Saturday, June 6, 2015

Obligatory 2015 Origins Game Fair Post: Top 5 List

Hello everyone!  Sorry it’s been so long since my last post.  I’d give a good reason but I think laziness is the only excuse I have!  However, I have a bunch of posts planned and this will be the start.  Origins GameFair is one of the major boardgame conventions in the United States.  It is currently being held in Columbus, Ohio and is already underway for this year.  This has become a larger convention over the years but still doesn’t hold a candle to Essen Spiel or Gen Con.   

However, some companies are starting to release games at Origins and this post will be my top five interests from the games that are specifically debuting at Origins.  What I mean by this is that they are the games that are being debuted for the first time and are actually being sold at the convention.  Most of my “top so-and-so” lists are in three parts.  The first part is my honorable mentions while the second and third parts are my games 6-10 and then games 1-5 respectively.  However, in looking through Eric M. Martin’s excellent list on BoardGameGeek there aren’t that many debuts that I’m interested in.  What that means, for me, is that I’m only going to do this one post on Origins and give my top five interests of the convention.  Enjoy!

Bring Out Yer Dead gameplay
Bring Out Yer Dead is a game by designer Arron Watts and published by Upper Deck Entertainment.  This is Upper Deck’s first foray into a Euro-style game and I think it is an interesting choice.  I saw this game back when it was on Kickstarter and toyed with backing it a couple of times but in the end decided not to.  Now it has been picked up by a major publisher and they seem to be doing a really good job in marketing it and pushing it out to the game-buying public.  This is a fairly macabre game where you are the head of a family who is trying to get their deceased family members into the best burial plots.  You are using set collection, area control, and card drafting mechanics to attempt to get influence points in order to be the top family in the city.  Put your family members in the best plots, rob graves, and bribe the grave keeper so he doesn’t throw your family into the river to be washed away.  It may be a little morbid, but it looks like a ton of fun, Tim Burton in a boardgame!  I’m glad that Upper Deck took a chance to bring this interestingly-themed game to the market.

Extra! Extra! gameplay
Extra! Extra! is a game by designer Andrew Bond and is published by Mayfair Games.  Extra! Extra! is a newspaper-themed game (much like Tabletop Deathmatch winner, Penny Press) where you are attempting to gain circulation points in order to win.  This game uses auction, set collection, tile placement, and worker placement mechanics in order to score the player points.  Your goal is to get the biggest and best stories on the front and back pages of a newspaper.  You get more points for the larger stories and even more for extras and those stories that are in you expertise.  This looks like a fun worker placement game with interesting tile placement in order to create your newspaper columns.  I’m looking forward to seeing even more about this game!

Parfum gameplay
Parfum is a game by designers Marco Ruskowski and Marcel Subelbeck and published by Queen Games.  This is another successful game funded and created by Kickstarter mainstays: Queen Games.  This is a beautiful looking games with gorgeous components that was very hard not to help fund while it made its Kickstarter rounds.  However, I was able to keep my finger off the mouse button and withhold my money for another time.  Now, it is great to see that it has come out and is being release at this year’s Origins.  Parfum is basically a set collection and dice rolling game where you are collecting “ingredients” in order to create perfumes.  You use different die in which stand for different ingredients and roll these and hope to get enough to be able to create the specific perfume.  Then, you turn around and sell these perfumes to customers who have very specific likes and dislikes.  This game just looks beautiful and fun and I’m hoping I get a chance to try it out!

The Voyages of Marco Polo gameplay
The Voyages of Marco Polo is a game designed by Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini and published by Z-Man Games.  This is a game with quite a pedigree as Luciani and Tascini were the co-creators of the popular Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar.  This game is absolutely beautiful!  The colors are bright, it has a ton of colorful dice, and the board is just a stunning work of art.  In this game you have a small pool of five die which you will roll in order to take actions.  I love this idea as it takes the dice rolling aspect and puts it into a more classic Euro-style pick-up and deliver game.  I love how games are beginning to marry both ideas of “Euro-games” and “Ameritrash-games” to create clever and beautifully designed work of art!  I am very much looking forward to trying this game out.

La Granja gameplay
La Granja is a game designed by Michael Keller and Andreas Odendahl and published by Stronghold Games.  This game was originally released in Europe under the Spielworxx banner.  Spielworxx are known for their fairly heavy Euro-style games such as the brain-burner, Arkwright.  La Granja finds the player taking control of a farm and using cards and dice rolling in order to get goods which you will then sell or use for other things.  This game has been called the love-child of an Uwe Rosenberg game and a Stefan Feld game.  From what I’ve seen of it so far it seems pretty close to the truth.  There are many ways of getting points and the action selections allow you to do that.  This game also uses one of my very favorite mechanisms, multi-use cards.  I love when a game takes the cards and gives you multiple ways of using them.  This gives you so many different actions and decisions and just gives the game a deeper and richer experience.  This game looks awesome and I can’t wait to get it in my hands!

These are just some of the great looking games that are out now at Origins Game Fair and I wish I was there to pick them up!  I would like to give a quick shout out to DarkMoon, designed by Evan Derrick and published by Stronghold Games.  This game would have been #6 on my list as it just missed!  It is a deduction style game where everyone has variable powers and it plays up to seven people.  This looks quite interesting and would really add to a style of game that we don’t really have in our collection currently.

I hope you enjoyed this look at my top five (or six) interests from this year’s Origins Game Fair.  I hope to actually do a week of unboxings (one per day or five total that week) in the next couple of weeks.  After that I will start to work on my Gen Con posts for this year as it is rapidly approaching and I am getting SUPER excited about this year’s releases!  Thanks again for reading.  Until next time, game on!

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