Essen Spiel 2019: 3 Game Watch List

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It’s that time of year again. With Gen Con 2019 in the rear view mirror we are racing at breakneck speed straight into the four day board game stupor that is SPIEL. For the uninitiated, the Essen Game Fair, held in Essen, Germany, is the largest trade show for board games in the world with around 190,000 people in attendance in 2018. It gives us an opportunity to see what way the winds of the board game world are blowing, with many new games and expansions being play tested at the event. The games that do well here can go in to large production making them more easily available. So with the proper anticipation built, lets jump into some of the noteworthy appearances at the event this year.  
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Black Angel

One of the most anticipated games of this event has already been published, played, and reviewed by Rhado and Dice Tower. Taking a note from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the board game Black Angel has AI transferring the future of the human race from a ruined Earth to the planet Spes thousands of years away. Unlike in the movie, there isn’t a human on the ship for the AI to beat up on; however, there is the next best thing, another AI. In this 1-4 player game each person takes control of an AI. Intrigued? For some more in-depth play through and review of this one I’m going to send you to the guys who do it best. Rhado and Dice Tower have both made videos on this. This game is currently going for around $150 on Ebay. Unless the sound of all that money jingling in your pocket really ruffles your feathers, watch for this one to have a larger production run and get cheaper later this year.

On Mars

Let’s go over some of the specifics of this game:
  • Game about being on mars
  • Growing it into a habitable place
  • Big corporations
  • Hex tiles
Sounds a lot like someones cashing in on the Terraforming Mars hype. Fortunately, that’s where the similarities end with On Mars. This game hit its $100K funding goal on kickstarter about 12 minutes after it went live and tallied up nearly $1 million total , so to say there is hype for this one is an understatement. Bonus: There’s a Rhado video on this one as well.
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This one is another Kickstarter success story. Pipeline broke past its original $20k funding goal and went on to score $144k for development. Players are oil tycoons trading blows to make the most efficient oil refinery of their day. This is an engine builder that relies on careful planning to take out the competition and make more money than Rockefeller himself. Not to mention the gorgeous artwork. This one is available on Amazon right now.

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