A lot of great games are coming out at Essen SPIEL ’16. Almost too many great games. I wish I could grab them all, but money (and room) gets in the way of such foolish dreams. I’ve made list after list to narrow the field of games down, but only partially succeeded. I do however have some clear favorites.
A game heavily inspired by one of my favourite games Among the Stars. Designed by the same designer. These to facts had me hooked from the second I read about it. It shares a lot with its older sibling: card drafting and spatial placement of the square cards. Personally I will miss the sci-fi theme, but I can see how this will appeal to a broader audience. This is more than made up for, with quick set-up time and the additional resources to juggle. Can’t wait to get my hands on this.
A first-person shooter board game, without dice, that’s actually an euro game in a very clever disguise. It sounds crazy I know, but crazy in a good way. A game that has area control mechanism and resources management is already of to a good start in my book. Add to that a very different and unique twist to this in the form of the first-person shooter theme and you’ve peaked my interest for sure. It’s a dark horse I know, but it sounds like a lot of fun and it’s a game I’m definitely getting .
Bruno Cathala is one of my favourite designers and IELLO one of my favourite publishers, so of course I was very interested when I learned about the game. Kanagawa is stunningly beautiful and combines a sort of card drafting (with a bidding system) with set collection. With a few very nice twists. Cards can either be used as the painting or for special abilities, and the game has a push your luck element to it too. A well designed, well produced and beautiful game. How can you say no to that?
I had a chance to try this one out at UK Games Expo and man am I glad I did. Allow me to quote myself: “It’s very original in its design and mechanisms. You roll dice and draft them, then spend these dice to buy new buildings (or upgrade them). This will let you roll more dice in the future and give you various special abilities, so you build your own little combo engine. It feels a lot like a combo deck building game, but with out the hassle of drawing cards.“. I pre-ordered this as soon as I could.
Imperial Settlers has a special place in my heart. Not only is it on my Top 6 Games list, it’s also the first game to get a perfect rating of 6 (out of 6). I’ve enjoyed the game and the last expansion so much that a new expansion, that gives me not only new cards, but also a new faction to play with, is something I simply must pick up.
One of the big hits at last years Essen SPIEL was 7 Wonders: Duel. A fantastic 2-player re-design of the popular game 7 Wonders. The dynamic duo that is Bruno Cathala and Antoine Bauza has teamed up again to add an extra layer to their already great game. An expansion I needs to come home with, along with the optional metal coins of course (I’m a sucker for metal coins).