Yeah. Another year we’re not going. But if I was, these are some of the games I’d check out at Essen Spiel 2022. I am not someone who buys a lot in conventions. I’d be mostly walking around looking how games look or play.
Three of the games I am interested in were already discussed by Athena. It seems like ages have passed since she wrote about Aleph Null on our website (“The Darkest Hour”), but it’s finally here. And as I am not as opposed to AIs in games as she is, I am still very much looking forward to Unconscious Mind. And of course there’s my #2 below.
Then I’d have a quick look at games I backed last year: Autobahn, Beyond the Rift, Earthborne Rangers, Hegemony, Solar Sphere and Voidfall. But probably not at Hoplomachus: Remastered / Victorum as it is no fun watching people buy a game you’ll have to wait for for at least another four months. I'll just pretend it isn't there (which may well be the case after day one).
More window shopping: I will wait for Meadow: Downstream to hit the local shops and may not be in a hurry to buy it even then. Meadow is a nice relaxed game, but I hardly play it. I own the original version of the Great Western Trail, so I didn’t buy the soloable second edition. But I am curious what Great Western Trail: Argentina adds. If it plays different enough I might be tempted to put it on a list for future acquisition. And talking about Alexander Pfister I’d absolutely check out Skymines, the politically correct reworking of Mombasa. It's in space!
#3. I Heart Dice
I love rolling dice, and I can stand losing to a random dice roll way better than to the draw of a lousy card. The new expansion for Origins, Ancient Wonders, could be just the thing to convince me to finally buy it. Galaxy Postman also uses dice as workers and has a silly SF theme so of course it would make my list. Roll for Great Old Ones will be on Kickstarter as a relatively expensive Print & Play so I’d like to see it in action before I commit to it (for me, Cthulhu never gets old). Another Kickstarter game, the post-apocalyptic deck-builder RONE: Invasion, uses customizable dice and has me curious – even though most crowdfunding games have become too expensive because of shipping, VAT and customs. At FryxGames I'd hope to catch a glimpse of Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game.
But the one dice game I’ll probably buy this year is Woodcraft. Once I’ve suppressed my fear of the freaky forest people. 😨 It’s Beat Your Own Score, it has an AI, so it’s not for most of you, but the dice manipulation and planning of actions looks fun to me.
#2. Towards Ultimion!
Best news this year was that Shadi Torbey got the publishing rights for his Oniverse games. 🥳 First up from his own publishing house inPatience is Stellarion, and three more will follow to complete the series. Plus all old games will be reprinted. Anyway, in Stellarion the deck manipulation aspect of Aerion is blown up into a full game – let’s see how it turns out.
We've been shouting it for over forty years, now come on...
RELEASE THE BATS!