Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Saturday, 6 May 2017

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- Most Anticipated Games of the UK Games Expo 2017

With the UK Games Expo just 4 weeks away, it's time for me to start planning what I want to see and do whilst we're there. As more news comes out from exhibitors, and as people start sharing some thoughts from Origins over in the USA, I might need to update this list or write a second blog post, but I'm already thinking about it so I'll already write about it.

The UK Games Expo will take place at the NEC Birmingham, UK from Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th June. This will be our second time attending. Last year we only did one day and although we said we'd do the whole weekend this year, I unfortunately ended up planning my own hen party for the same weekend, so a full weekend at the expo will have to wait another year.

With just one day, we intend to try and see and demo as many games as we can, as well as spending some time at the Bring and Buy - after all, buying board games is a big part of the hobby for me! Here's what's caught my eye so far;

  • Alien Artifacts - The first of two titles from Portal Games that I'm super keen to see a demo of. I saw Ignacy Trzewiczek's vlog from the Gathering of Friends and the amount of work going into this game is amazing, so it would be nice to see and perhaps demo the prototype.
  • First Martians - First Martians is one of the 2017 releases I'm most excited about. I backed out of the pre-order, deciding that it was a little too expensive compared to RRP, but I'll definitely be hoping to get the game when it is released. I've put off buying Robinson Crusoe for a long time as the idea of the mars theme and the app driven game have me super keen to take a look at First Martians instead.
  • Barenpark - Today I saw Barenpark called a "Cottage Garden Killer". I love Cottage Garden- for me it was a Patchwork killer so I'm very excited to at least see a demo of this new game from Mayfair.
  • Caverna: Cave vs. Cave - This is the 2-player version of Caverna, presumably similar to how Le Harve: Inland Port and Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small were to their counterpart Uwe Rosernburg games. We've still not had a chance to play Caverna, but we love Fields of Arle and play Agricola from time-to-time. It would be nice to add a quicker, 2-player equivalent to our collection. This is only rumoured to be demoing with Mayfair and probably not for sale yet.
  • Anachrony - People have recently been receiving their Kickstarter copies of Anachrony, but I've not seen it or tried it yet. It's definitely a try-before-you-buy for me,but a game that is said to do time travel well is one I want to check out.
  • Batman: The Board Game - I recently bought a cheap copy of the Kings Pledge to Conan. We've not played a game yet, but as soon as I've painted all the miniatures involved in the first game, we'll be excited to give it a try. Batman: The Board Game is supposed to be a re-skin of Conan. It would be good to demo this and compare it to the original since the Batman theme is probably more appealing.
  • Codenames Duet - I've been really enjoying introducing Codenames to work colleagues and family recently. I'm not sure I need a two-player version in my life, but it's definitely worth looking at this demo from CGE.
  • The Networks: Expansion - Last year, The Networks was a quick sell-out at the UK Games Expo. I understand that Gil Hova from Formal Ferret games will have the expansion available and I'm intersted to see how this changes the game.
  • EXIT Games - I'm not sure why I've not bought these games yet - they've been available in the UK for a while. I'm still yet to try an escape room game, but there's been a lot of good feedback about this series from Kosmos. I think part of what was putting me of was mainly the postage cost in relation to such a small £10-12 game, so I'm hoping to be able to buy them in person at the expo.
  • Nimbee - I think I saw Nimbee on Kickstarter earlier in the year. We only back one kickstarter per month so Nimbee didn't make the cut, but the watercolour artwork looked so beautiful that I'd really like to take a look at the finished product.Not sure if the gameplay will be for us, but anything is worth a try.
  • Beer Empire - My interest in Beer Empire is almost entirely based upon the name and the theme. I really enjoy my beer, but never pulled the trigger on Brewcrafters, because people said it was similar to Agricola and I don't need to own the same game with two different themes. Hopefully Beer Empire is an interesting game behind the theme so I can add a beer game to my collection.
  • Pocket Mars - It's another Mars game - I know- overused theme in 2016/17, but this one comes from the designers of Multiuniversum, which I know was a big hit at last years expo, so I'm interested to  take a look. It's also from the same publisher as beer empire, so looks like I might be spending a while at the Board&Dice stand.
Thanks to Tom Heath for his amazing GeekList which has loads of info about the demos that will be available and the games for sale!


  1. Glad that Codenames: Duet is on your list. I'm the guy running the CGE booth, so please stop by, say hello. Happy to chat about stuff.

    1. Hey Paul, will make sure to come and say Hi.

  2. Great list of games, most of them are on my watch list too :)
    Also feel free to check out the tool I made that uses data from Tom Heath's GeekList: https://tabletoptogether.com/tool/