Saturday is traditionally the busiest day at Spiel Essen, the fact that it’s a weekend means that families can come along and join in the fun. Initially it didn’t seem to be any busier but as the day progressed that halls became even more crowded, but we still managed to try a few new games.
Our first stop was at the Stonemaier Games booth where we were able to grab a table for a game of Kumo Hogosha. I hadn’t heard anything about this game prior to yesterday when Glenn asked us to check it out.
This game is played by either two players of two teams of two. The board depicts an arena with a large stone column in the centre. The aim of the game is to push the stone out of the arena into your opponent’s area.
Each team has six large cubes that represent the sumo warriors and on each side of the cubes are the six actions that can be taken. The warriors can move around the arena, they can jump and grab other cubes and move them or throw them around and they can push the column.
The game is really quite abstract in nature but it is disguised well with this clever theme. The arena also must be rotated every turn which makes for some interesting strategic planning.
We found this game to be a heap of fun. We played with two Essen locals and the teamwork element made this game quite interesting. Definitely one to watch out for when it arrives in Australia.
We then made our way over to try out Taverna, a new game by a Belgium games company based in Brussels called Geek Attitude Games.
Taverna has a fantasy theme and is set in a town where there are several taverns vying for customers. Each player will claim shares in these taverns and then try to attract patrons so that they can earn money which is then used to further your interests in these taverns by making them increasingly more attractive to customers.
The customers themselves are made up of dwarves, elves, etc and if you can place them at the right tables in these taverns you will earn bonuses. There are spell cards that you can collect which will give you special abilities which can allow you to bend the rules of the game to your advantage.
One interesting element is the end game scoring, There are 5 possible ways to earn points based on things you have achieved during the game, but each player will only get to choose one of these.
This game was a heap of fun, even though no one seemed to want to visit my taverns. It’s quite deep and there are a lot of tricky decisions to be made, but all in all a great game.
After lunch we sat down to a game of New York 1901 by Blue Orange game.
NEW YORK 1901
This game is a city building game where players attempt to construct skyscrapers in New York. The board is an overhead view of a series of city blocks divided into various building plots. On your turn you will collect cards that allow you to build a series of buildings in these plots.
To begin with you will build low value buildings, but as the game progresses the buildings become more valuable and you can also demolish and build new buildings where the old ones stood.
The buildings also are of varying shapes and sizes so some careful planning is required.
This game was quite light and would certainly suit new gamers or families, but may not appeal to those who like a bit more meat in their games.
To end the day we tried a very small card game called Royal Goods.
The aim of Royal Goods is to construct 8 buildings and to do this you must produce goods that will earn you money, which in turn you use to buy the buildings. The cards in the game represent the buildings but are also used as resources and money in a very clever mechanic.
The game is quite simple but has some potential and for the price you can’t go wrong.
Bring on the final day.