The first game to eke its way onto my honorable mentions list is The World of Yo-Ho, published by Volumique. This game won’t actually see its release until 2015, but they are supposed to have a playable demo of the game at Spiel this year and it looks incredibly interesting. This is another game to take the idea of boardgaming and mix it with an app on your tablet/smart phone. In this game you have a pirate ship (very fantastical, not realistic) and you go through the oceans solving mysteries, defeating sea monsters, and becoming the greatest swashbuckler around. This game uses a board where your phone actually becomes the ship. It uses the phones camera in order to see the board and then places your ship on the apps board. You move your ship around and it will interact with the environments of the board as you come to them. This looks like it will be a fun game that goes even further in creating a mix of traditional boardgames and modern videogames/apps.
The second game to make my honorable mentions list is La Isla, created by Stefan Feld and published by alea. This seems to be a lighter design by the traditionally heavy designer, Feld. You have a circular and modular board where you place animal tokens. You then use hand management in order to get resources which help you to move camp and then take an animal tile. It is essentially another “point salad” game by Feld, but I like how it seems to be a slightly lighter game which may get newer players into his designs.
The third game to sneak its way into the honorable mentions is Tragedy Looper, designed by BakaFire and published in America by Z-Man Games. This game plays out like a murder mystery with deduction elements but has a very interesting twist. The game plays from two to four players with one of the players acting as the mastermind. The mastermind has all of the information and knows the outcome of the scenario while the other one to three players try to figure out the logistics of the murder. What makes this game interesting is that the protagonists have the opportunity to go back in time to try and piece together the mystery while the mastermind tries to foil them and have the murder happen just as it did. I think this grabs the idea of deduction games and makes it so much more interesting! This is just one of many interesting card/boardgames coming out of Japan.
The fourth game to hit the honorable mentions list is Kanban: Automotive Revolution, designed by Vital Lacerda and published by Stronghold Games. This game is a worker placement where you play an ambitious manager who is trying to impress his/her board of directors in order to gain achievements and promotions in their career. You take your workers and move them about the board in order to best manage the assembly line and make yourself the best possible manager. This appears to be another fairly heavy Euro-game release by Stronghold Games along the lines of their other heavy Euro, Panamax (which may or may not appear higher on my top ten list!). I love the idea of this theme and hope the gameplay stands up to that theme.
The final and most interesting game, to make the honorable mentions list is The Convicted, designed and self-published by Mateusz Albricht. This game just looks awesome! The only reason it didn't make the top ten is because I would like to see it played a little more before I jump onto the Kickstarter bandwagon that rolled this game. However, that aside, this game does truly look great. It centers on a group of convicts who have been given a second chance. They are charged with creating a town that will bring greater honor to the king. While they are creating this town they will be attacked by barbarians, warlords, and monsters all while they are creating a new and bustling city. It is a co-operative game which I always seem to like that can also be soloed. It seems to be a city builder where you have to hunker down and do some tower defense in between building. I love the idea and hope it is as awesome and it seems!
This concludes my honorable mentions for the 2014 Essen Spiel. During the next week I will have two more posts up that will be the six through ten games and then the one through five games of my top ten. Until next time, game on!