Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part VI: Top 5 Games Being Demoed But Not For Purchase

Okay…now we move on to the final post in my Essen Spiel series!  This post is an interesting one to me because it is the games that were being demoed at Essen Spiel 2016 but not available for purchase.  Sadly I wasn’t at the convention so I know little about them, but they have peaked my interest in some way.  These are games that will be coming out at some point in the future, some very soon and some not nearly as soon as we’d all hope!  While they may not be available for purchase yet, the companies/designers often want to get information out on them and thus will demo them at the conventions such as Essen Spiel, Gen Con, and Origins Game Fair.  There are at least a couple of these games that would have made my top 10 and probably even top 5 anticipations of the convention had they been released.  Before we move on to these games feel free to check out the links provided which are my previous five posts in the Essen Spiel series.

Alright, now we move onto the main part of this post.  I will say that I’m not 100% sure that these games were demoed…but they were at least at one point rumored to and they were on W. Eric Martin’s Essen Preview list so that it good enough for me!  Enjoy the read!

Honorable Mention – Tiny Epic Quest (Gamelyn Games)

Tiny Epic Quest is an adventure, dice-rolling, press-your-luck game designed by Scott Almes and published by Gamelyn Games.  A portal has opened up from a goblin kingdom into a peaceful world.  Now the players will take on the role of a hero who must quest about their world in order to find a way to save it.  There are two paths to victory in this game, closing the portal or slaying every goblin that shows their face in your land.  This game is shooting for a sandbox feeling where each player will travel about the land gaining quests, learning spells, and finding artifacts to help them on their way.  They may travel by foot, horse, raft/boat, or even gryphon.  The game is split into day and night phases.  During the day the heroes will get ready for their adventures and at night they will roll their dice to challenge the quests.  They can continue to move on, pressing their luck as they do so, or stop and rest and go at it again the next day.  I will admit that much of my excitement for this game is the theme.  The Legend of Zelda series has always been one of my favorite video game series and this game is really going for that theme.  I look forward to trying it out and the Kickstarter begins on October 28th so we’ll really get to see what it has to offer!

#5 – Mines of Ōlnäk (Morning Players)

Mines of Ōlnäk is an economic, worker-placement, area-influence game designed by Jonathan Frenay and Raphaël Helaers and published by Morning Players. This game puts each player into the role of a clan of dwarves. These clans have been charged by their king to reconvene around the mountain of Ōlnäk in order to find and rebuild their ancient city. Each of these clans wants to become the richest and most powerful clan in order to gain the rights to rule the city. The players will use their workers to exploit the city’s resources, sell the resources, and complete projects all while trying to steer the political climate of the area. This game really appeals to me due to the theme and the amazing looking art. I am a sucker for great artwork and theme that is placed onto a Euro-style boardgame and this appears to be no exception. I believe they are planning to do a Kickstarter for this game in the near future although I’m not completely sure about that. Regardless, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one to see how it turns out.

#4 – Anachrony (Mindclash Games)

Anachrony is a worker-placement, economic game designed by Richard Amann, Viktor Peter, and Dávid Turczi and published by Mindclash Games. This is another Kickstarted game that puts players in the role of a Path who has their own objectives during the game. This game has a very interesting worker-placement mechanism where the players will place the workers either onto the action space alone or place them into a mechanized suit where they can go out into the world and find resources or complete missions. I love the post-apocalyptic and time-travel themes that are placed onto this Euro-style boardgame. This is a very big game and seems to have a lot of decision points and routes to victory and I almost backed it when it was up. I was able to say no however and now I’m content with laying back and seeing how the game turns out when it is released.

#3 – Dice Forge (Libellud)

Dice Forge is a dice-rolling, dice-crafting, resource acquisition game designed by Régis Bonnessée and published by Libellud. This game puts players in the role of a character who is attempting to gain victory points by getting resources and fighting monsters. This is all done by a clever dice-crafting mechanism that is somewhat like deck-building but with dice that use interchangeable faces. You will start with two weak dice and can make offerings which will give you the opportunity to improve these faces to get better resources. Bonnessée’s Seasons is one of my favorite games of all time so this game is interesting just on that fact alone. I love the idea of being able to craft the dice and make them better as the game goes on. Besides the mechanisms which just look like a ton of fun, the artwork is by Biboun and is quite lovely looking. All in all this is a game that I’m massively interested in and can’t wait to see how it plays!

