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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Sunday 5 May 2019

The Game Shelf Previews:- The UK Games Expo 2019

It's May, which means that the UK Games Expo is this month. For the last three years, the UK Games Expo has been the highlight of my board gaming calendar, and even though we're stepping things up with a trip to Essen and SHUX this year, UKGE is still the one I'm most excited for because I know what to expect.

This year, the UK Games Expo is bigger than ever and I thinks it's truly broken through to become in international convention. Major international publishers, like CMON, Stronghold Games and Renegade Game Studios are exhibiting for the first time (I think) and I have no doubt that the convention will grow again in both space and attendance. My top tip for this year is to organise to meet people you want to see. The convention is so large that I certainly need to make plans to catch up with friends and it tends to mean I can cram in more evening gaming if I make some plans in advance.

Whilst my focus is on the games I most excited about, I'm also super excited to get involved in the Bring and Buy, lots of seminars, open gaming and the BoardGameGeek math tradeWith the 2019 Spiel des Jahres nominations being announced just over a week before the convention I'm also hoping we'll get an opportunity to play some nominees, like when we played Luxor last year, which would otherwise have passed us by.

Each year, more and more companies make some releases or pre-releases at the UK Games Expo, prior to the large conventions in the USA and this year there's some really great titles releasing. There's a few resources listing the games you might be able to demo and purchase at the show - one on the UKGE website and the other at Tabletop Together. I've picked a few highlights in both categories to talk about a little more. The one game I've not spotted any news about is Century: A New World. The two previous games in the trilogy have had an early UKGE release in the last two years, so I would be disappointed if they don't do the same again in 2019.

Available to Buy

Floodgate Games (2-336)
Floodgate Games are perhaps best known for their smash hit Sagrada, but if you've been following them on Twitter lately you'll have seen that they have another beautiful game releasing imminently called Bosk. Bosk looks a lot like Photosynthesis, with its 3D trees, but the gameplay looks like a totally different puzzle with squirrel meeples for added flare! I really hope that there will be some copies available to buy!

Pegasus Spiele (2-302)
Pegasus Spiele will be represented at the Meeples Corner store. I love Meeples Croner because they are able to seek out hot new titles from Germany before anyone else in the UK. Last year they had some very hot copies of Ganz Schon Clever and this year they;re bring six brand new games from Pegasus Spiele. If you're a fan of Wolfgang Warsch or roll and write games, then the Meeple's corner stand is definitely the place to be to check out Undo, Second Chance, Hex Roller, Fabulantica, Subtext and Nobjects. I'm most intrigued by Undo, which seems to be a cross between TIME Stories and an escape room game, but I'm also keen to get my hands on Second Chance - the Uwe Rosenberg roll and write in the Cottage Garden style, which might also be on show at the Stronghold games booth.

Portal Games (2-552)
Portal Games have perhaps one of the hottest confirmed new releases of the convention with Imperial Settlers Roll & Write. Taking their smash hit tableau building game and working a roll and write into the same universe is a sure fire way to success. Lots of fantastic artwork and sneak peaks have been released by Portal and it's certainly worked with building my hype for the game!

Board&Dice (1-506)
Board & Dice have three new releases at the UK Games Expo. My most anticipated is World Shapers. World Shapers sounds like a classic card drafting game, but the artwork has really drawn me in, so I hope it has some good gameplay to back it up. I'm also hoping we get the chance to try Sierra West, which releases later this year. The images of how the cards overlay to create your tableau in Sierra West really have me intrigued.

White Wizard Games (1-864)
White Wizard Games have had huge success with Star Realms and Hero Realms and Sorcerer is their latest release. While the game passed me by on Kickstarter, I've been looking at it longingly ever since and a bigger cousin to Star Realms. As a primarily two-player game it really fits into our gaming life and seems to align well with our recent enjoyment of Keyforge and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Champions which are both two player - creature battling games. I'm hopeful that some of the elements of the deck-building in Star Realms also make their way into the game and that Sorcerer will be one we really enjoy.

CoiledSpring Games (1-960)
CoiledSpring Games represent publishers like Iello, Gamewright and North Star Games, so there's likely to be plenty to check out at their booth. Whilst Sushi Roll will probably release slightly before the UK Games Expo, I'd still be keen to check out the dice game sequel to the great drafting game Sushi Go. But, most of all I'm excited for Bunny Kingdom: In the Sky. It's probably my most hotly anticipated expansion of the year and I'm excited to see how the new game board integrates and provides new strategies to this wonderful drafting game.

Greater than Games (1-852)
Greater than Games are debuting Homebrewers - a beer themed game from designer Ben Rosset who previously designed Brewcrafters. I recently added Brewcrafters to our collection because of my love of craft beer and I'm hoping it will be a great game. I will essentially check out any beer themed game - I like Brewcrafters: The Travel Card game and really loved Microbrew which we demo'd at UKGE last year. With engine building core to the gameplay, Homebrewers is even more likely to tick the right boxes for me.

Renegade Games Studios (1-514)
Renegade Games Studios are bringing a few new titles to the UK Games Expo, but Laterns Dice: Lights in the Sky has caught my attention. Lanterns Dice appears to be roll and write adjacent, combining tile laying and dice rolling to complete your player sheet. We enjoyed the original game Lanterns and it looks like we'll be heading home from the UK Games Expo with a whole bag of roll and write games!

Alley Cat Games (1-936)
Last year we enjoyed demos of Coral Islands and Dice Hospital with Alley Cat Games. This year it looks like they have a couple of new releases available to purchase at the show, Welcome to Dino World and Cat Cafe, which is another roll and write. As you can tell, we find it hard to turn down a roll and write and this will definitely be one we check out. They'll also have demos of some recent Kickstarter successes, including Chocolate Factory, as well as some expansion content for Dice Hospital that is well worth checking out.

Available to Demo

Hub Games (2-211)
Last year, my demo of Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr was a highlight of the convention. This year the'll be demo'ing MegaCity: Oceania - a city building game set in the year 2100 in which you'll build a floating city. The early photos of this game look beautiful and intriguing and I really hope we get to demo this one.

Zatu Games (1-916)
Zatu Games are a UK-based online store who are supported by a large number of reviewers, including us. They host demos at their convention stall and this year I believe they'll have demos for Dwellings of Eldervale from Breaking Games and The Refuge: Terror from the Deep from B&B Studios that I'm very excited to check out.

CGE (2-418)
CGE have two new and exciting demos that I'm looking forward to, that couldn't be more different on first appearances. The first is Letter Jam - a cooperative party game that I hope can rival the fun we have with Just one as a co-op party experience. Sanctum looks to be the next big box release from CGE, which converts a hack and slash game into a tabletop experience. I'm not 100% sure if it will be my bag, but that's what demos are for!

Fun Forge (1-686)
Fun Forge do not have a huge number of new releases each year, but they really burst onto our radar after our Kickstarter preview for Monumental last year. We loved both the game and the production quality and there will be a chance to try it at the UK Games Expo to. The exciting new to us game that they will be demoing is Namiji - a sequel to Tokaido. Tokaido has become such a classic game, with an often replicated time track mechanism, so I'm interested to see what Namiji does to bring something new to the table.

We hope to see you in Brimingham from Friday 31st May - Sunday 2nd June. Please drop us a message if you want to meet up for a demo or a game - we'd love to see some friendly faces!


  1. Wpuld love to meet up for a game! Whatsapp: 07896124775!

    1. Sure thing! We'll be demo'ing like crazy during the day (I hope) and then free every evening. Will drop you a message.