Over the weekend we have played countless board games at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham, UK. From prototypes through to games out for decades there were games that covered every genre you could think of. Here’s our top picks of the event, some which are available now/soon and one or two to watch out for. They are in no particular order so let’s take a look:
Top 2 Player – Imhotep The Duel
This is the two player version of the 2016 Phil Walker-Harding title. Again players will be unloading goods from barges in Egypt to create structures. This time however it is done via a 3×3 grid where both players assign workers to spaces. Whenever a row or column has at least 2 workers the associated boat can be sailed by a player instead of placing a worker.
I was surprised by the tighter design and the way the feeling of the original was captured. There are only a few decisions to make each turn but they build together to make in interesting puzzle to crack. There are a few cutthroat aspects and the game is slightly back and forth in style. Come back in a couple of weeks to see our full review but for now it is one to play!
Top Dice Game – Sushi Roll
This was one of the games I went into the convention with high expectations of, making my anticipated list. It managed to meet those expectations, unlike some of the others on that list. Each turn the dice are rolled with players drafting a die. The game includes conveyor belt tiles to move the sushi dice around the table and to keep things fast the scoring is simple – with it mostly done via sets. While I feel it may have missed a trick or two by not having additional types of dice – akin to Sushi Go Party – it was still a great experience.
Top Dexterity – Drop It
In an odd way Drop It seems to combine the feeling of dropping connect four tokens into a vertical board with a number of colourful shapes. Turns are simple choosing a shape before dropping it into the top of the stand. The trick is points are only gained if the dropped shape doesn’t touch another of the same colour or shape. It is a game simple enough adults and children can play together and compete fairly. Yet, this should not put you off from just playing with adults. It isn’t strategy heavy but it is a fast and fun dexterity title for 2 – 4 players I’d like to have in my collection.
Top Real-Time – Pandemic Rapid Response
This was probably one of the biggest surprises of the convention for me. I very much enjoy the Pandemic series but this new twist feels like the name is only there for theming purposes not gameplay. Racing against time, as the sand timer is constantly ticking down, players must work together to move around an aeroplane, activate rooms and make resources that can cure cities. It is fast paced, with the game only ever lasting 20 minutes. Coming out of the game there was a sense of relief not from no longer playing instead from a “good” stress of trying to beat the game.
Top Prototype – Namji
While things could certainly change as the game is in prototype phase, the Tokiado sequel is shaping up to be… an improvement. Namji uses the same turn order mechanic as Tokiado where whomever is at the back gets to pick first. While pictures return some of the other mini-games players do along the journey have changed and player powers will be included. The player powers that are gained was perhaps what made things slightly more interesting. Nevertheless, I even enjoyed a new push your luck mini-game of shrimping with annoying crabs popping up. One to watch for later in the year!
There were so many games at the event and this was only a small selection. Let us know your favourite in the comment section below and maybe see you there next year!