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Every year after SPIEL, a few things catch our attention… This is probably the same after every big board game convention and not just SPIEL. First, the games are so new that there are no rules videos yet! We don’t mind delving into a rulebook but we have read some rulebooks of games that we think could have been explained in half the time if it was a video. Or, also interesting, the first few days there wasn’t even an English rulebook available for the game MLEM: Space Agency. The game itself is language-independent so we got a German copy after the English one was sold out, but the English rulebook wasn’t uploaded yet. The publisher already told us they would upload it asap after SPIEL, so it’s all good now.
The local second-hand market of board games gets flooded! The number of new listings in Facebook groups is enormous and since the supply is high, prices are relatively low since people want to clear their shelves for the new games they got. And I’ve seen quite some ads with games that are still in shrinkwrap. This actually reminded us of people selling games in the hotel during SPIEL to others if a game wasn’t as good as they had hoped after playing it in the evening. It’s a fascinating market.
And every year, we think we were quite up-to-date with the cool new games at SPIEL and when we come home, people are talking about titles we totally missed and never even heard about. Now we can’t blame ourselves with 1700 novelties this year but it’s just really funny. We’re really happy with the games we got so far and let’s be honest, you simply can’t play all the games. There are just too many nowadays.
Last week, we clearly were high on board games and played loads of games! Besides the occasional game of Tinderblox (it’s just lying on our kitchen table so it gets played often), we’ve played Age of Wonders: Planetfall*, Neotopia*, Quicksand*, The Fox Experiment* and Tokaido Duo. (* = gifted to us by the publishers)
None of these games were a disappointment! Although we did think that Planetfall doesn’t really shine with just two players we really like the fun sci-fi theme, that it’s quick to play, and that it goes up to six players. You’d probably easily play multiple games in a row or you can combine it with multiple games during a game night.
Neotopia was a surprise! When we saw it was originally from MEBO, that immediately tickled our interest though since they have good taste! It’s a quick and fun tile placement game in which you try to make patterns on the board, matching those on your cards in three different city districts. The lowest-scoring district has the ‘heaviest’ impact on the final scoring, so you have to keep an eye on balancing your scores in the different areas. After having played this two times, we think this works really well with just two players and can be played in about half an hour.
We played three levels of Quicksand, which is a co-op real-time game with sand timers. We were really surprised we made it that far! It’s a nice energetic game that you could compare with Kites with the biggest difference being you have to move the sand timers over tiles over the finish line and that you progress through levels.
Then there’s the Fox Experiment, a popular title on SPIEL that we didn’t miss. 😉 We really liked that! It felt slightly fiddly with two players combined with the AI player but that might also be because it was our first play and we still had to learn all the steps you go through during a round. You can read our full first impression on our Instagram account.
And then there’s Tokaido Duo and that one joins a list of very nice two-player versions of games! Its game flow is really smooth and there basically is no downtime at all and again, plays in about half an hour. Just like Splendor Duel, we’re impressed by this one!
We’ll see what games we’ll get to table this week and let you know our impressions next week and in the meantime on our social media channels. 🙂