Essen Buzz

With only 36 hours to go until the doors open at the world’s biggest game fair, I’m starting to get my act together in terms of preparation. Obviously, the flights and hotel were organised some while ago but I only today sorted out some Euros and the car park at BHX was only booked yesterday. As far as the games go, I published my list of must haves a couple of weeks ago but I’ve now gone through Eric Martin’s excellent preview on BGG to tag the games I’m most looking forward to exploring while I’m there. So, sort-of alphabetically by publisher, here are the titles I’m most interested in:

  • Love Letter (AEG) – tiny card game that looks good
  • Smash Up (AEG) – This is out in the UK but I like the sound of making up army combos from Dinosaurs, Ninjas and Aliens. I’ll only buy out there if it’s 20 Euros or less
  • Heimlich & Co (Amigo) – Fabulous game that’s being re-released and I’ve never owned a copy. Maybe that will change.
  • Suburbia (Bezier) – This looks an interesting city development game and it’s getting lots of buzz with both Doug Garrett and Tom Vasel recommending it. I’ll go and talk to the designer Ted Alspach before deciding
  • Mutant Meeples (Bezier) – Surely I can’t be tempted to buy a version of Ricochet Robots where each robot has super-powers? Nige is sure to love this.
  • Tokaido (FunForge) – Antoine Bauza is a good designer but is a zen race game going to be any good?
  • CO2 (Giochix/Stronghold) – By the designer of Vinhos, this has an environmental theme. This might be my heaviest game purchase, although it might be more one for Nige.
  • Lady Alice (Hurrican) – Another deduction game from the Mr Jack company
  • Gauntlet of Fools (Indie Boards & Cards) – A new Donald X game where everyone dies. It’s all about how big a blaze of glory you can go out in.
  • Legend of Andor (Kosmos) – Not sure if there’s an English version going to be there. As cards look to be text heavy, I’ll wait if not.
  • Hey Froggy (R&R) – Light game by Anthony Rubbo, designer of Hey Waiter. Need to see a demo
  • Home Stretch (R&R) – Horse racing game. Is there anything to make it different enough from Long Shot?
  • Pluckin’ Pairs (R&R) – Stephen Glenn game that is likely to be my party game pick-up of the year.
  • Rondo (Schmidt) – Another Knizia abstract that I need to try out
  • Space Cadets (Stronghold) – Intriguing concept with everyone playing a different part of the game based on which character they’re playing
  • Snowdonia (Surprised Stare) – Tony Boydell’s game of building a railway up a Welsh mountain. What’s not to like?
  • Vampire Empire (White Goblin) - A two-player bluffing and deduction game. Is this anything like Kosmos’ Dracula game?