Essen “Spiel” 2019 has come and gone for another year. With the organisers confirming this year’s event was the biggest to date – with over 1,200 exhibitors and 1,500 new games – there was plenty to see, buy and play. While it was impossible to try everything out we strived to get hands on with a lot of games! Here are our top games of Spiel 2019!
Funkoverse (Funko Games)
With the likes of Batman, Harry Potter and the quirky duo Rick & Morty all available it would be safe to say there was a lot of hype around the title at Essen Spiel. As we anticipated, the Funkoverse system lived up to that hype. We got hands on with the 4-pack Batman set, seeing the good guys thwarted by a perfectly utilized Joker mystery box. The gamemode was relatively simple but it was only 1 of the many available across the different sets. The cooldown tracker is easy to understand yet is the ideal balancing mechanism. With more sets already announced this is a series to watch!
Snowman Dice (Brain Games)
As far as small, not even in a box, games go Snowman Dice stood out at Essen Spiel 2019. Coming in a soft snowball like package, the game revolves around rapidly rolling dice and there was a lot of hectic fun to be had. Can you roll the pieces needed? If you flick a snowball at an opponent will it instead go flying off the table? This is a game I’d love to play with the full player count at some point, just to witness the snow based mayhem.
Ticket To Ride Japan (Days of Wonder)
Whilst we weren’t overly impressed with Days of Wonder’s Deep Blue, due to the luck of the bag drawing, they have crafted another great experience when it comes to Ticket to Ride Japan. Only getting to play one side of the board, naturally opting for Japan, bullet trains were deployed. These are routes that anyone can use for destination cards once built – making the expansion feel different from other maps already available. Check back in a couple of weeks for our full review of this one.
Minecraft: Builders & Biomes (Ravensburger)
Another title from our most anticipated list, Minecraft: Builders & Biomes did not disappoint. There may not be a huge amount of depth, so long term there is a little worry. However, it ticked off mining, building and fighting with their own almost mini games towards victory points. Each player went for a different route to victory and the end game scores were close. It was a rather chilled game and not one to take too seriously, much like the video game.
Namiji (Fun Forge)
The Tokido sequel has come on a long way since the prototype which was shown off at UKGE earlier this year. While the gameplay remained mostly unchanged the components have been finalised, making for a rather stunning title. For fans of the original the same feeling is there but the mini games along the journey have changed. It’s a nice twist that is en route to beat the original.
There were many many other games that presented great experiences, from the new Azul through to lesser known titles like Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea. Let us know what your favourites of the convention were, in the comments section below.