Essen Spiel 2018, one of the world’s largest yearly board gaming events, is now only a few days away. With over 1,100 titles at the event, from the Board Game Geek preview, it’ll be impossible to see them all. These are the top 5 board games which I am most excited about getting my hands on, for demoing at the event in Germany – or making sure I return with them in my suitcase! They are in no particular order as it is too hard to judge how good they will truly be.
Roll and write games are having a big year in 2018, with the likes of Ganz Schön Clever and Welcome To… being universally well received. However, a game where what players are writing isn’t a number excites me even more. While the house numbers in Welcome To… sounds somewhat thematic, constructing railways and roads across the terrain makes more logical sense of what to do and expect. To add a twist their are two editions available which each has two bonus dice that add new gameplay elements. Deep Blue looks to include less destructive dice, potentially more family friendly and fun, while Blazing Red can destroy things introducing even more luck. Either way, the additional dice will surely shake things up!
Terraforming Mars Colonies
Terraforming Mars is comfortably in my top 3 games of all time and after the latest expansion Prelude was so good I have high hopes for Colonies. This expansion looks to add in colony tiles that you can send a trade fleet to to gain resources and more. A slight worry is that Venus Next attempted to add a similar amount and it floated away from the core experience that I enjoy. Hopefully, Colonies doesn’t follow this trend, as Venus Next is currently the expansion I’m least likely to play with to date. Also, a few Terraforming Mars promotional cards will be available at the event.
Should flicking plastic penguins be this fun? When ICECOOL was released the fast, fun nature of the game draw me in. The game did not disappoint, no matter who was playing. ICECOOL2 is on its own the same game but mirrored and with different player colours. Alone this game doesn’t hugely grab me but combining the two games means the game will now play with up to 8 players and a new race mode is available. Fingers crossed more penguins and more rooms means more fun!
Fireball Island The Curse of Vul-Kar
As a kid who wasn’t in some way amazed by marble runs? Restoration Games seems to have picked the perfect title to revamp to capture this child like enjoyment. Even those like myself whom did not play the original can see the potential, showing how strong the Restoration Games design team is. After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign it isn’t long until Fireball Island The Curse of Vul-Kar will be hitting retail. While the game will not be for sale at the event a demo copy will be there! Now just to avoid those fiery boulders.
Spyfall is a game that is extremely simple to teach and can last for as little or as long as you like. While DC Spyfall comes with additional content I’m mostly excited at the opportunity that the DC brand gives the game. It will attract people in that otherwise would shy away or make an excuse not to play, simply from associating board games with the long hours of Monopoly. Plus, who isn’t excited to see some of the characters adorn Spyfall cards?!
Naturally, with so many title at the event these are only a tiny slice of what gamers can expect. A few titles that could have made the list if they hadn’t arrived pre-Essen include: Deckscape The Mystery of Eldorado, Between Two Castles Of Mad King Ludwig, Gingerbread House and Reef. If you are attending Essen Spiel 2018, see you there and potentially we will even demo a game together. Let us know in the comment section below what game you are most anticipating!