#2 – First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet (Portal Games)

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet is a worker-placement, adventure, cooperative game designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek and published by Portal Games. This game puts players in the role of explorers on the planet Mars. This game is based on the mechanisms that are in the game Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and adds to them. This game has an app that is required for it to be played. It will take the card decks that were in Robinson Crusoe and totally automate them so it can remember from game to game what is going on. This means that the game could be played as a campaign or as a single mission where they are playing in a “sandbox” and just trying to survive as long as possible. I think this sounds like an absolutely great addition to an already amazing game and I can’t wait to see what Ignacy does with it! Sadly, we won’t be able to find out until Gen Con 2017, but I have plenty of other games to play until then!

#1 – Gloomhaven (Cephalofair Games)

Gloomhaven is a cooperative, campaign-style, hand-management, adventure game designed by Isaac Childres and published by his game company, Cephalofair Games. This game puts players in the role of a mercenary/adventurer who is traveling in their world for reasons of their own. Each character is different and their skill set is represented with a deck of cards that can change through the many plays. This game is an easy choice for my top anticipated demo-only game out of this year’s Essen Spiel. The game uses heavy hand-management mechanisms as the players will choose two cards from their hands to play one with a top effect and one with a bottom effect. They can then lose these cards and become exhausted. The game then continues on as players will make choices which can last. I also love the idea that you choose a character and they will retire after about 10ish games as they’ve completed their goal. Then you open up more boxes which give you different character classes and opens up the game even more. I can’t wait! Sadly it has been delayed a little but hopefully it will be available in January or February of 2017. Bravo Isaac, the game looks amazing!

Other demos of note:
Beer Empire (Board&Dice)
Peak Oil (2Tomatoes/Leder Games)
Pixie Queen (Game Brewer)
Rising 5: Runes of Asteros (GARYKIMGAMES/Holy Grail Games/Mandoo Games)

Well, it has been a long run due to our move and a busy month, but I am finally finished with my Essen Spiel 2016 series. Thanks again for taking time to read and I hope you all enjoyed the series. Next up on the docket will be either my Kickstarter 2016 series or my Top 10 2016 edition series. Until next time, game on!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part V: Top 10 List (Games 1-5)

Yay!  We’ve made it to games 1-5 on my top 10 anticipated games of Essen Spiel 2016.  These are the games that I’m most interested in and many of them I plan on adding to my collection by the end of the year!  Before I move on to these awesome looking games, feel free to check out the previous four posts in my Essen Spiel series for 2016.

Wow, so many good games came out at the convention this year!  There is no way I’ll be able to get them all, but at least some of them I’m sure I’ll pick up in the near future.  Now let’s go ahead and move into my top 5 anticipated games at the Spiel.  Enjoy the read!

The Oracle of Delphi is a dice rolling, action selection, and pick-up-and-deliver game designed by Stefan Feld and published by Pegasus Spiele and Tasty Minstrel Games.  This game puts players in the role of a mortal who is chosen by Zeus to take part in a competition to gain access to the realm of the gods, Olympus.  In order to do this each player must complete 12 different tasks more quickly than the other chosen competitors.  These competitors may gain help from the mysterious oracle in order to beat the other players to the goals more quickly.  During the game each player will roll dice and then use those dice to do different actions during their turn.  They can go around the board to different islands to fight monsters, build temples, and collect offerings.  Whoever is able to do these tasks most quickly and get back to Zeus first is the winner.  This is mostly a pick-up-and-deliver game with dice action selection which is a bit of a turn from Feld’s usual “point-salad” offerings.  I think it looks great and is actually very thematic which is also somewhat unusual for one of his games.  I will wait until Tasty Minstrel Games picks this up and releases it in the United States and will most likely pick it up then as it is right up our alley in terms of theme!

