Tokyo Game Market Autumn 2018 took place November 24-25 at Tokyo Big Sight. We went there to bring you all the good games for www.nicegameshop.com and we took a ton of pictures, too!
Welcome back to a new edition of our global boardgame news!
In May we were travelling to East Asia and you can read our reports from Tokyo Game Market and Moonlight Boardgame Festival here on the blog. In early June we were also travelling and in fact three important board game events were happening around that time: UK Games Expo in Birmingham, the Game Author’s Fair in Göttingen and in Tokyo the art/board game event Is This A Game? So let’s get ready for a world tour of board games.
At first let’s start with the show we did not attend by ourselves: Is This A Game? in Akihabara, Tokyo.
As per the title this exhibition was not so much a regular board game event and more like an art event all about the question what a game can be. There is an article up on Sugoroku’s Blog with many pictures to look at. Seeing many of the designs you can tell that the games were made specifically for the show and are not meant for daily use. Our friend Jason Franks from Games For Gaijin also visited the show and recorded an excellent runthrough. The show saw new releases by several famous Japanese companies, most notably Void by Oink Games and a Yeti in the house by itten.
Yeti in the House is a team game. One team hides the yeti and two footprint pieces anywhere in the house and gives clues in form of photos to the other team. The other team wins if they find the Yeti. However if they find the two footprint pieces before the actual Yeti they lose the game. If you want to find out more about the new Oink game Void look for #voidgame in social media where many people already posted pictures of the game.
Games for Gaijin is giving away one copy of the extremely limited Void when his Youtube channel hits 500 subscribers. We have already subscribed and if you are interested in game overviews of Asian games we can recommend the channel!
At the same weekend on another island at the other side of Eurasia the UK Games Expo took place. We visited last year for the first time and boy has it grown since then. This year you could play, buy and learn about all the new hot games in two halls for three full days. We were mostly there for scouting for new game ideas to publish and found a many at the excellently organized Playtest UK booth, but of course we also checked out what other publishers showed at the Expo.
First I would like to give a shout out to Osprey Games. I (Leon) have been a Osprey fanboy since the last expo (you can read the report here) and that has not changed this year. Osprey was showing Wildlands, an entry level miniature skirmish game. Okay, you might say there are tons of that out there already and you may be right. What makes Wildlands stand out is the following: It is designed by veteran designer Martin Wallace, it is illustrated by Yann Tisseron who did also the artwork for our Fantasy Defense and there are no dice in the game. We are looking forward to the release in Essen later this year.
Moaideas had a booth for the first time at UKGE and with good reason, since their clever train game Minirails was nominated for the UKGE awards. Moaideas were also showing their next clever game – Symphony Nr. 9
The theme is quite unusual. The players take on the roles of patrons investing in different famous composers of the baroque and classical era like Bach and Mozart as they are composing their 9 symphonies. The legend has it that every famous composer dies after their 9th symphony as all their life juice is used up so to speak.
The gameplay is a fascinating mix of composer influence tile drafting and blind bidding in order to find out which composer will give a concert this round. As the blind bidding basically dictates how much money you will make in a round you really have to get into the heads of the other players at the table.
Athens is the new game by Korean publisher Baccum which was shown at the Expo in a pre-release form. Athens is a kind of reworked version of Baccum’s own Azuchi Castle and will be released at Essen with English, German and Korean rules.
In this worker placement engine building game players try to thrive in Ancient Athens by investing in different trades and solving events which award victory points. The artwork is funky and there are a lot of different strategies to pursue.
Taiwanese publisher EmperorS4 did not have a booth at UKGE but we met Johnson during the show, who showed us 2 prototypes of games coming later this year from EmperorS4.
The first is Discovery: The Era of Voyage which will be coming out very soon. It is a new edition of the Japanese game Era of Voyage by AI Lab which was well received in the BGG community. In this quick playing engine building game the players are sailing the ocean in a rondel and trading on the different islands three types of goods. If they invest on an island they can get more out of one island when trading. EmperorS4 added rules for 2 players and gorgeous new graphics to the game.
Realms of Sand is a quick playing pattern building game in which the players build houses and palaces with tiles on their player board only to destroy them like sand castles in order to score points. The artwork is once again by the talented Maisherly, who also did the illustrations for the smash hit Hanamikoji.
UK Games Expo became bigger and also more international: Our friends from Oink Games and Smiling Monster Games (showing the German edition of Tofu Kingdom!) had a booth set up once again. We spotted Spy Tricks by Wizkids and Pocket Pharma by Alley Cat Games which both were Game Market releases originally. Then for the first time Smoox and Taiwan Boardgame Design had a booth at UKGE and had a successful fair with their new title Dice Fishing Roll and Catch and other hot new titles from Taiwan.
We will definitely come back next year to the Birmingham for the UKGE!
And then there was also the Game Author’s fair in Göttingen the same weekend. We will have a report by Hilko Drude up on the blog shortly but until then you can read our report from last year if you like.
