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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Monday 23 July 2018

Overthinking by The Yellow Meeple:- Top 5 Most Anticipated Games of Gen Con 2018

With Gen Con 2018 less than two weeks away, I have been eagerly scouring the BGG list, using the Tabletop Together Tool and checking out videos on Youtube to figure out which games I should be most excited about! This may seem like a futile method in excitement management, but being super excited about new games is one of my favourite feelings and unfortunately it's one that happens less and less often as our gaming experience and board game collection expands. Only a few games a year break through and become a new favourite in our collection and I'm always looking for the games that will make the cut!

In terms of the GenCon release list, BGG lists almost 500 titles, although they are a mixture of releases, demos and some older games. I'd like to focus on games I am really excited for and haven't had the chance to see or find out too much about. Coimbra, Reef and Detective are all games that we've played, in late prototype, or pre-production stages at the UK Games Expo. We will, without doubt, be adding all three games to our collection. If you haven't had the chance to look at these games, then you should really make time to check them out. Finally, if I had to recommend one demo of a game that I don't believe is quite ready to be released at Gen Con, it would he Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr. This is such a refreshing game and is really worth a look at the Creativity Hub stand.

     1. Forbidden Sky is the third in Matt Leacock's series of cooperative games, including Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert. Simply my being in this series, Forbidden Sky has my attention. Forbidden Desert, as the more complex of the previous two games, is still in our collection and we've got pretty good at the higher difficulties. Forbidden Sky appears to be at least a similar complexity if not more complex, with is good for us. In addition I believe this game includes real electrical circuits. This is something I've not really seen in modern board gaming, but I'm super excited to see how this is implemented.

     2. Gizmos has engine building and a marble dispenser – need I even go any further in my research to know that I want this game? From what I’ve seen this is a light-to-medium weight engine building game with 4 simple actions. Taking each actions triggers the corresponding machine which you customise throughout the game. It’s the quintessential engine building game where you build a contraption and I’m hoping it scratches that itch for me in a much better way than Imaginarium.

3. Rise of Queensdale is a new legacy game coming from designers Inka and Marcus Brand. Amongst many other great games, they are responsible for the incredible EXIT series of escape room games. Rise of Queensdale is already available in German and it doesn’t seem to be getting quite as much buzz as I expected, however I’ll give almost an legacy game a try and I’d love to have Rise of Queensdale in the queue ready for when we complete Charterstone.

     4. Railroad Ink is a new roll and write game coming from Horrible Games and CMON. This publisher partnership has given us Potion Explosion and Dragon Castle – both huge successes in our collection. In addition, we’re a bit addicted to roll and writes and have recently enjoyed steamrollers – another train themed roll and write game. My only reservation is that I’m a little confused to see that it’s coming out in a blue and red version with different expansion content in each.

     5. Gunkimono is a reprint and re-theming of Heartland, coming from Renegade Game Studios. We had the chance to play Heartland at a game group recently and were pleasantly surprised by the great tile laying game beneath the generic art and box cover. The Japanese-style re-theming will certainly hep to bring the game to a wider audience and I'm excited to be able to pick up a copy of the reprint.

I'm also excited to see a few new expansions for favourite games, as well as games that need to see some more time on our table;
  • The first is Terraforming Mars: Prelude. Terraforming Mars is my number 1 game of all time and even though I don't think it needs more expansions, I will inevitably buy all of them! I'm not too sure what this expansion will add, although it sounds like it might give a jump start to your strategy that could result in faster games and more focus to your gameplay.
  • The second notable expansion is Scythe: The Rise of Fenris. The Rise of Fenris brings campaign and legacy aspects to the game, so will be great for keeping the game on our table regularly. I'm a little worried that combat may feature too heavily for our style of play, but I'm still very excited to check it out. 
  • The final notable expansion is Whistle Stop:Rocky Mountains. Whistle Stop is a lovely, light, pick up and deliver game that deserves to be played more often and a new expansion is a guarantee that we'll play Whistle Stop a few more times. This expansion seems to add more variety and a 3-D mountain range to make things a little more challenging.
It might be a few months before some of these releases make their way to the UK, but I do love having some highly anticipated games to look forward to and this list is really just the best of the best.

I hope those of your fortunate enough to go have a fantastic time at Gen Con, and let us know what were your best experiences and games of the convention!

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