Which board games we think you should be demoing at Essen Spiel 2017

Finding those even newer gems shining on the horizon

Visiting game fairs is one of the great ways to connect to publishers and see the current hotness, but what about the designers and their new upcoming games you will also find there? Let’s have a look at some titles we will be trying to demo at Essen.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Blimey! You and your blokes have been banished and stripped of everything but a few shillings and table scraps. Undaunted, you journey to a strange land to reinvent yourself and reclaim your honor. Will you farm the earth, fight as knights or finagle your own feudums?

Booth 2-C148

This one, when we first saw the Kickstarter, just looked so distinctive. But was it any good? Could there be a heavy eurogame encapsulated in that whimsy looking game? But after watching the crazy good intro video to the game (those should be the standard for  Kickstarter games!), the gameplay really looked so intriguing. The timing of the project, running beside Lisboa, was the reason we didn’t back it. But believe us, we will be looking forward to demoing this complex strategy game at the Odd Bird Game booth.

Living planet

In Living Planet, each player portrays one major Galactic Corporation exploiting the distant planet MYC.14.250.
Each one of them much eager to industrialize the planet and generate as much profit as possible before the planet self-destruct.

Booth 7-C115 Lumberjacks Studio 

It was the art on the box that captured our eye. The bright white lights versus the muted grey mountains and just those few greenish colors on the explorer. Stunning. But then I saw the designer and it was the men behind Archipelago and 4 Gods Christophe Boelinger Gathering resources, trade them on the market to make money and deal with the troubles a distended planet randomly gives. Every turn the leader role will alternate, curious how that plays out in a competitive game.

Lords of Hellas

Enter the Dark Ages of Greece, ruled by mighty Gods wielding advanced technology. Control asymmetric heroes and choose your path to victory, either by strategic control or adventure style monster hunting and quests.

Booth – 2-A116

Yes, we did back this on Kickstarter and yes on occasion we do love us a big miniatures game! Tied in with a twist on the Greek mythology and it is a game we are really looking forward to. Awaken Realms included a lot of different gameplay possibilities, like regular competitive or one versus many styles. With the different ways you can become victories and the asymmetric hero’s you can play, this sounds like a lot of fun. A cocktail of a little Kemet, a taste of Blood Rage and if you want to go nuts some Cry Havoc. Cheers!

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The year is 1793. France cowers under the Reign of Terror, and not even the innocent are safe from the Committee of Public Safety and their precious guillotine. In the midst of this turmoil, one man uses courage and cunning to fight the brutality: The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Booth 6-J112

We will admit this, we may be huge fans of Ian O’Toole and Eagle-Gryphon Games. But how can’t you be? Look at the art, look at the production quality and look the latest run they did? The theme, well it just sounds so spiffy and we want to play as a clever hero trying to rescue people from their deads in a competitive fashion. The last confession, I did not know Brian Kelley, the designer, but his introduction on BGG was hilarious: “Brian Kelley works as a graphic designer and marketing specialist for an Internet company by day, and as a budding game designer at night. His first ambition was to become a Superhero. However, his only superpower was dropping toast butter-side-down. Not especially useful.”

Ancient Aliens

In the depths of space, millions of light years away from the Universal core, a habitable planet has been discovered. Orbiting a young sun and being ripe with resources it is immediately desirable for the High Races. Conquering its primitive inhabitants by force would be easy but the all-knowing, ever-present Overseers do not allow any acts of violence towards infantile races.

Booth 8-B111

A returning kickstart project somewhere around Essen time. The card-driven resource acquiring gameplay sounds like a lot of fun. You have 3 possible choices from the five hand cards and play those on the raised middle of the game board. Yes, it’ raised and yes we like that too! It may be generic in theme, so want to see how it plays if it stands out from other space games, but we do like the look of it. Let’s experience what Svavar Björgvinsson and Gamia Games will bring to the table.


Fallout is a post-nuclear adventure board game for one to four players. Based on the hit video game series by Bethesda Softworks, each Fallout scenario is inspired by a familiar story from the franchise. Survivors begin the game on the edge of an unexplored landscape, uncertain of what awaits them in this unfamiliar world. With just one objective to guide them from the very beginning, each player must explore the hidden map, fight ferocious enemies, and build the skills of their survivor as they attempt to complete challenging quests and balance feuding factions within the game.

Booth 6-A118


We loved the video game and the branches it created in the video game world. We may tell you someday what Counterstrike So we were delighted to see it coming to the table top. After seeing some of the GenCon previews it made us very pleased and looking forward to those wastelands. Coöp, dice chucking, you really can be eliminated from the game and tile exploration, yes we want to see this from Fantasy Flight Games

(updated, made the wrong relation the the other Fallout table top game.)

Founders of Gloomhaven

Founders of Gloomhaven is a competitive tile-placement, action-selection, city-building game in which each player controls a fantastical race working to build the city of Gloomhaven and gain influence over its residents. This is a standalone game set in the same universe as Gloomhaven. The events, however, take place hundreds of years before Gloomhaven and depict the original construction of the city.

Booth 7-J108

It’s heavy, it’s epic, it lays the path for it predecessor Gloomhaven and has some splashes of a “Splotter” game to it. Call us very interested and yes, this project we did back of course. But I cannot wait how the game is progressing and what Isaac has done to some of the features which still needed some tweaking. The fact that it is a game where you need your counterparts as much as trying to defeat them in the end, is so well done.

Tokyo Metro

In Tokyo Metro, players take on the role of private investors looking to build up stations across Tokyo, speculate on train lines, and comprise a shared network to benefit multiple parties. The core of the game is built around worker placement, which opens up three possibilities: Walking and riding trains across the Metro map, Investment into train lines and build up your available actions

Booth 7-G107

It looks so sleek and so very minimalistic, but it sounds so very deep in what it may be in game play. Investing, route building, bidding and a lot of player interactions. All based on a real replication of the Tokyo area. Which, just like for example London, we really like playing such simulations. But this one really looks something Heavy Cardboard should be checking out and could suit out Dutch Heavy cardboard herd a lot.

Interkosmos (expansion)

The China National Space Administration joins the competition to build the most developed space agency and claim fundamental space race achievements. In Space Race: The Card Game – Interkosmos, you can encounter Taikonauts (including Yang Liwei), launch Project 863, build Xichang Satellite Launch Center, or initiate the Heavenly Palace space program.

Booth 2-D146

We like the clever play the base game gives us. The way you activate your agency by the different lines is a nice puzzle to make. The iconography was a thing at first, but the team behind Boardcubator cleared that up very well. Another plus is the realistic use of the space race events and people who gave shape to that era of mankind. This may be mostly extra cards and a new agency to play, but more is sometimes just all you need.


Top Spiel 2017 DEMO


So what do you think? Which games are on your list to demo at Spiel 2017? Did we miss some gems you can share with us?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.