Yokohama is an economic, route-building, set collection, and card drafting game designed by Hisashi Hayashi and published by OKAZU Brand and Tasty Minstrel Games.  This game has each person in the role of a merchant during the Meiji period in Japan.  Yokohama was a fishing village that is now in the transition period of becoming a major harbor point for trade with other countries and these merchants are trying to gain fame with their wheeling-and-dealing in the market.  Player will use their president to take an action and can leave other meeples/cubes along the board which make actions more expensive for other players.  The game wants players to make the most efficient moves along the board to score points and use their resources in the best way possible.  I am in love with the idea of this game!  To be honest I’ve already backed the Tasty Minstrel Games deluxe edition and should get it sometime early next year.  I’m totally pumped to play this game as I think it will go over really well with my wife and other people I play games with around here!

Railroad Revolution is a train game that uses some pool-building and route building and is designed by Marco Canetta and Stefania Niccolini and published by What’s Your Game?  This game puts players in the shoes of a railroad company manager who is competing with other companies to gain the most lucrative piece of the industry during the 19th century.  You will be building railroads, establishing rail stations in cities, expand communication lines, and chase personal goals all while trying to beat your competitors at their own game.  Each play will start with a pool of workers who are non-specialized but will take actions during the game to promote them to different managerial positions but then can’t use them for the general actions.  It seems to have a pretty low learning curve by high decisions and strategy and I do so love those types of games!  They are much easier to teach!  Between the theme, What’s Your Game?’s pedigree, and the apparently deep decisions this game may very well find its way to my shelf soon.

Great Western Trail is a worker-placement, tile-laying, and deck building game designed by the fantastic Alexander Pfister and published by eggertspiele and Stronghold Games.  This game puts you in the role of a 19th century cattle rancher who is repeatedly herding his/her cattle to Kansas City from Texas.  During the game you will be building your hand of cards which are the cattle you will be selling when you arrive in Kansas City.  You want to have the best cattle that you are able in order to get the most money possible.  Along the way you’ll be building different structures/buildings which will give you bonuses.  You are also able to hire different staff in order to improve your herd (cowboys), build your own buildings (craftsmen), or improve the railroad line (engineers) while you advance throughout the game.  In a shocking (sarcasm anyone?) turn of events, the player with the most victory points at the end wins.  Let’s face it, at this point Pfister is on such a roll that any game he designs will be on my radar and probably pretty high up the list.  Great Western Trail is no exception as it looks to join his many fabulous designs (Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, Mombasa, Broom Service, Port Royal, Oh My Goods!) and is poised to do really well.

A Feast for Odin is a worker-placement, pattern building, economic game designed by the incomparable Uwe Rosenberg and published by Z-Man Games.  This game puts players in the role of the leader of a Viking village.  They are working to create the most successful village by hunting, gathering materials, refining said materials, buying ships, and raiding settlements.  This is all done by a worker placement/action selection mechanism where you have to pay a certain amount of workers depending on the action chosen.  This game uses a similar mechanism to his wonderful two-player game, Patchwork, where you put polyominoes on your player boards to cover up negative point spaces and get more income.  I adore Uwe’s work and think that this is going to be an amazing game.  I have enjoyed every game I’ve played by him so far, from his lighter fillers (i.e. Wurfel Bohnanza) to his heavier farm simulations (i.e. Fields of Arle) so this game moves its way to number one on my list and will be in my collection ASAP!

The top 10 games are complete!  These games all look like they are going to be great plays so I can’t wait to try them out and possibly add them to my collection.  Much of this list I already made the decision to buy and have pre-ordered a few of them with the hope of getting them soon.  Come back soon as I’ll have up my final Essen Spiel post where I take a look at my top 5 anticipated demos of the fair.  Let me know what you’re looking forward to!  Until next time, game on!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part IV: Top 10 List (Games 6-10)

Now for the main event!  These next two posts will (finally) tackle my top 10 boardgame anticipations from Essen Spiel 2016.  These games are incredibly high on my radar and I’d guess that at least a few of them will be in my grubby little hands by the end of the year!  This particular post will be the bottom half (games 6-10) of my top 10 list and the next one will take on the top half (1-5) of said list.  Before we move on please feel free to take a few minutes to check out the prior three posts in my Essen Spiel series before we move on.

