Top 10 Games of Interest – Gen Con ’15 edition: part 1

An article by Rowdy van Lieshout

I don’t know exactly where I will be between July 30 and the 2nd of August, but one thing I do know is that I won’t be in Indianapolis. I’m on the other side of the ocean, so Gen Con is a long way from home. OK, I cannot be there, but I can talk about the games that piqued my interest. So, here it is, the first part of my Top 10 Games of Interest – Gen Con ’15 edition.

I tried to stick with games that are actually for sale at the convention, but it’s possible that some of these games are not for purchase yet (I’m sorry). So, here we go, in random order, a list of ten games that I’m curious about.

tides of time

10. Tides of Time

Kristian Čurla – Portal Games

A quick, two-player, card drafting game from Kristian Čurla and Portal Games. Each card has a symbol (suit) and a special scoring condition. You start with five cards, pick one and pass your stack to the other player. After you’ve played five cards, you score points according to the scoring condition on your cards. At the end of the round you pick two cards, one to keep in front of you and one to discard, and you draw back to five cards and a new round begins. You play three rounds and the player with the most points is the winner.

This game is a must buy for me this year because it’s portable, it’s quick and it’s got drafting. You have to think of two things when you draft the cards; the suit and the ability, and that seems really interesting to me and the game’s probably deeper than at first glance.



9. Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King

Andreas Pelikan & Alexander Pfister – Lookout Games, Mayfair Games

Well, first of all, this game is made by the designers of Broom Service, a game I really enjoy. Secondly, this game has some interesting mechanisms. It’s a tile laying game and every tile has different types of areas and icons that you have to fit together or collect. The auction mechanism looks interesting. Here you get three tiles, you place them in front of you player screen and then you secretly assign money, behind your screen, to two of the tiles and you assign a discard token to the other. Then you reveal and now every player is allowed to buy one tile from another player. A player must pay the price that the selling player gave the tile, plus the selling player receives the assigned money back. If everyone has bought a tile (or passed), the players take their own, not bought, tiles, add it to their bought tile, lose the money they assigned to their own tile(s) and place the tiles in their tableau. This type of auction really makes for interesting decisions. You can’t set the prise too low, because otherwise you wont get enough income, but if you set the prise too high and no one bought your tile, you lose a lot of money.

The game also has different scoring conditions every round and end-game scoring conditions if you placed the right tiles. All in all, it looks fun and I really want to play this one.



8. Spirits of the Rice Paddy

Philip duBarry – APE Games

This seems like a cool medium heavy Euro from designer Philip duBarry with a rice farming theme. There are special abilities (spirits) you draft and execute every round once you’ve played them and there’s worker placement to manage your little farm by planting rice, fertilize or build walls to capture water and help thing grow.

It seems like a very cool game and if you want to get a better feeling of the game; Rahdo did a nice run through for it.



7. Blood Rage

Eric M. Lang – Cool Mini Or Not, Guillotine Games

This game, from Eric Lang, looks like a nice area control game. When you look at the way the game plays, with its action point system and the ways you score points, it seems like a Euro game, but you can’t deny that he added a heavy dose of theme to it. First of all, the miniatures, they look very cool. And there’s also much more conflict in this game than a classic, Euro style, area control game.

Blood Rage is not a game I’m typically attracted to, but the mechanism have convinced me. It has area control, drafting, conflict if you want to and the fact that you can tweak your clan with all kinds of special abilities is nice too. The added good quality components and theme is a bonus for me.

I definitely want to check it out.



6. Flip City

Chen Zhifan – Tasty Minstrel Games

Flip City is a deckbuilder. Another one? Yes, another one. But this is different. For one thing, it’s much smaller than most deckbuilders, plus, more importantly, it has double-sided cards. It also works a bit differently than other ones, because here you, one by one, draw cards from your deck instead of drawing five and using them if you can. You can go on as long as you want, but once you have drawn three sad face icons, which some cards have, your turn ends immediately. So there’s a push your luck element as well. If you stop before three sad faces appear, you can buy more cards or flip cards to their ‘better’ side.

This new take on deck building seems really fun and I’m looking forward to trying it.


Here you can find the next five games!



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