This year, Rules of Play's Ian & Dyfed are going to Essen! We're counting down some of the best and most-anticipated games of the entire fair.
Having perused the general Essen buzz online - and by using our own skills of deduction - we've narrowed down all of Essen's new titles to 10 games we think will be astronomically popular.
Below are 10 Essen games we think will be massive hits, whether as Christmas gifts or as a new title for a gamer's shelf.
Want some good news? All these games are available to pre-order with us right now!
More Essen posts:
- 10 Essen games everyone seems to be talking about
- 10 Essen games we'll definitely be playing when we're there
When I Dream
At the beginning of each round of When I Dream, one player takes the role of the Dreamer and "falls asleep", wearing a cloth mask. The other players are secretly dealt their role cards determining what kind of spirits they are: "good" or "naughty" or if they are just "tricksters" changing sides as the game goes by.
The whole round lasts 120 seconds in which the spirits are drawing "Dream" cards depicting a specific element of the dream, trying to describe them to the dreamer using one word each. The dreamer can guess what the element of the Dream is at any time, placing the card to the good spirits team side if the guess was correct and in the naughty spirits pile if it was not.
At the end of the round the Dreamer and the good spirits get a point for every card in the good spirits pile, when the naughty spirits get one point for every card in the naughty spirits pile.
The Climbers is an easy-to-learn, all-wooden, 3D strategy game with beautiful components. The winner is whoever gets to the highest point first using ladders, blocking stones and their wits to outsmart the other players!View the game
Magic Maze: Maximum Security
For some time now, the Magic Maze has been regularly robbed by unscrupulous adventurers, who incessantly steal from the same four shops. How strange!
Due to this alarming observation, Management has installed new security systems to dissuade any further dishonest deeds.
The Maximum Security expansion not only brings the mall guards of Magic Maze to life, but provides a number of other modules to allow you to customize your experience.View the game
Flip Ships is a cooperative dexterity game in which players take on the roles of brave pilots defending their planet from an onslaught of firepower. Flip your ships to take out the encroaching enemies and to take down the powerful mother ship before it's too late.View the game
In Hanamikoji, two players compete to earn the favors of the seven geisha masters by collecting the performance items with which they excel.
With careful speculation and sometimes a few bold moves, you may earn the essential items by giving away the less critical ones. Can you outsmart your opponent and win the most favors of the geisha?View the game
In Tortuga, players take on the role of a pirate working to keep all of the treasure for themselves and lead a mutiny against the captain. Who can you trust? Will you walk the gangplank? Find out on the high seas!View the game
Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time
Professor Evil owns a time machine, and he's been ripping off all the best historical items from times both past and future.
Your team has been charged with confiscating these items and returning them to their proper locations in time, so you now need to infiltrate the mansion and get the four items back before Prof. Evil can hide them away!View the game
A brand new edition of a popular classic, London will appeal to the strategic thinker among board game fans.
Tasked with rebuilding London in the decades following the great fire, players juggle building requirements, bank loans, and poverty as they strive to realize their vision for the city.View the game
Cities of Splendor
Cities of Splendor — which is a working title at the moment — is a quartet of expansions for use with the Splendor base game.
- One expansion gives players something new to compete for while playing, something bigger than the nobles who await your interest in the base game.
- A second expansion gives you elements to place on cards that represent the cities.
- A third expansion has a player board on which you claim special powers and twist the rules if you claim certain cards.
- The fourth expansion has new cards with special powers that are shuffled into the three decks of the base game.
Every round in the adult party game Kamasutra, a random kamasutra position is drawn, and each couple must assume the position, then push against one another to pop the balloon placed between them. The first couple to break the balloon scores the point and takes the card.View the game
We'll be releasing news about all our upcoming Essen games as soon as we're back - want that news delivered straight to your inbox?