Unfortunately, I’m not going to Essen this year.  I have never been.  In fact, I’ve never been out of the United States.  I just don’t have the money.  I can barely make it to Gen Con.  Maybe some day….

Also, this isn’t really going to be a preview per say, but just a little look at a few games that I’m most looking forward to.  You see, even though I’m not attending, I thought it would still be fun to post my top 10 games I’m most looking forward to that are being released at Essen.  Now, I would guess that quite a few of these might not make it over to me until next year, but here’s hoping….

Most of these titles are definitely heavier than most of what I was looking forward to at Gen Con.  I love Euro games and there aren’t many that come out at Gen Con, but that’s the majority of what comes out over at Essen, which is why I would love to go some day!

Enough wasting time, here are my top 10 games I’m most looking forward to that are debuting at Essen:


10. SAIL AWAY – This is the new design by Marc Andre who made the modern classic, Splendor.  That’s one of my favorite games of all time, and I’m dying to find out what other kinds of games he can dish out.  I have yet to play his second game, Barony (which I want to remedy soon), but this game has some cool looking components, and a fun theme.  Splendor is SOOOOOO good that I can’t NOT be excited for this one.


9. JORVIK – This is only one of two Stefan Feld games being released at Essen.  He’s probably my favorite designer.  I haven’t been let down yet, and can’t wait to play this one.  The reason why this isn’t higher is because it’s a remake/retheming of one of his earlier games from 2010.  I never played that one, so I am still very much looking forward to trying this out!  And it seems to have a cool viking theme.


8. CAMEL UP CARDS – Camel Up is one of my favorite games, so when I heard about a card game version of it was being made, I got really excited.  Very curious to see how this one will actually work with just cards.  Well, actually, it looks like it has more than just cards, as the camel pieces still appear to be there.  Hope it’s good!


7. CHARIOT RACE – A game where you’re racing chariots in an arena designed by Matt Leacock the designer of Pandemic?  Yes please!  Heard it’s a fairly light, dice driven game, but it sounds fun to me!


6. PERFUMER – I LOVE games with fluffy themes, and this one looks super cool.  You’re making perfume!  The board looks really cool, and it has a nifty gimmick.  You actually are smelling perfumes!  That’s right, the cards are all scented, so you must use smell recognition in this game.  It’s a neat concept that I hope works.  I’m in though!


5. THE ORACLE OF DELPHI – This is the other Stefan Feld game being released at Essen, and this one is a complete original design, unlike Jorvik.  Set in a fantasy world (unlike most of Feld’s other games), this one has lots of pieces and a complex looking layout….. which mean’s I’m totally on board!  Sign me up!


4. ADRENALINE – Combat and confrontational games are definitely not my favorite types of games.  In fact, they’re my least favorite.  But this one could be an exception for me.  It’s supposed to emulate those old-school, first person shooters from the 90s.  And there is no dice!  YAY!  Combat is all deterministic, which sounds awesome. And then add in different characters with various player powers, and some cool looking art design…. and you have a game that I’m very much looking forward to playing.


3. COTTAGE GARDEN – Uwe Rosenberg (Caverna, Agricola) has two games being released at Essen.  This one is his lighter game, which looks very much like a spiritual sequel to his game Patchwork, which is one of my favorite 2 player games of all time.  Cottage Garden actually plays up to 4 players and looks like it might have a bit more complexity to it.  Still has the Tetris-like pieces, but the game appears to play a little different.  This one is an insta-buy for me!


2. THE GREAT WESTERN TRAIL – Alexander Pfister is on fire!  His last 4 games (Broom Service, Isle of Skye, Mombasa, and Oh My Goods!) have all been fantastic and have all earned a spot on my top 100 games of all time!  This one looks like a big, meaty game like Mombasa was.  And I LOVE the western theme.  Easily one of my favorite themes in board games, that could be used more often in my opinion.  I don’t know all the rules for it yet, but the board looks great, and there are lots of little bits…. and again, Alexander Pfister has just been on fire!  This one will be hot!


  1. A FEAST FOR ODIN – Here is Uwe Rosenberg’s other game coming out at Essen, and it’s a BIG one!  Reportedly this is his biggest game so far, and that’s saying an awful lot.  I love his big farming style games.  Fields of Arle is high up there for me.  In that game you have about 30 different actions to choose from on your turn.  In this one, there are over 60 different actions!!!!  WHAATTTT?!?!?!?   That’s sounds amazing.  I’m sure it will be a beast of a game, but one that I would love to conquer.  This is definitely my most anticipated game of Essen.


Well, that’s it!  I hope to get my hand on all of these games at some point.  What are the releases you’re most looking forward to at Essen.  I’d like to know!


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