The third game to make my Gen Con 2015 honorable mentions list is The Golden Ages, designed by Luigi Ferrini and distributed in the United States by Stronghold Games. This is a strong Euro-styled game that was released overseas last year at Essen Spiel and was only available in extremely limited quantities. Stronghold Games then picked up on American rights for the game and it will be ready to be released at Gen Con. I saw gameplay of The Golden Ages and it looked incredibly interesting. It is a civilization building game that uses area control, drafting, tile placement and worker placement as its game mechanics. I will say that the look of the game could possibly be a little more interesting but the graphic design and modular placements of the board really give it an interesting feel and look. This is a game that may eventually be a buy for me, but I’d have to research a few more gameplay videos before pulling the trigger on it.
The fourth game to make the list is Flip City, designed by Chen Zhifan and distributed in the United States by Tasty MinstrelGames and Homosapiens Lab. This game is a city-building card game that uses deck-building and press-your-luck mechanics in its gameplay. This game only came on my radar recently as I had never heard of it before. You take a very small deck and in classic, deck-building style use your cards to buy better cards. There are a few things that make this game more interesting that your classic deck-builder. First of all is the press-your-luck element. In this game you can actually bust before being able to spend your points on other cards. That is an element that isn’t present in any deck-builder that I’ve ever heard of. Secondly, this game is a small box game. Most deck-builders tend to be grand in scope as they have a ton of different decks to add and take out of the gameplay experience to give you the replayability. Lastly, this game uses an incredibly interesting flip mechanic (thus the name) where you can spend your points to flip the cards over to the other side and get a different (and usually better) building to use in later turns. I am massively intrigued by this game and fully expect that I will pick it up very soon as it has a low price point for what appears to be a game with great decisions.
The last game to make my list (and the closest honorable mention game to making the top 10 Gen Con 2015 list) is the Takenoko: Chibis expansion to the 2011 Antoine Bauza game, Takenoko. Takenoko: Chibis is also designed by Antoine Bauza (with co-design credit going to Corentin Lebrat) and is distributed by Bombyx, Matagot, and Asmodee. This game adds more to a game that I already love and thus make my honorable mentions list. The only reason that this didn’t make it higher on my list is simply because it is an expansion. While I am highly interested I feel that since it isn’t a full game I need to bump it down the list a little. This may not be a fair point, but, c’est la vie. The Chibis expansion will add more tiles, cards, tokens, bamboo pieces and another miniature (this one of a female panda) to the game. I am really looking forward to see what this adds to the base game of Takenoko and if it is an “essential” expansion or not.
I am going to mention one more game before signing off. This is Viceroy, designed by Yuri Zhuravlev and distributed in the United States by MaydayGames. This is a fantastic “pyramid-building” game that uses auctioning, set collection, and tableau building as its primary game mechanics. This game is awesome - my wife and I love it! The reason that it didn’t make my “official” list (and rest assured it would have been in the top 5 easily) of Gen Con 2015 interests is because we already have it. We backed it on Kickstarter and just recently got our copy. We have already played it a bunch of times and love it. I just wanted to give it some love and let you know that it is debuting at Gen Con and will have a limited run of about 300 copies there. If you’re going to Gen Con and love tableau building games that this should be an early stop so you can pick it up!
This concludes my honorable mentions of Gen Con 2015. Come back here tomorrow for my games 6-10 of the convention and in two days for my games 1-5. As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments. Also, let me know what your top interests of Gen Con 2015 are! Until next time, game on!