Top 10 Games of Interest – Spiel ’16 edition



I could have made a list of hundreds of games that could be great, hundreds of games of interest. I could have named Papà Paolo, the Arrival, Aether Captains, Clonk!, Key to the City – London, Fuji Flush, Fabled Fruit, Solarius Mission, Agamemnon, What’s Up, Capital Lux, Freaky, Carcassonne: Amazonas, Dale of Merchants 2. Round House, Ankh, Kingsport Festival: the card game, Microworld, Cottage Garden. I could have named them. But I haven’t. I picked these ten, no, fifteen games.



15: Rhodes

This game looks like a classic Euro game. Nothing wrong with that. A classic euro game theme with classic euro mechanisms, most importantly worker placement. It’s a lighter euro as I understand from the rules and as stereotypical as it might be, it’s all about buying, cubes, transporting cubes and converting cubes in points. Did I say cubes, I mean goods, converting goods into points. Euro heaven? Or have we already seen to many of these games?



14: Dreams

This game is like a variation on the Spyfall idea. All player but one know what dream they are trying to depict on the table by places star pieces on a board. The player who’s left out is trying to stay undetected and tries to figure out, which dream of the four that are on the table the other players are trying to get on the table. The other players are trying to reveal which player is not a dream God. Although I was not a big fan of Spyfall, this one sounds kind of fun. However, I think I have to play it first, because it’s quirkiness might turn out be just being very awkward and weird.



13: Chariot Race

It’s a racing game by Mat Leacock. So, it’s quite different from his other, earlier games. When a designer tries something new, it’s always the question how it will turn out. He had great success with his Pandemic system, but now he’s into racing. Not a lot info on BGG. It supposed to be that you have to spend dice to control your chariot. Brake, change lanes, go faster, everything is shown on the dice. It looks like it’s not only racing, but you can also attack other chariots and repair your chariots if someone attacked you. Sounds fun, but we’ll have to see how it really works.



12: Alchemists: King’s Golem

Alchemists was one of my favourite games of 2014. The app, the worker placement mechanism, the humour, the deducing the composition of the different ingredients is very fun. This expansion brigs 4 modules. Different starting resources, different rewards for player order, a new way to publish your finding and there’s the Golem module where you need to find the right ingredients to reanimate the King’s Golem. Sounds fun, and maybe breathes new life into this game. Because I haven’t played the game in a while.



11: Kingdomino

This game reminds me a bit of Limes from Martyn F, which was a pretty decent game. This game is about building a kingdom of domino tiles. Creating large properties of the same terrain type. The way you choose you tiles and determine player orders looks interesting. The rest of the game uses the very familiar domino mechanism, connect matching sides of domino tiles. A simple, quick, family-style tile laying game. The only question I have is: does it offer enough depth for it getting played often for a longer time?



10: Targi: Die Erweiterung

Targi is one of my favourite two player games. That’s why I going take de expansion home with me. I must say that not all ‘modules’ sound as interesting. I don’t think the game needs a wildcard good like water. The Targia pawn that gives you better actions when you place your meeple next to it sounds nice, and the shifting sands sound interesting as well, but I have to play both to see if they will make the game more, or less fun.



9: Kanagawa

Bruno Cathala and Charles Chevallier. The design duo that also designed Abys, a game a liked quite a bit now come with a game about painting beautiful pictures. The game doesn’t disappoint in the art part itself. It looks stunning. The game is more a family style game, not very complicated, so it seems. But the cards that have different purposes do intrigue me. Paint pretty pictures, manage your supplies and your skills in your art studio, it all sounds very interesting.



8: Sail Away

Designed by Marc André from Splendor. The components look very good. The game sounds like, although there are no rules online when I write this, a family style pick-up and deliver game. Get resources from islands to complete objectives, launch ships, for points and special abilities. The game has a pirate theme, so there’s also a way to mess with your opponents, steal from them. Supposedly there are also secret objectives. This all sounds very fun, but I can’t get a good idea of the way the games plays from the short description, so I have to wait until the rules come out to make up my mind about getting the game or not.



7: Touria

Land of the Dancing Towers. And that’s exactly what made me interesting in this game the rotating towers. They have an action on each side of the square tower and you can only choose the actions that you can see from your side of the board. I do hope that it’s not only a gather resources game, and it has some more depth than the rules suggest. I do have faith in the Brands to make a cool game out of this.



6: Nautilion

A new game from Shadi Torbey with illustrations from Élise Plessis. That already grabs my attention. In Nautilion it looks like he tried something new. A dice game instead of cards. The description on BGG doesn’t give me a good idea of the gameplay, so we’ll have to see what the game brings. I’m curious about what the other game mechanism will be besides the dice allocation. If I can get my hands on this one, I will definitely bring it home.



5: Ulm

A game from Gunter Burkhardt and with illustrations from Michael Menzel. The most interesting thing about this game is the way you select your actions. It’s by drawing a tile from a bag. That tile depicts an action and you push it onto a three by three grid of tiles, so that a tile is pushed out on the other side of the row or column. The three tiles that are now in that row or column, including the tile you just placed, represent the actions you can do that turn. Never seen this before, sounds cool. The rest of the game also sounds fun, it has a very classical Euro theme, and it’s definitely a game I look forward to.



4: Terraforming Mars

Not really an Essen release and I hope they will have enough copies there. I was mildly interested in this game, because the theme doesn’t really do anything for me, but when I heard mister Vasel described it as Race for the Galaxy the board game it was Code Red in my brain. It’s not the best looking game in my opinion, but the gameplay should make up for that. When I look at playthrough or reviews I don’t really see where the comparison with RftG comes from other than it has cards that you’ll play for actions. However I like games that are based around card play, so a game that has many different action cards should be right up my alley.



3: Lorenzo il Magnifico

Designed by three designers with a pretty decent track record. Tzolk’in, Voyages of Marco Polo, Council of Four, Egizia, Grand Austria Hotel, all games that are pretty highly regarded.

Let our family members do all kinds of tasks, worker placement style, but the cool thing is that not all workers are identical. Some are better than the others. How this all will work, I do not know, but looking at their previous games I don’t doubt it’s going to be fun.



2: Great Western Trail

A new game from Alexander Pfister. Yes, tell me more. It looks like a heavier Euro game. About the same level as Mombasa, which I still have to play some more. When I read the rules, saw the game board it made me think of Caylus, when I looked at the player boards it made me think of Terra Mystica (or more recently Scythe) and it combines it all with a bit of deck building. I hope it’s goods. Anyway, it sounds and looks really good.



1: The Oracle of Delphi

Last year we had to do without a big Feld release. This year he’s back with three new games. Castles of Burgundy the Card game I already reviewed. Jórvik is a reprint/ re-theming of Die Speicherstadt and I’m not as interested in that one. Especially because theme is not very important in Feld’s games, so why a new one? Delphi looks like a classic Feld, in the sense that you can do loads of different things, but you are limited by the result of your dice rolls. Let’s see how that fits me, a more card-oriented person. Theme-wise this seems a bit different, but like I already said, with Feld we have to see what that really tells us. What I also like is that the board might be different every time you play. Very curious about this one.



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