Okay, now that you’ve been able to catch up let’s go ahead and move on to the next part, my top 10 list!  Again, these are games 6-10 on the list and they are all games that I am highly interested in for some reason.  With that being said, enjoy the read!

The Colonists is a worker placement, action selection, resource management game designed by Tim Puls and published by Lookout Games and Mayfair Games.  This game puts players in the role of a mayor of a village who is attempting to build up their colony and increase their population.  This game uses the resource management and action selection to gain said resources and use them to create jobs, educate the people, and thus continue the increase of the population.  There isn’t a ton of information on this one yet so I don’t know much more other than that which is one of the reasons that it isn’t higher on the list.  This is the designer’s first game and so I’m not quite sure if this is going to be a great design, but it sure looks good from the early pictures and rules.  I also have some hesitation about the 30-240 minutes that is on the box but this could be easily explained away by the fact that there seems to be multiple scenarios in the box.  Even though there are some detractors I am still massively interested in this game, enough so that it makes it onto my top 10 list of anticipated Essen Spiel releases.

Adrenaline is an action point allowance, area-control game designed by Filip Neduk and published by Czech Games Edition.  This game is a Euro-style game that attempts to give the feeling of a first-person shooter video game with deterministic mechanisms.  It puts players in the role of a character that is running around grabbing weapons, ammo, and laying into your opponents with ruthless abandon.  This game has a very simple premise.  The players will run around taking two actions per turn.  There are three actions that the players can choose from which include running around, grabbing something (i.e. ammo/weapon) and shooting someone.  After their turn they can reload their weapon as long as they have the correct ammo for it.  Different weapons can have different effects and when a character dies they spawn right away, just like the FPS counterparts.  This game is very interesting and I think it would be a ton of fun although the 3-5 players makes it somewhat difficult to get to the table for us as it is mainly my wife and I playing games.  Even though the count may not be perfect, it is interesting enough to gain a spot on my list!

Bios: Genesis is a game that can be either cooperative, competitive or solitaire designed by Phil Eklund and published by his company, Sierra Madre Games.  This game is a fairly heavy simulation of the creation of life shortly after the formation of earth.  Each of up to four players takes on the role of an organic compound (amino acid, lipid, pigment or nucleic acid) in their attempt to become the origin of life.  They start as autocatalytic life and then move on to Darwinian life.  There is a somewhat complex (yet highly thematic) card play at place where there are rows of cards which may be put into play and then the organic compounds step in from there.  I am not going to even pretend to be able to explain as I’m not 100% sure how it plays but it is very possibly going to be my first Eklund game!  I love the thematic integration of the mechanisms that he puts into his games and I hope that this will be as cool as it seems!

Fabled Fruit is a worker placement, action selection, set collection game with changing gameplay that is designed by Friedemann Friese and published by 2F Spiele and Stronghold Games.  This game puts you in the role of an animal who is trying to gain the most savory fruits in the jungle in order to make them into juices.  The players will take their animal and place them on a card and either take the action that is on the card or they will make a juice out of the card.  The thing that makes this game different from others is that it has changing gameplay.  Where a Legacy-style game also has changing gameplay elements, they are permanent.  Friese has coined this game a Fable game.  The idea is that as you move further alone your plays the game will change in sometimes slight but noticeable ways but when you want to you can reset the game and do it again.  Then, the next time you play through it will be a different game again.  I find this incredibly interesting and have heard good things about the game.  I hope to add it to the collection by the end of the year as I think it will go over very well with my wife and could be a good gateway style game for others.