In other links:
- The World Original Design Contest Of Board Game (WODC) hosted by Yoka Games is looking for new game ideas using China as a theme. They are taking submissions until June 22nd.
- Ninja Star Games is looking for funding for their game Yokai Septet which is a reimplementation of the well received 7 Symbols, and 7 Nations by Takamagahara.
- Our friends from Korea Boardgames are partnering with Mayday Games for bringing Yummy Yummy Pancake to the US! Back the Kickstarter campaign for pancake flippin’ fun and the chance to unlock delicious stretch goals!
This series is released once or twice a month, covering international gaming news, trends and just plain gossip spotted online.
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This will be our last game round up on new releases at Tokyo Game Market May 2018 before the show and we saved some of the biggest names for it. We are also quite late to the party for most of those games since they were already discussed and anticipated on BGG but let’s start with a brand new announcement, which just came in today.
Here Comes The Dog looks suspiciously like a dexterity game but it is not one at all.
In the game 2-4 players try to domesticate wolfs. Goal of the game is to have the most dogs at the end of the game, without running out of people, of which everyone starts with 3. Before the game starts all sticks are put at the bonfire and the different colors symbolize meat, charcoal and fire.
In a turn a player takes the dice and rolls them and can take sticks according to the dice rolled. A round ends if either all charcoal or all meat is gone. If all meat is taken, the Domestication Phase begins and every player can tame dogs with the meat they gathered. If all charcoal is taken however the round ends and the Night Phase begins in which the wolfs attacks. Player can defend themselves using charcoal and fire or 2 precious meat. If a player can not defend they have to lose one person of their tribe.
Next up is Oink Games, a company which runs the biggest booth at Game Market and is known worldwide for packing interesting games in small stylish boxes. They bring one new game to Tokyo Game Market and another one which was just released at Osaka Game Market April 1.
In the brand new release Moneybags
players try to have the most gold coins, with each player having their own bag filled with some number of brass coins. If you think you have the most coins, you might want to exit the round to keep them as others will try to transfer coins from your bag to theirs! (BGG)
Zogen was released April 1st at Osaka Game Market, merely 2 months (!) after the game idea was pitched to Oink by the authors at Spielwarenmesse.
In Zogen, a.k.a. ゾーゲン, the player researchers want to rid themselves of their microorganism cards as quickly as they can, but they can do so only by observing the current lab environment and watching the one thing that changes, then “recording” it by playing their card. (BGG)
Then we have Okazu Brand, the company Hisashi Hayashi is releasing his games with. He is one of the few full-time board game designers in Japan and you can read a little bit about his background in a recent interview at NicoBodo. After showing MetroX at Osaka Game Market (which sold out there), he is now showing Stock Hold’em. In this game
players are investors who want to use information to manipulate stock prices, buy and sell shares, and earn lots of money.
During the game, players place information cards with sources (i.e., suits) and numbers on each company, and all employees manipulate stock prices by making poker hands for each company. Since some information about these cards — either the suit or the number — can be viewed from the backside of the card, players can speculate about how a company might be valued by guessing the hands of other players. (BGG)
In MetroX on the other hand
players create subway networks by filling in the station spaces on their individual game sheets. Using the numbers revealed by the cards, all players fill up their subway map with ◯s in the station spaces. However, the number of times they can add stations to each line is limited, so they have to make tough choices. Players can score many points by getting their star bonuses in stations with many intersecting routes. Players also get bonuses by being the first to complete routes. Try to fill in all your stations to minimize the penalties and achieve a high score! (BGG)
Last but not least let us talk about the new game by Kuro, the mastermind behind Manifest Destiny. This time around he is bringing only one new game, which is quite unusual if you take a look at his output in recent years. At Game Market December 2017 for instance he was showing 6 new games. Maybe this is just the calm before the storm?
Anyways, this new title sounds interesting, especially for Ravens of Thri Sahashri fans, because Zombie Crisis is a 2 player asymmetric coop game. Zombie Crisis has a whole other theme as you can imagine, as one player is playing the scout and the other a soldier fighting off a zombie horde:
Each turn, three cards that may be zombies or humans are drawn and lined up face down against the barricades. The scout then looks at 1–3 of these cards, telling the fighter a limited amount of information. The fighter then decides to either attack the current horde by placing weapon cards on the different columns of enemies, or to defend, strengthening the barricades and pilfering for more weapons.
The scout’s cards on hand are various scenarios, with fulfillment conditions. Whenever these are fulfilled, they are played, and the scout draws a new card to hand. The scenario cards get harder and harder to fulfill, and when the team has fulfilled six of these, the game ends in victory. (BGG)
That’s all for now.
We will post more news and reports after the show has ended this coming weekend 5 and 6 May. If you want to have live reports we are going to post pictures on Instagram and Twitter. Then around the end of May we will have all of the hotness from Tokyo Game Market in our webshop. Many have already filled out the survey to help us decide which games to bring back but in case you haven’t there is still time until May 3 to do so! We will draw one lucky winner to receive 50€ store credit to use on all the hotness!