an abstract game of stringing together lines. On each turn, every player gets to add the same number of markers in their color, as long as all the markers placed that turn fall in a single line. At the end of the game, every line scores points but the longer lines score more points.

The Great Heartland Hauling Company is a light pick-up-and-deliver game played with fuel and freight-bill cards on a variable board made of location cards. Dice Hate Me Games currently has it as a Kickstarter project with 14 days left to go.