This weekend (29th-30th September 2018) I’ll join thousands of other gamers at Alexandra Palace in London for Tabletop Gaming Live. It’s the new kid on the UK tabletop convention block, brought to us by the… More
It’s been a while now since this year’s UK Games Expo (UKGE – the UKs biggest convention for all things gaming). But I haven’t forgotten about all the games that I was fortunate to see and – most of the time – play! You’re surrounded by so many games, constantly moving from one to the next, and it’s sometimes hard to take stock of the qualities of each one. Having now had time to reflect, I want to share the games that really left a lasting impression on me.
This year’s UK Games Expo (UKGE) – a weekend-long celebration of all things gaming – has been and gone. This year was truly massive, extending across 2 trade halls – and it needed to be, to house the thousands of gamers attending! One thing I love about UKGE is that there is so much going on that everyone goes for different reasons and has an experience unique to them.
Here are my highlights from this year’s EPIC UKGE 2018!
Avoiding zombies is imperative to survival in an apocalypse. But zombies aren’t the only danger – rival communities might be more of a risk to each other then the zombies ever were! This is what the Last One In (by City Games) explores. Players compete to rescue civilians and eliminate each other’s town with zombies. The first player to save 50 civilians or inflict the wrath of 100 zombies onto the other town wins!
I was lucky enough to demo Last One In at the UK Games Expo last week, and have the game explained to me by its designer Mark Taylor. Not long after, I got my phone out and backed the game! And here are my reasons why:
I’ve already said in my ‘8 lessons that I learnt from the UK Games Expo 2017’ post that there’s more to the UK Games Expo (UKGE) then just games, and everyone should step away from the trade halls to take in some of the other aspects of the UKGE. Take a look at that post if you want to see what else the UKGE has to offer.
That being said, the biggest and (in my opinion) most important aspect of the UKGE is definitely the games. I’m drawn to the UKGE by the promise of demoing the latest releases or pre-releases and seeking out other games to play or buy. So today, in no particular order, I want to share my UKGE 2018 hit list.
Last year we visited both Copenhagen and then Aarhus, two wonderful cities in Denmark. I’ve already written about our adventures in Copenhagen’s notorious board game café, Bastards. Amazingly, we were lucky enough to visit a second board game café in Denmark: this time, I’m going to talk about the fun we had at Aarhus Brætspilscafé (vestergrade).
On our first night in Aarhus visiting friends, they surprised us with a trip to Aarhus Brætspilscafé, their local board game café. They must’ve known we’d need a gaming fix to recover from our journey!
Aarhus Brætspilscafé had a homely, intimate atmosphere that is immediately apparent as soon as you walk through the front door. It’s a home away from home for family and friends to socialise over a few games. We really felt at home whilst we visited, and even forgot we were even in a café and not sat at home.
The UK Games Expo (UKGE) is arguably the biggest highlight of the UK tabletop gaming calendar. Board game enthusiasts along with board game designers, publishers and retailers transcend on the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham for 3 epic days of gaming. Last year was my first time at the expo, where I attended Saturday and Sunday, and I loved every minute of it! Now, with UKGE 2018 fast approaching, I want to share 8 lessons that I learnt from UKGE 2017 – and how I’ll be getting the most out of this year!
Pandemic is an immersive co-operative game, where you work together as the World Health Organisation (WHO) disease control team to stop deadly diseases from spreading across the globe and destroying humankind.
Pandemic was the first tabletop game that I ever bought – my ‘gateway game’ that opened my eyes to the incredible world of board gaming – so I’ll always have a soft spot for it. When researching what to get for my first board game I knew I wanted something with an exciting, immersive theme that was co-operative and without player elimination (so everybody is in it ‘til the end!). Pandemic ticked all the boxes and it’s still a regular on our table years on. If you’re new to the tabletop gaming scene, or looking to introduce new people to the hobby, Pandemic is a great game to start with.
You don’t have to be in the hobby long until you start to hear about the ‘Tiny Epic’ series by Gamelyn Games; games that are renowned for providing an epic gaming experience despite the tiny box size. Unfortunately, I’ve not had the opportunity to play any of the current Tiny Epic games yet. But as soon as I saw Tiny Epic Zombies pop up on Kickstarter, I knew this was about to change! And here’s why:
In December we spent a week in Denmark visiting friends who had recently moved from the UK. Having never been to Denmark before, we decided to spend a few days in the charming city of Copenhagen before joining our friends in Aarhus. We played the tourist game: taking in the cityscape from the Rundetårn; descending to the depths of the Cisternerne; and gulping plenty of festive Gløgg.
And of course, we couldn’t leave Copenhagen without spending some quality time at the notorious Bastards Café.
Bastards café has what I believe is the best ‘free to play’ board game collection I’ll ever find at a board game café. By offering not only free games, but good free games, they’re not only enticing board gamers into their café, but they’re also making the board gaming experience accessible to everyone and encouraging newcomers to the community. And for this they should be applauded!