Okay… so I already did a Gen Con preview, but it was just basically a list of most of the things being released there. Now that I have done a ton of research on several of the games being released, I decided to make a list of 25 games that I hope to pick up or in some cases check them out before I buy them. Either way, these games have caught my attention:
(note: I have not included Scythe since I have already played it. It’s the best game I’ve played so far this year so I plan on getting it eventually, just not at Gen Con)
25. HARRY POTTER: HOGWARTS BATTLE by USAopoly – At first, not much was known about this game, but now pictures have been released to mixed feelings throughout the gaming community. I love deckbuilding games and I love Harry Potter, so this should be a slamdunk. I’m not totally sold on the graphic design of the cards (using screengrabs and photos instead of artwork), but I’m not totally against it either. They’re only going to be selling 50 copies a day, so I’m gonna have to think fast if I really want this or not. I might demo it first, then decide if I want to wait in line for it on day 3 or 4.
24. ARCANE ACADEMY by IDW – Initially, this didn’t grab me, but hearing Tom Vasel from the Dice Tower rave about it has made me pay attention. The mechanics of the game sure sound interesting. I’m going to take a look at this one.
23. THE DRAGON & FLAGON by Stronghold Games – This barroom brawl set in a fantasy setting looks like a blast. The only reason why it’s low on the list is because it’s a higher play count, and I normally only play with 2-3 players on a regular basis. When I begin teaching my middle school board game class in the fall, this would be ideal, so I might wait until then to pick this up. It still looks cool though.
22. SALOON TYCOON by Van Ryder Games – It kind of looks like a western version of Castles of Mad King Ludwig, but I’m sure that’s probably selling this game short. I love the look of the stacking buildings and I sure love the western theme. I’ll be taking a hard look at this one!
21. GUILDS OF LONDON by TMG – This modestly sized Eurogame looks like it’s in my wheel house. I am on TMG’s review list, so I probably won’t pick this up there, as they’re only going to have 200 copies for sale. But I look forward to this one when I get my copy.
20. JUNK ART by Pretzel Game – From the makers of Flick Em Up comes this really neat looking dexterity game that is getting quite a bit of positive buzz. It’s price point may be a bit expensive for me, so I might wait on this, but who knows?
19. POTION EXPLOSION by Coolminiornot – This one has a really neat toy factor going for it. There are a bunch of marbles that are on a sort of rack, and you take one which pushes matching colors on each other, which makes them disappear. Think of Candy Crush, Bejeweled… games like that, but in board game format.
18. ICE COOL by Brain Games – I may be getting a review copy of this one. It’s a dexterity game that has players flicking around penguins inside the huge game box. This one definitely looks like a fun party game!
17. IKI– This Japanese worker placement game has some of the coolest artwork I have seen all year. It looks fairly simple, but man… that board looks incredible. Not sure on the gameplay exactly, but I don’t really care! lol.
16. BLOODBORNE: THE CARD GAME by Coolminiornot -Don’t know anything about the video game, but the buzz on this co-operative card game from Eric Lang (Blood Rage) is pretty high. I’m excited to try it out, and it’s one of the cheaper (ish) games of the con.
15. VIA NEBULA by Space Cowboy – The game initially didn’t really appeal to me, but reading about it and seeing some videos has brought it to my attention. I’ve heard that if you like medium weight Eurogames (and I do!), then you shouldn’t pass this one up. I will be checking this out!
14. VAST: THE CRYSTAL CAVERNS by Leder Games – This one is kind of flying under the radar, but from the small group of online critics that have reviewed this are raving about it, saying that the asymmetric player powers really shine.
13. LIGURIA by Queen Games – This is a sort of prequel to the Euro game Fresco, players are shipping different colors of paints on boats and shipping them to their destinations. I love these kind of Euro games, and I love this kind of arty theme. This is a must buy for me!
12. CAPTAIN SONAR by Asmodee – The concept of having 2 teams of 4 operating opposing submarines sounds fantastic. Each player gets a certain role, and all the roles play differently. The captain navigates the sub, while the radio operator is listening in to the other team, trying to figure out where they’re going. The reason why this isn’t in my Top 5 is because it works best with exactly 8 players, which I hardly ever have that many to play with. But still, this sounds amazing!