Cottage Garden is a tile-placement, abstract game designed by Uwe Rosenberg and published by Edition Spielwiese and White Goblin Games.  This game finds the players taking on the role of a gardener who is taking part in a contest to create the best garden beds possible.  This game has some similarities to Uwe’s brilliant two-player abstract, Patchwork.  Much like that game each player will draft polyomino tiles to place them on one of two of their personal garden beds.  The players will score points for each garden pot/bell that is still uncovered when they complete the board.  Unlike Patchwork, Cottage Garden plays from 1-4 players which I think is great.  It looks to have a few less decision points than Patchwork but I think the game still looks really good and would be easy and entertaining to teach.  I am really looking forward to getting this one as I already have it pre-ordered.

Well, there you have it, games 6-10 of my top 10 anticipated releases from Essen Spiel 2016.  There are so many great looking games that are coming out soon and I am really looking forward to getting to try some of them.  These are just a few of the interesting looking games out there.  Come on back for my next post which will tie up my top 10 releases from this year’s Spiel.  Until next time, game on!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part III: Honorable Mentions

Alright, two posts in my Essen Spiel 2016 series down and four to go.  This particular post will start moving into my most anticipated original games of the convention.  This one will focus on the honorable mentions.  These are the games that just missed my top 10 most anticipated games that are coming out at Spiel this year but still warrant a mention as they look very interesting!  Before I start the list feel free to check out the previous couple of posts which look at my most anticipated expansions and my most anticipated re-prints/re-implementations at the links below.

Well there you have it.  Now that you are all caught up it is time to move on to my honorable mentions of the games I’m most anticipated for.  These are the games that may have just missed my top list but still warrant being mentioned as they all have something that caught my eye, whatever it may be.  After trolling W. Eric Martin’s wonderful Essen Spiel list on BoardGameGeek I’ve completed this and every other list in my posts.  Read on, ponder my choices, but most of all enjoy!

The first game to make its way onto my honorable mentions list for this year is Meduris.  This game is designed by Stefan Dorra and Ralf zur Linde and published by HABA.  It is a worker placement and resource management game where you take on the role of people settling at the base of Mount Meduris in order to earn favor of the gods.  Players will place their workers in order to gain resources that will let them build huts and temples to the gods.  Timing appears to play a large part as you want to build on sites at the correct time and collect rune stones all while appeasing the local druid who may help you along the way.  This makes it onto my honorable mentions for a couple of reasons.  First of all, HABA did a FANTASTIC job of creating their newer line of family-style games last year by releasing two well received games in Karuba and Adventure Land.  They are working with some fabulous designers on this line and getting Dorra and Linde is no exception.  Also, the game just looks beautiful!  These reasons move it up to a place on my honorable mentions and it will probably find a way onto my shelf soon!

The second game to move its way onto my honorable mentions list is Solarius Mission.  This game is designed by Michael Keller and Andreas “ode” Odendahl and is published by Spielworxx.  It is a dice-drafting, dice-manipulation and resource management game where players take on the role of a group under a mission attempting to explore the outer planets to take some pressure off of an overpopulated home planet.  Players will use their ship to explore planets, send settlers into space and develop new and more impressive technologies in order to do these missions.  This game is made by the designers who also created La Granja which was/is a highly regarded Euro-style game which was a mash-up of many great mechanisms.  Because of that and the pulp, sci-fi setting which I find quite interesting, this game makes it onto the list.

The next game to make it into my honorable mentions is Ulm.  This one is designed by Günter Burkhardt and is published by HUCH! & friends and R&R Games.  It is an action selection game where the players will use card play and pawn (river boat) movement in order to gain the most victory points by the end of the game.  The players take on the role of a wealthy family who is attempting to gain prestige in the city of Ulm by influencing different city districts.  The main mechanism of the game is a 3x3 grid of action tokens.  Each player has a token which they will use to slide into the grid thus moving one of the tokens off of the other side.  The player can then use the actions of the three tokens on the board while the one they slid off will be the basis of their next move.  This is a brilliant idea and is the main reason I have moved this game onto my honorable mentions list.  I love the idea of the action selection grid and am really looking forward to seeing how well it works.

