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.
Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game (Portal Games)
This year Ignacy Trzewiczek and Portal Games are bringing their new release Detective: a Modern Crime Board Game and I couldn’t be more excited about it! It’s described as a card-driven, cooperative campaign game with an immersive narrative, where 1-5 players work together to solve 5 crimes (each case taking around 3 hours to solve). The level of digital integration in this game really intrigued me. Whilst playing, you need to interact with the companion website (and other online resources) to assist with their investigations. It feels like a very creative use of technology and I’m certain it will not only have a positive influence on the game play, but also add to the level of immersion and theme.
If you’re interested in checking out Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, then check out the Portal Games stall at the UKGE Hall 1 – C22.
Century: Eastern Wonders (Plan B Games)
Asmodee are bringing Plan B Games’ Century: Eastern Wonders to the UKGE 2018. There’ll be a number of copies to demo, and Asmodee have recently announced that the game will be having a soft release at UKGE, with a limited number of games available to purchase. To be honest, I wasn’t excited when I heard the next instalment of the Century series was going to be at UKGE 2018. This wasn’t because I’m not a fan of Century: Spice Road/Golem Edition (it’s a great game!), but because I didn’t understand how the ‘series’ was going to work: I thought each instalment was going to be a reprint of the same game that could be combined. Having spotted a few pictures on Instagram and Twitter, I now realise that my first thoughts were wrong! It appears that each game in the series will play in a unique way, with Eastern Wonders being played on tiles. This different game play that can be combined with Century: Spice Road for a more epic game definitely has caught my attention… so I’ll be hunting this one down at UKGE 2018 that’s for sure!
I’ve deliberately not researched Eastern Wonders in depth, so all can be revealed when I play a demo (if I’m lucky enough to get one!).
If you’re interested in checking out Century: Eastern Wonders, stop by the Esdevium Games stall at the UKGE – Hall 1 B9
5 Minute Chase (Board and Dice)
I feel Board and Dice are one of the hottest board game publishers at the moment; they’re creatively designing new and exciting games that step outside of the mould. One such game is PageQuest Season 1 – Mythical Artefacts, a serialised campaign game with a new chapter released each month. In this was it’s a bit like a TV series or a comic book. I think it’s a brave move to try this kind of release, especially now when as a society we tend to digest things immediately or in blocks.
But at the UKGE I really want to try out 5 Minute Chase. An asymmetric, tile-laying game played in real time. Some players take the role of escaping prisoners and other players are the detectives in hot pursuit. 5 Minute Chase has no turns: players simultaneously place tiles and tokens in real-time, trying to outsmart their rivals. True to the name, 5 Minute Chase only takes 5 minutes to play so is definitely worth fitting in a game at UKGE 2018.
If you’re interested in checking out 5 Minute Chase, stop by the Board and Dice stall at the UKGE – Hall 1-K2
MourneQuest (Backspindle Games)
When I was researching games, publishers and designers that are going to UKGE 2018, I stumbled across Backspindle Games and their current Kickstarter: MourneQuest. The characters, theme and Irish folklore narrative of this game has really caught my attention…but I’m most excited about the game play. It’s a cooperative game, with a range of mechanics like set collection, variable player powers, and dice rolling (for combat). There’s a lot going on in this game and I think there’s loads of room for varied strategies.
I’m hoping to get the opportunity to demo MourneQuest at UKGE 2018 as I’m considering backing the ‘standees’ version (there’s both a miniatures OR standees version of the game – love this touch!)… My only reason for holding off is the chance for a ‘try before you back’ by demoing at UKGE 2018!
If you’re interested in checking out MourneQuest, stop by the Backspindle Games stall at the UKGE – Hall 1-K12.
Carcosa (One Free Elephant)
Carcosa is set in a Lovecraftian universe, where players take on the role of competing cults. Players draw and place tiles to build ethereal landscapes, containing different features (leylines, districts, ritual sites, and lakes) that they can then place a ‘Cultist’ on… Sound familiar?
Fundamentally, Carcosa is heavily influenced by Carcassonne (Published by ZMAN Games), one of my favourite, well-played games. However, Carcosa takes the game play and turns it up to eleven (obligatory Spinal Tap reference!) by introducing a range of new elements to the game. One such element is the use of ‘unstable’ tiles; features are ‘unstable’ until they’re completed, so other players can alter them during their turns. This adds an interesting strategic element to the game that isn’t present in Carcassonne, and might encourage players to complete their features before they get altered, instead of trying to build the biggest feature in the game.
This game presents an interesting twist to a solid favourite of mine… I can’t wait to give it a go!
If you’re interested in checking out Carcosa, stop by the One Free Elephant stall at the UKGE – Hall 1-J7.
Some honourable mentions that I also want to have a look at during the UK Games Expo:
- Dice Hospital (Alley Cat Games – Hall 1 B6)
- Heroes of Tenefyr (Broken Mill – Hall 2 A5)
- Last one in (City Gate Games – Hall 1 L16)
- Albedo (Herbertz Enterainment- Hall 1 L18)
- Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails (The Noble Artist – Hall 1 H7)
Away from the trade halls, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to finally play some not-so-new games in the UKGE Board Games Library:
- Terraforming Mars (by Stronghold Games)
- Dice Forge (by Libellud)
- Azul (by Plan B Games)
My friends and I are hoping to spend the majority of Saturday in the games library/open gaming areas, and I think it will be a day well spent if we get these games on the table.
With only a couple days to go till UKGE 2018, I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these games. Are there any games on your hit list that I’ve listed here? or games that I haven’t !? Let me know I’d really be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Disclosure – I’ve been fortunate enough to be granted a press pass for the UK Games Expo 2018. My views, opinions and discussions about the UK Games Expo 2017, or the UK Games Expo 2018 are my honest opinions, and not effected by this.