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!
We were at BerlinCon last month, which is on it’s way becoming one of the biggest board game events in Germany. Partly due to the fact that it is held the weekend before the Spiel des Jahres award ceremony, which traditionally takes place in Berlin and means that many publishers are in the city anyways. But also because the hosts of Hunter & Cron do an excellent job of making an enjoyable show for exhibitors and visitors alike. In fact, we were debuting our game Das Geheimnis Der Tempel and people liked it quite a bit. If you enjoy quick playing strategy games with gorgeous illustrations, it will be available at NiceGameShop soon 😉
We were busy demoing our games the whole weekend. Nevertheless we got around picking up a copy of Trick’n’Trouble by Frosted Games, which is the new edition of Fukudourou’s cooperative card game for exactly 3 players Familiar’s Trouble, and also get a sneak peek at A Pleasant Journey to Neko. This dice strategy design by Citie Lo and Wood Games will be coming out at Essen this year.
Of course there is Gen Con happening right now and this comes with many interesting game releases. You can read about the games we are most interested about in our last Global Boardgame News. There is however one game we did not talk about back then…
We’re making Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage, By Babis Giannios, in cooperation with the nice people at White Wolf Publishing!
It’s quite different from the games that we usually make or cover in these news but there is a thin thread connecting it to everything else we are doing: We first saw the original (unthemed) game by Babis Giannios when he submitted it to the Korea Boardgames Design Contest in 2014!
The elevator pitch is that it’s a quick-playing legacy game about vampires and history with an epic campaign and an innovative vampire turning mechanism. If that sounds like your cup of tea, find out more/subscribe to the newsletter at: vampire-heritage.com
Also at Gen Con you can buy two new titles by Oink Games, which were just announced last month: the trick taker Flotsam Fight (which is actually a new edition of Bye Bye Lemming) and the tongue-twisting party game TomaTomato. The velocity with which Oink is releasing new games is mind boggling. At this rate they will have a new game at Essen and then another one at the Game Market in November, if they want to release a game at every show they are attending.
Speaking of Essen SPIEL there are already some news coming in regarding that show.
Swan PanAsia showed some of the games they are planning or have already released until Essen on Facebook. Kittys and Talk’n Guess are new editions of games from Japanese publisher Little Future, but Island Project is an original design.
Due to global warming the world as we knew it was flooded. Scientist use underwater volcanos to create new land, but better don’t stand on the tile where the volcano errupts! In Island Project 2-4 players create new land and race to the highest peak to score points. The illustrations are by veteran artist Cyril Bouquet who did also the artwork for games like Kindomino and Okiya.
On their website they are also mentioning Xuanwu Gate Accident 2, but our understanding is that this is only a new edition of the older game with the same name.
The game agency Japon Brand just announced their lineup for Essen and will be bringing 17 titles to that show. Some of them are already available at NiceGameShop, like Monster Empire or Richest Rascal, which is the new edition’s name of Strongest Bully. Others are brand new releases debuting in Essen like analog lunchbox’s new Airship City and 2 new titles by Manifest Destiny. All around it is a good overview of Japanese designs of the last year and we are excited to have them at NiceGameShop and see if a publisher is picking them up for wider distribution in the West.
Two games for which that recently happened are passtally and King of Frontier.
— Pandasaurus Games (@Pandasaurusgame) August 1, 2018
passtally was released by analog lunchbox at the Tokyo Game Market in May this year and it was just announced that Pandasaurus will distribute this title next year in the US. It looks like theme, graphics and gameplay will stay the same from the rulebook which was uploaded.
King of Frontier on the other hand was changed drastically – at least judging by these graphics- and is more of a reimplementation now. The new game is called Skylands and Queen Games will be bringing it to Kickstarter on August 24th and then release the game at Essen SPIEL. Campaign mode certainly sounds interesting and the inevitable Queenies could give this title a lot of replayability in the years to come.
But there are games even further off than Essen and these are the new games for the Tokyo Game Market in November. Publishers are starting to announce their lineup for the show and posting pictures of prototypes on social media.
・４８（仮） ３～５人 ３０分
— kuro (@kuro_md) July 4, 2018
This is the list of new titles by Manifest Destiny at Game Market. Two of them (Forwarder of Xanadu and ハロウィンパーティー！(Halloween Party)) will already be shown at Essen and two more are reprints of older games (SimNovel and Alicematic). That still means that there will be 5 new games at Game Market! It is interesting that there will be reprints of older titles, something that did not happen before with Manifest Destiny titles as far as we know. If a title was not picked up by a Western publisher, a sold out game was gone. Maybe that means that we will see other games getting reprinted in the future? Garden of Minions anyone?
— hal_99@TGGチャンネル (@hal_99) August 1, 2018
This is one of two new games Okazu Brand will be selling at the next Game Market. This game has no name yet and is tile placement game in which the players build their cities simultaneously.