11. TA DA! by Coolminiornot – A simultaneous dice rolling game in which player are wizards trying to perform spells on each other. The art work resembles those old Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons and the gameplay looks like a blast!
10. OCEANOS by Iello – From designer Antoine Bauza (Takenoko) comes this submarine exploring game. It looks like a light card drafting game, but is overproduced with adorable artwork. I think this will be a winner!
9. THE NETWORKS by Formal Ferret Games – Designer Gil Hova (Battle Merchants) is getting a lot of praise on this medium weight drafting gamer in which players are in charge of a television studio. The theme looks really strong here and I’ve heard nothing but great things. Can’t wait!
8. THE OTHERS: 7 SINS by Coolminiornot – The biggest game I’ll be trying to get this year is Eric Lang’s epic Co-op game about a group of agents trying to defeat one of the 7 deadly sins. This game looks really dark and twisted. It also has one player playing one of the sins. while the other players work each other to defeat him. Looks awesome!
7. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS by Stronghold Games – From what I understand is that this is a sort of “gamer” version of The Game of Life, but here players actually have more control and more choice as to what you path you go down. It has nice, sunny artwork and the buzz is very good on this one. My daughter said I can’t leave Gen Con without it.
6. LAST FRIDAY by Ares Games – Basically, this is Friday the 13th: The Board Game. Ares Games most likely couldn’t get the rights. One player is the slasher moving secretly across the board, while the other players are the camp counselors trying to not get killed and eventually defeat the murderer. Great theme, and the gameplay sounds promising. This is an insta-buy!
5.SEAFALL by Plaid Hat Games – Not sure if I’ll be able to get this one since there only having a few hundred copies, but I’m really looking forward to this Legacy-style game (like PANDEMIC LEGACY). The theme is pretty cool, which has players exploring the high seas. Not sure exactly how this is going to play, but expectation is through the roof on this one.
4. ISLEBOUND by Red Raven Games – Less daunting than Seafall, but probably just as much fun, is Ryan Laukat’s (Above & Below) latest game. I don’t even know what type of game it is, but the artwork is outstanding as usual and you can even use some of these characters in Above & Below. This is a must have for me!
3. LEGENDARY ENCOUNTERS: FIREFLY/ LEGENDARY BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA by Upper Deck – I kind of cheated here by including 2 games, but I love the Legendary deck building games and I LOVE Firefly and especially Big Trouble in Little China! Last year, when I was opening my copy of Legendary Predator at Gen Con, me and some buddies were brainstorming different ideas on what other movies and shows Legendary could do. No joke, I said “They would never do it, but I would love a Big Trouble in Little China”. And 2 days later, they announced it!!!! Maybe they heard me? But yeah, I’m really looking forward to both of these.
2. CRY HAVOC by Portal Games – The other hard-to-get game is going to be Cry Havoc. It was getting no buzz up until a month ago when Tom Vasel over at the Dice Tower reviewed it and called it one of the best games he’s ever played. The theme doesn’t really do it for me, but the gameplay sounds incredible. Cross between Blood Rage and Kemet (which I love more than Blood Rage). I love that each faction the players can choose from play radically different. This is a hot one!
1. TICKET TO RIDE: RAILS & SAILS by Days of Wonder – Ticket to Ride is my favorite game of all time, and normally I don’t get super excited about expansions, but this big box stand alone game that combines trains and boats has gotten me more than excited. I love it that one side of the map is The World, while the other side is the Great Lakes. I love Ticket to Ride and I love that they keep finding more ways to make this game stand the test of time. I HAVE to get this one!
And that’s it! I most likely won’t even be getting half of these games since I do have a limited budget (unless I can get some review copies of a few), but I will do my best to get as many as I can!
I just bought a camera that I will be trying out at Gen Con. Hopefully the footage will turn out good so I can post some vlogs from the con when I get back. I will do my best to post pics on my facebook and twitter pages.
If you plan on going and you see me floating around, come up and say hi!
Happy Gen Con!
P.S. I just got done completing the list and I forgot 2 more that I want to pick up for sure.
One is called QUARTZ by Passport Games – it looks like a fun, light gem collecting game with a dwarf theme.
And the other is a medium weight Euro viking game called IN THE NAME OF ODIN by NSKN Games.
Both look terrific.
Okay, that’s it for real now!