Why do we go to… UK Games Expo?
Board gamers and their families will be attending UK Games Expo in their thousands this year. The UK’s biggest board gaming event has seen its attendance grow each year. Because of this, last year, the event was moved to one of the bigest halls in the NEC Birmingham and the extra space made a vast improvement to viewing and experiencing the event.
The UK Games Expo is a chance to view and play some of the latest games on offer, but also to enter competitions (including our very own Doctor Who Skirmish competition) and special events, meet celebrities of the genre and probably most importantly meet new and old friends.
Games Quest will be attending as usual with all the latest and greatest board games at stand C22. We are looking forward to meeting old and new acquaintances alike and sharing our views on what we think could be of interest to the discerning board gamer, as well as advising newer gamers on games they could be adding to their collection or to their gaming group.
Five of the hottest Board Games released this year …you should be considering at UK Games Expo 2017!!!
To help prepare readers that are attending the event, Games Quest are doing a small series of articles showcasing highlights from the various board gaming genres. This first article is looking at the top five games that have been released this year. Some of which may be available at the show and others may not, either way, if you have not kickstarted them or they have skipped under your radar, we believe these board games are worthy of your attention and would sit proudly in your collection and see repeated play.
Build the city’s greatest theme park, whatever it takes! Over the course of several turns, players build attractions such as rides, food places, sideshows and theaters, then upgrade them with features, guest services and quality; to attract the most visitors, earning the most money to put that money back into the expansion of their park. Hiring employees offer passive abilities, but counter offers and poaching from other players is a reality. Rides can even be sabotaged or closed by the weather. It can all get a bit crazy, but it’s highly competitive fun that doesn’t take too long to play.
Unfair is a great card based board game, which is excellently themed and well designed. The theme carries through with whimsy and poignant sad-but-true comedy.
In Yamatai Queen Himiko has tasked you with building the capital of Yamatai, making it the jewel of the archipelago. You’re going to be doing this by creating supply lines of boats carrying various resources, constructing buildings and hiring specialists to help you out.
Yamatai is Incredibly vibrant giving players a surprising amount to think about, even though it’s relatively simple to learn. Yamatai also has some clever mechanics such as in the turn order and how building a special palace can really backfire on you.
3. First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
Built on the core of the award-winning Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and board game of 2012. First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet pits players against the hostile Martian environment and a whole host of new adventures and challenges. The immersion experience is further enhanced with an integrated app that maintains the balance and challenge throughout. Players have the option of taking on the design as a series of separate games, in a custom campaign mode in which each successive game builds on the last, or even an open world mode in which they are free to roam about the Martian surface and explore for as long as they can survive.
First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet is strategically harder to play than Robinson Crusoe, but features such as a campaign and the assisting app make this a very compelling board game to have in your collection.
Anachrony is a competitive, epic Euro-style strategy game with worker placement at its core, set in a grim future where Earth has been rebuilt along four different ideological Paths. The game is played through a series of Eras, with a time travelling twist – players can use Time Rifts to reach back to earlier Eras as the game progresses.
Anachrony is an impressive production and a solid worker placement game. Slightly less complex than say Agricola, the rules are neither quick nor easy to learn and early plays will require longer playing time. If you’re interested in what our reviewer thought, then you can read Chris’ Anachrony review here.
Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for travelling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make.
What can be said about what is possibly going to be the game of the year, a cooperative, campaign-driven dungeon crawl board game of epic proportions and stunning artwork. The latest Kickstarter campaign of the 2nd printing reached a heady $4 million, which speaks for itself.
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Paul Matthews is a Sales Manager for Gamesquest Ltd, as well as a part-time Board game Demonstrator and Blogger. After several years playing Yu-gi-oh at Tournament level, his latest passion is all things board gaming. Besides playing board games, Paul is a part time author and enjoys reading and archery. Paul has a Degree in Humanities Psychology/Counselling and several Life-skill Degrees in Parenting, Horse Management and Ecommerce.