- We are interested in boardgaming scenes from all over the world and that is why we are very interested in the crowdfunding project by Kenechukwu Ogbuagu at Indiegogo about opening the first board game café in Nigeria. It is amazing to see a board game scene develop from the ground up and that we all can contribute. The campaign is not merely a donation, instead as a reward you can choose from 14 different games designed in Nigeria. If you are at all interested in obscure board games you should take a look at the Indiegogo page.
- Nunami is an interesting looking 2-player game which takes around 15 minutes and it is the first Inuit designed boardgame. Please check out Hilko’s article (link is in German), which has additional information on the game. It is still a bit off to the funding goal, but we hope that this will suceed. We are oddly drawn to the expensive “Visit the beautiful Ivujivik” pledge level. But with a price tag of 13000 CAD (+ travel to Canada) it is just a dream.
- The Tales of Ki-Pataw or the (Google) translation of Chinese “Want to have a Capybara? Formosa Romance Tan: Fuxin Beitou” is a game by Soso Studio currently looking for funding at Taiwanese platform zeczec. It is a Gateway style strategy game for 2-4 players, taking 30-60 minutes to play. The real stars here are however the capybaras and the hot springs. The player will play one of the characters, including a capybara, going to the 1937 New Beitou Hot Spring Township (which is a part of Taipei), while roaming, collecting energy materials and completing task. The game comes with English and Chinese rules and can be shipped overseas. The publisher told me that the game will be demoed at Essen.
That’s all for today. Please note that the Nice Game team will be on vacation until the end of the month, so please be patient with us if you place any orders at NiceGameShop or send any messages our way, as it might take longer than usual.
In early May I flew over to Japan for the Tokyo Game Market Spring edition which took place on May 5 and 6 at Tokyo Big Sight. We already talked in the last few Global Boardgames News articles about many new releases there and at the convention we had the chance to play them and buy them for our NiceGameShop.
Traditionally the Game Market weekend starts one day before the actual Game Market with the preview events, the biggest being the Yellow Submarine preview event organised by Macoto Nakamura and the Japon Brand Gaming Party hosted by Japon Brand of course with many international guests.
In this 3-8 player game players try to get 6 different jewels by defeating the various monsters. In a turn a player describes the monster they want to battle with with three features, like “the monster I am going to battle has wings”. But they have to only tell the truth about 1 of these features, the other 2 could be lies. Then all the players simultanously place their pawn to the monster they think the leading player wants to battle. Then the leading player battles the monster by dice rolling and using equipment if they have. If other players participated in the battle the also battle and if they manage to defeat the monster they split the treasure, with the leading player having the first choice.
For many monsters you need your fellow players to defeat it, but you don’t want to many players knowing which monster you want to battle, as you share of the loot will decrease.
Another beautiful game which went kind of hot at the fair was passtally by analog lunchbox. In this 2-3 player game players have two actions in a turn with the actions could be placing a tile on the board and/or moving the player piece on the outside of the board. At the end of the turn it is checked which of this player’s pieces are connected and through how many tiles the connection goes. The more, the better and scoring depends on how many. As you can imagine this is getting brain burny quite easily which is why the publisher put a rule into the rulebook to use a timer and limit a turn to 1 minute.
While the Japon Brand gaming party is all about Japanese publishers showing their games to overseas publishers, the Yellow Submarine preview event is more geared towards publishers showing their games to fellow Japanese publishers as they will have no time trying out games at the event itself.
Meteor is a dexterity dice game in which the players throw their dice on the board and where they land the resources appear. With the resources it is possible to buy upgrades and win the game.
Encyclopaedist is a fascinating 3-player only game. Every player chooses a colored ring and a post-it pad in the same color and writes down secretly one category, like for example “something you can hold in one hand” or “something that makes you wet”. That post-it you hold secretly for the entire game.
In a turn the player moves the pawn to one of the seven spaces. Now each player has to find a word that is fitting for the space. To take the example with “something you can hold in one hand” (let’s say it’s green) and “something that makes you wet” (let’s say that is red), the space where those two categories overlap could hold “water pistol”, but not “lake”, which would move in the red category and the player who chose lake would have to fold the color of their post-it so that it does not show any more. So the further the game progresses the more you can see what every category actually is and by that choosing the right words for every space. Goal of the game is to have your colored post-it with a word in every of the seven spaces.
This is a really clever game and from what I’ve been told a kind of legendary Game Market game which was sold out for a long time and got now a neat new edition by Suki Games.
On the next day I made my way to Tokyo Big Sight for the Game Market. It is always amazing to see the masses of people travelling to Tokyo Big Sight like they are drawn to a gigantic alien space ship. Game Market attendees are only a small fraction of people here, as there were several fairs and conventions on the same weekend.
