In about four weeks the time has come again to travel to Essen, Germany and hopefully play a lot of cool new games. Here’s a list of thirty-three games that are on my radar, divided up into seven bite-sized pieces. Let’s start with 504, RevoltaaA, Raptor, Ekö and The Bloody Inn.
504 – Friedemann Friese
Pick three of nine different modules and play. Friedemann Friese has accomplished something that almost seems impossible. There are 504 different games inside this box, composed of nine modules, like Exploration, Majorities or Race. Does every module work well with the other? How can you ever find out? I mean, I’m pretty sure I have never played a game 504 times and I probably never will. However, I got to see this, I got to play this.
RevoltaaA – Reiner Knizia
First of all, it’s a Knizia, which makes me curious. He has done a lot, some say he doesn’t have it any more, but that doesn’t matter to me. If it’s a Knizia, I’m at least willing to try it out. In RevoltaaA you have two types of cards, Ducks and Robots, with values ranging from zero to five. Every player gets 11 cards and during a round players simultaneously play one card. Then they check which side wins, they add up the numbers on the cards of the same type and the side with the highest value wins. Then they check which player has the lowest value of that side and that player wins the trick. This looks interesting, but the end game scoring, when either the Robots or the Ducks have won four tricks, is also interesting. Let’s say the Ducks have won four times. For each trick you won with a Duck card you get a point, plus for every Duck card in your hand at the end of the game you get a point too. This seems like a quick and clever card game, where you really have to think hard about when to play which card.
Raptor -Bruno Cathala, Bruno Faidutti
It’s a two-player only game from the two Bruno’s, so count me in. One player play the Raptors and the other player the Scientist. Mama raptor and her babies are loose in the park and the scientists have to catch them. Both player can do different things. They have cards with values from 1 to nine and a special ability. OK, nice but not new. But, the players have to play them simultaneously. The player with the lowest value can execute his card and the other player can spend as much action points as the difference between the card values to move and attack. That mechanism seems really interesting and fun to me.
Ekö – Henri Kermarrec
Well, first of all, this abstract game looks really nice. Secondly, the board can be adjusted for every player count. Thirdly, the game sounds pretty fun too. You move pieces around the board onto or next to certain terrain types, you attack your opponents and you build buildings to gain points. Buildings however have to be build on specific types of terrain, your disks must be adjacent to them and a disk next to the building is used as payment. Seems like you have to fight against each other to get to the right spots on the board and properly manage your disks to get them to the right places to be used as payment for the buildings, which are the only way to get points.
The Bloody Inn – Nicolas Robert
Mostly I’m drawn to the theme, which is a bit weird, a bit creepy. You try to kill your guests, you’re an Innkeeper, because you need to steal their money. That’s easier than serving them some drinks or letting them sleep in one of your rooms a couple of days. You try to do all your killing without getting caught by the police. The game itself is all about the card play. It seems like you can use every card in multiple ways and that’s just the type of game I like.