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!

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