On my way to the hall I found the nice people of Grandoor Games who were just giving the finishing touches to their new game Annecto Punch. This was barely an hour before the doors opened. While Game Market is getting bigger each year and Japanese board game market is growing, most publishers are still very indie and it is not unusual to see a game with handmade components.
This was one of the entrances to Game Market. We could go in early…
As last Game Market Oink Games were the first booth you see after entering the hall. They were one of several publishers with an Essen-style big booth and were showing their new game Moneybags and Zogen, which was just released one month before at Osaka Game Market.
Der Tunnel: Escape from East Berlin by Ficdep Games caught my eye early as I was born in Berlin myself. In this 2-player game one player is the leader of a group of people trying to get to West Berlin and the other player is the secret police trying to stop and imprison the group. In a turn the leader will play their chips facedown in the 3 different areas with Construction for building the tunnel, Funding for making money and City for doing nothing. The secret police plays cards on the same spaces and then cards and chips are revealed. If the secret police played the same person card as a chip there that person gets arrested, bringing the secret police one step closer to the victory condition. If not, the leader may build the tunnel and collect money, depending on the ability also upgrading the persons in the process.
The chips then go back to the leader for the next round but the secret police has to discard all the cards used in that round, making that people safe to play if they weren’t caught in the last round.
The publisher has previously released Kremlinology and I think they are tackling very touchy subjects. Who would like to play as the secret police? But the real gripe I have are the names for the people in the group trying to escape. Curl? What kind of name is that?
One of the prototypes I got to play was Meow-Jong by Li-He-Studio and Aza Chen. This game is simplifying the traditional game Mahjong and is adding cute cats and dogs and will be coming out later this year.
On the second day there was also a steam punk exhibition and many more RPG booths than on Saturday. Yannick Deplaedt, who helped with many Japanese games getting signed by French companies commented on that:
“Saturday was a very busy day while Sunday was kind of bland, unfortunately. The doujin scene might have suffered from the number of visitors. Many amateur designers ended up with lots of stock still available while on Saturday, many games sold out. One fourth of the venue was filled with RPG designers, and I thought that was somewhat a pity, since RPG makers have plenty of events to attend during the year.
I hope these issues will be taken into account for the next edition of the Game Market. I’m afraid most doujin will choose Saturday instead of Sunday (that’s for sure what I will do, or maybe both days if it’s financially an option), pushing the people in charge of the Game Market to draw names and ask some of them to attend on Sunday.”
I have heard a similar opinion by many publishers exhibiting only on Sunday. With the shift from a one day to a two day show only a few publishers could afford to book the booth for two days. At the same time Sunday is drawing a much more casual crowd, similar to the difference in Thursday to Sunday at Essen.
And this is it: our game haul after two days of buying, playing and scouting at Tokyo Game Market. We can’t talk about all the games here, but if you are interested chances are we already talked a little bit about them on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels. And if not please get in touch and we may be able to shoot a video for them.
Many of those games are also available now on our NiceGameShop, so check it out.
One week after Game Market I was visiting the Moonlight Boardgame Festival in Kaohsioung, Taiwan which will be the topic for the next report. I have also filmed both events and the videos are now on the Youtube channel.
There’s a lot of rare and imported games at NiceGameShop (roughly 250 titles) from all around the world. It’s a bridge connecting European gamers to international designers, supplied by regular trips to Asian game markets and the networks we’ve built over years.
Our customers want fresh, original games they can’t find anywhere else.
And now we’re launching something special for truly adventurous gamers. The Mystery Box brings together 2-4 carefully selected titles at seriously discounted prices (at least 40% off). These are great titles we want to share with the world, the hidden gems that get lost in the thousands of new games released every year.
But you – or the gamer in your life – can get them now…
Order the Mystery Box to dive deeper into the wild world of modern boardgames. Plus, if you share your BGG account at the time of purchase, we’ll make sure to include only those games you don’t own!
Sounds great, but isn’t this a competition?
Yes! To celebrate the launch of the Mystery Box, we’re giving away three of ’em (with free shipping)!
To enter, just sign up to our newsletter below. It’s just the occasional update about NiceGameShop – new titles, special discounts, and other news from Sweet Lemon HQ. Note: existing subscribers may still enter.
You can also share to social media using the buttons below – when your friends enter the contest, you both gain entries. Win-win!
Happy gaming and good luck, friends.
The contest is now closed.
Congratulations to all our winners![contestfriend contest=”1721″]
To celebrate 1,000 Twitter followers we’re giving away a stack of cool prizes!
Prize A – massive stack of 7(!) titles from Korea Boardgames
Prize C – the NiceGameShop title of your choice! Just tell us why you deserve it more than everyone else