10 Essen games we'll definitely be playing when we're there
Ian & Dyfed at ITTD 2017
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.
Whenever we go to a games fair, we go prepared. A checklist of games we need to get our hands on is essential, and Essen 2017 is no different!
Below are 10 Essen games we'll definitely be playing when we're there - we've got our eye on these beauties!
Want some good news? All these games are available to pre-order with us right now!
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Click, click, click… Hold on to your stomachs, because the ride of your life is about to drop. In Coaster Park, you are tasked with building the biggest, baddest roller coasters.
To do this, you must assemble a killer crew to help you outbid and outsmart your fellow builders to gain the choicest track pieces.
But don’t forget about physics! If your marble fails to make it to the end, you’ve got a dud on your hands and must re-engineer your path to victory.
In Whistle Stop, you make your way west across the country, using your fledgling railroad company to build routes, pick up valuable cargo, and deliver needed goods to growing towns, creating a network of whistle stops that you and your competitors can leverage as you continue to expand your networks.
Along the way, you gain shares in other railroads and watch your reputation soar with each successful delivery before making a final push to complete long hauls to the boom towns of the West.View the game
Mid-22nd century, after 300 years of unconsciousness, the water rising engulfs the last emerged lands. Fighting for their lives, the survivor’s settlements must remain above the sea level. You live in the Otys colony and you must retrieve the past civilizations debris in the depths to build the future of humanity.
Your diver’s team is trained to bring up the most useful materials remaining in the depths. You need to use them wisely to fulfill the contracts offered by the Colony and thus obtain more notoriety than your contenders.
Your divers lay at different depths; it is up to you to best match their special abilities with the bonuses offered by the Colony.
But beware! Your diver’s oxygen is limited, and as soon as they have accomplished their mission, they must go up to the surface. Try to manage all the parameters of your team in a profitable way, so the Colony will reward you more than it will the others!.View the game
The Fox in the Forest
The Fox in the Forest is a trick-taking game for two players. Aside from the normal ranked- and suited-cards used to win tricks, fairy characters such as the Fox and the Witch have special abilities that let you change the trump suit, lead even after you lose a trick, and more.
You score points by winning more tricks than your opponent, but don't get greedy! Win too many tricks, and you will fall like the villain in so many fairy tales...
View the game
Tao Long: The Way of the Dragon is a circular abstract-like game in which each action taken leaves different options for your foe. In it, each player controls a dragon striving to diminish the other whilst bound together by the Tao; you manipulate tokens on a special board in order to activate your dragon, leaving that same board to be manipulated by your opponent on their turn.
Among customizable scenarios and increasingly profound modes, both dragons will move, attack, block each other's way and seek dominance. At the end, there can be only one... that is, at least until the tides of change come once again.
View the game
Altiplano, a bag-building game along the lines of Orléans set in the South American highlands of the Andes — the Altiplano — is not a simple game, presenting players with new challenges time and again.
There are various ways to reach the goal, so the game remains appealing to try out new options and strategies, but success or failure also depends on whether your opponents let you do as you like or thwart the strategy you are pursuing.
The competition for the individual types of goods is considerable — as is the fun in snatching a coveted extension card from under another player's nose!
View the game
There are six companies that will change the world as we know it, and you can be part of their success and be a investor. Try to become rich by making the right decisions!
Only the one biggest investor can get money out of each company. You must try to read the next steps of your rivals and use your capital and your three hidden cards to win against them and become the biggest shareholder.
In Santa Maria, each player establishes and develops a colony. Expand your colony by placing Tetris-like pieces with buildings on your colony board. As the game progresses, you produce resources, form shipping routes, send out conquistadors, and improve your religious power to recruit monks.
The player who has accumulated the most happiness after three rounds wins. The available specialists, end game bonuses and buildings vary from game to game, which makes for near endless replayability.View the game
Introduced by the Moors, azulejos (originally white and blue ceramic tiles) were fully embraced by the Portuguese when their king Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Moorish decorative tiles.
The king, awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra, immediately ordered that his own palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles.
As a tile-laying artist, you have been challenged to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora. In the game Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles from suppliers to their player board. Later in the round, players score points based on how they've placed their tiles to decorate the palace.
Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets; wasted supplies harm the player's score. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.View the game
Let the show begin!
You have only one goal in Meeple Circus: Entertain the audience. The competition is tough, but you can create the most amazing circus by proposing incredible acts! Acrobats, horses, and many accessories are at your disposal. Be sure to undertake a good rehearsal, then with your remarkable dexterity, you can give them the show of their lifetime. Once the circus music starts, all eyes will be upon you!
In short, Meeple Circus is a dexterity game in which you do what all gamers do when setting up a game: Pile up your meeples!
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?Sign up to our newsletter