The next game up on my list is Tramways. This is designed by Alban Viard and published by AV Studio Games. This one is deck-building game with tile-placement and auctions where the players take on the role of a recently fired manager of a Clinic who is now taking on a job as the head of a team of engineers who are looking to build the most efficient tram network for Small City. The game is somewhat split into two halves. During the first half of the game the players will build a deck of cards while using an auction mechanic to determine turn order. The second half of the game finds the players using their (hopefully) efficient decks to creating their tram network without stressing the system. This game makes it onto the list simply by the reputation of the designer. Viard has created some amazing sounding games (unfortunately none of which I’ve played yet!) and this one seems to be a culmination of his designing chops. I hope to pick this one up when it is more widely available and that it is as amazing as it seems!

The final game to make my list, and thus the game that just missed my top 10 list is La Granja: No Siesta! This game is designed by Andreas “ode” Odendahl and is published by ADC Blackfire Entertainment and Stronghold Games. This one takes the dice-drafting mechanism of La Granja and creates a full, standalone game around it. The players will roll dice and draft them in order to cross resources off of their scoring sheet to gain the most victory points. They can hire helpers, build a barn in which they can store goods, and take some time off to siesta as needed! Once the siesta track reaches its conclusion the players will score their victory points. I haven’t yet played La Granja (although it’s high on my list to try!) but this one seemed like a really fun dice-rolling/drafting game which will really appeal to my wife especially. Because of this, La Granja: No Siesta! makes it onto my honorable mentions list and just misses my top 10 anticipated games of Essen Spiel 2016.

Other honorable mentions of note:

And there is post number three in my Essen Spiel 2016 series completed!  My next two posts will round out my top anticipated releases with the next one being games 6-10 on my top 10 and the one after being games 1-5 on my top 10.  As always, feel free to comment below, I’d be interested to know what games have people frothing to get them in their hands and on the table ASAP!  Thanks so much for reading.  Until next time, game on!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part II: Top 5 Reprints/Re-implementations

I’m back!  I feel a little bad because these posts are much later than I’d want, but that’s because of some pretty huge changes in our lives.  We have been trying to move out of Maryland for quite a few years now but it just hasn’t been a viable option.  Finally, we found jobs for both of us and are currently en route to Indiana where we will now be living!  Because of the whirlwind that has been the past three weeks I’m a little behind on these posts.  That being said, let’s move on to post number two, my top 5 anticipated reprints/re-implementations of 2016 Essen Spiel!  These are games which have either had a prior edition or have been re-themed and changed around a bit from the original.  There are some great ones this year so it wasn’t an easy list to make!  Before we go on to these games feel free to check out the first post, my top 5 anticipated game expansions of this year’s Essen Spiel.

Alright, now that you have made the trip down post memory lane, let’s get back to the main attraction.  These are some great looking (or already great!) games and I am totally stoked to check these out and hopefully add them to my collection.  Enjoy the read!

Honorable Mention – Fields of Green (Artipia Games/Stronghold Games)

Fields of Green is a card-drafting and tile-laying game that is designed by Vangelis Bagiartakis and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Artipia Games in conjunction with Stronghold Games.  This game is a re-implementation of the ideas that were put forth by the game Among the Stars.  All of the mechanisms of the original are present in this game with a few added ideas thrown into the mix.  The players will draft cards that they will add into their tableau expanding their farms over four rounds.  Where this differs is that the players will have to pay costs, water fields, feed livestock, and other agricultural odds and ends at the end of each year.  This gives a little more weight and added decision points that the original didn’t have.  I think this game looks really good and much “prettier” than Among the Stars did.  I would love to try it out and hopefully will eventually get the chance!

Colony is a dice-rolling, pool-building game that is designed by Ted Alspach, Toryo Hojo, and N2 and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Bézier Games, Inc. This game is a re-design/re-implementation of the 2014 release Age of Craft which was designed by Toryo Hojo and published by Chicken Dice Games. This game finds players rolling dice which they then use to construct and upgrade buildings which managing the resources of their colony. It uses a clever dice rolling system where the player starts with a few dice and will over time gain more stable dice which they can save and more unstable which they may only use that round. It seems to fairly accurately simulate a deck-building game without building an actual card deck. I love that the theme is somewhat post-apocalyptic and the art really gives that vibe. There are a whole bunch of building cards that can be added in different ways (a la: Dominion) which will give the game a high level of replayability. I look forward to trying this one out eventually and it may hit my cart sometime in the future.

