Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Obligatory 2016 Gen Con Post Part II: Top 5 Reprints/Re-implementations
Hey all! And we’re back for post number two! This post will take a look at a different section of games that are debuting at Gen Con 2016. This particular post will tackle my top 5 game reprints and/or re-implementations of games that have been released. There tend to be two different types that I have on this year’s list and they are the games that are seeing their first English language release and the games that have been re-implemented into a different but similar game to their “parent” game. Keep reading and you can take a look at the different games that have made this list and you’ll probably get a better idea of what I’m talking about. Before we tackle this list however, feel free to read my first post which are my top 5 game expansions debuting at Gen Con this year.
Is everyone back? Woot! Alright, let’s go ahead and find out what games are getting a new edition, re-release, or re-implementation and are making it onto my top 5 list for this post. These are all games I’m very interested in and a couple will have a pre-order put in relatively soon as I’m that interested in them. These are all games that have been confirmed to be at the convention unless something crazy happens. So read on my friends…and enjoy!
Arkwright is an economic and industry simulation that is designed by Stefan Risthaus and will be released at Gen Con in this English printing by Capstone Games. This game was originally released at Essen Spiel 2014 by the fantastic German publisher, Spielworxx. Capstone Games picked up the English rights for the game and are reprinting it in a big, beautiful edition that will debut at Gen Con 2016. This game is a very weighty economic simulation where the players are each running up to four factories which they want to build up in order to have the most valuable block of shares by the end of the game. There are many different actions that you are able to take and there is where the weight really seems to come into play. There are many different decision points in this game and I think that is why it can be a somewhat intimidating game. This is one that I don’t know I’ll ever get to play as it is probably too heavy for my wife, but I would most definitely like to try it one of these days to see how good it really is and thus it get my honorable mention!
Tides of Madness is a two-player only, card-drafting game that is designed by Kristian Čurla and will be released at Gen Con by Portal Games. This game is a re-implementation of last year’s Portal Games’ release, Tides of Time. This game takes the idea of the original and adds madness tokens to the mix. This forces the player to watch even more carefully during the drafting so they don’t get too many of the madness tokens and go mad. When you go mad in this game, you lose! This game is a super simple idea where each player starts out with a hand of five cards and chooses one while passing the rest to their opponent. Each player is trying to get different sets of icons which will score them different amounts of points during the end of the round. After three rounds a victor is determined unless someone goes mad before that. Em and I love Tides of Time and Tides of Madness just seems to up the fun quotient with its added mechanism.
Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails is a route-building, card-drafting, set-collection, train game designed by Alan R. Moon and will be released at this year’s Gen Con by Days of Wonder. This game re-implements the original, Spiel des Jahres winner, Ticket to Ride, and adds some more mechanisms to the already fantastic gameplay. This game takes the original route building and adds boats and harbors into the mix. This game uses split decks where the player is able to either grab from the train or from the ship deck in order to complete their routes and score points throughout the game. Like the previous United Kingdom and Pennsylvania map, this map also has two different sides. On one side you are able to play on a map of the world, and on the other you are able to play on a map of the Great Lakes in the United States. Em and I love Ticket to Ride and this just looks like another re-implementation of that fantastic game which adds in small, but great, differences. I really want to try this game out although the high price tag may exclude us from purchasing it, at least for a little while!
Potion Explosion is a puzzle, set-collection, pattern-recognition game that will be released (in an English version) at Gen Con by Cool Mini or Not in their newer line of games that aren’t quite as epic as their huge box, Kickstarter games like Zombicide. This game was originally released at Essen Spiel 2015 by Horrible Games. Cool Mini or Not decided to pick this game up and will be releasing it at Gen Con 2016 so as to give it a wider English release. This game puts each player in the shoes of a student who is in a magic school and trying to pass their potion’s class with flying colors. This game uses a clever marble dispenser where each player will pull out marbles and try to form lines of same colored marbles in order to take them into their hand and use them on their potions. I have been interested in this game from the very moment I saw information on it sometime last year and that interest hasn’t waned. I can’t wait to try this one and I think it will probably find my pre-order cart sometime soon!
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition is a dice-rolling, Lovecraftian-horror, adventure game that is designed by Nikki Valens (based off the original by Corey Konieczka) and published by Fantasy Flight Games. The first edition of this game came out in 2011 and did quite well in that original edition. This edition takes the original and adds an app to the game in order to turn it from one-versus-all into a fully co-operative game. I’ve had my eye on the first edition for quite some time but I know that the one-versus-all style of game doesn’t really work for me and my wife. We prefer either a two-player experience or a fully co-operative one for these dungeon delve type games. I love that this game takes place in the same universe as Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror, and Elder Sign but is on an even smaller scale as it takes place in one specific mansion. While this game is quite high on my list it is more out of curiosity at this point due to the very high price point and apparent lack of “stuff” in the box. That said I can’t wait to see what people say and if it takes off I may very well jump in and buy this one around Christmas time!
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is a co-operative, hand-management, set-collection game designed by Matt Leacock and Chuck D. Yager and will be released at this year’s Gen Con by Z-Man Games. This game re-implements the fantastic Leacock game, Pandemic, and adds a few different mechanisms to what is an already great game. This takes the Pandemic idea and adds a nice, heavy layer of Lovecraftian mythos into it. Now each player is an investigator and they are running around the board attempting to close up portals before the Old Ones break out of their cosmic prison and send the world into complete madness before destroying it. Instead of the normal disease cubes that most are used to, this game finds everyone closing portals and shutting down cults before the world descends into a hellish state. If the players can’t finish in time, they’ll lose themselves to insanity. This game has all the sheen of a Z-Man Games’ release and I will definitely buy it before the year is up.
Other reprints/re-implementations of note:
Well my faithful readers…there you have it…my top 5 (plus some extras!) reprints and re-implementations of Gen Con 2016. I find this to be an especially interesting list because so many of these games are either available more widely for the first time or because they take a game and throw a different theme onto it and make it more interesting or just plain different. That, however, is the end of this particular post. Please feel free to come back soon as my third post will be up and we’ll start into my list, proper, with my honorable mentions of the convention. Thanks so much for reading and as always, if you have any questions/comments feel free to let me know in the comments. Until next time, game on!