#4 – Jórvík (Stronghold Games/eggertspiele)

Jórvík is an auction/worker-placement game that is designed by Stefan Feld and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Stronghold Games in partnership with eggertspiele. This game is a re-theme/re-implementation of the 2010 release Die Spiechderstadt which was also designed by Feld and published by eggertspiele and Z-Man Games. This game finds players taking on the roles of Viking jarls who are attempting to gain prestige through different activities in their city. Players will use a worker-placement and auction system in order to gain cards from a display which will allow them to build up their trading empire. Along with some streamlining the game also includes the difficult to find expansion Kaispeicher in the box as an advanced game. This game looks like a pretty cool auction style game and I’ve heard good things about the original. I would like to try it out and see if it actually works with two players or they just threw it on the box to sell a few more copies. Regardless, this looks good and has made it to number four on my list of re-releases/re-implementations.

#3 – Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island (Fourth Edition) (Portal Games)

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island (Fourth Edition) is a cooperative, worker-placement, adventure game that is designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Portal Games. This is a new edition of the original 2012 release also by Portal Games with English distribution by Z-Man Games. Portal Games gained back the English rights to this game this year and decided to make a new edition and print it in English for themselves. The new edition boasts a “Ticket to Ride-style” sized box along with upgraded components, player boards, and a new, easier-to-understand ruleset! I owned the Z-Man Games version of this gem but sold it off this year in anticipation of this release. I love this game and can’t wait to have it back on my shelf in its new, shinier edition! Oh, on a side note, the cover of the box was redone by the fantastic artist Vincent Dutrait! This just adds more awesomeness in my humble opinion!

#2 – Pandemic Iberia (Z-Man Games)

Pandemic Iberia is a cooperative, action-point, set-collection game designed by Jesús Torres Castro and Matt Leacock and is being released at Essen Spiel 2016 by Z-Man Games. This is a re-implementation of the 2008 cooperative, set-collection game Pandemic by designer Matt Leacock and publisher Z-Man Games. This new version of the classic finds the players doing many of the same things like moving across the board and curing diseases using the cards that you gain during play. Due to the game now being set in the Iberian Peninsula in 1848 you obviously can’t travel by plane across the world. Rather, the players will be taking carriages, boats and trains throughout the peninsula in order to stop the spread of malaria, cholera, typhus and the yellow fever. You will also be attempting to stop the spread of these diseases by cleaning the water supplies of each region. I loved what Chuck Yager did with Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu and am really looking forward to what they do with the classic Pandemic gameplay in this re-design.

#1 – Key to the City: London (HUCH! & friends/Game Salute)

Key to the City: London is a city building/auction/tile-laying/worker-placement game designed by Richard Breese and Sebastian Bleasdale and is being released by HUCH! & friends and Game Salute at Essen Spiel 2016. This game is a re-imagining of Keyflower which was released by R&D Games, HUCH! & friends and Game Salute in 2012 and was also designed by Breese and Bleasdale. This new game finds players taking different actions on their turn in order to build their city. You can bid on tiles, generate resources and upgrade resources. This allows the players to build up their city in order to gain the most points. The isometric views on the tiles just make this game pop on the table and even though I haven’t played Keyflower I can already tell that I’ll love this game! I hope to add this to my collection but will have to wait until the release in North America.

Other reprints/re-implementations of note:

Well there you have it!  So sorry that this post is so very late but I’m hoping to get the next in the series up much more quickly now that we are all moved in to our new house.  The next up are my honorable mentions of this year’s Essen Spiel.  After that will be two successive posts that will take on my top ten.  Lastly I’ll have a post that will be the top 5 games that were shown off at Spiel but not available for purchase.  Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to bringing you more gaming goodness!  Feel free to comment/question below and let me know which re-implementations you’re looking at…or at this point have already purchased!  Until next time, game on!