I made a short video counting down the 10 games getting released at Gen Con that have me most excited. You should peep that real quick then read on. I wrote some random thoughts on a few releases and the con as a whole.
While I am excited about all of the games on my list, Discoveries is maybe my only "must buy." I am not entirely sure why, but dice in Euro Games (especially when combined with worker placement) is probably my favorite mechanic right now. I am quite glad to see so many Euro Game Designers playing with the luck and randomness dice inherently create.
Champions of Midgard has me very excited. Again, dice + worker placement = happy Chris. My hope is the dice are implemented in a modern, interesting way, and not just to resolve combat or something equally luck based and boring. I am very happy that thematic Euros are becoming more commonplace. While I my taste and Tom Vassel's taste don't always overlap, the "Dice Tower Seal of Approval" boosts my confidence a little... Although Im still not sure how a game goes about being awarded that.
Mysterium would be an immediate buy for me, but Libellud's decision to change the art has me hesitating. I totally understand the want/need to have family friendly art in a title like this, but the original art was nothing short of incredible. This might be one I wind up importing.
I have had an itch to play a CCG/LCG that I have been satiating with Hearthstone for a while now. Getting into expandable games has always proven a double edged sword for me. On the one hand, investing in them from the start, before there is an established community, is a bit of a gamble. More often than not I wind up spending a ton of money on a game nobody plays. BUT if you wait for an established community to form, often times I feel its too late to enter into it. The walls have already been put up and there is so much catching up to do, its hardly worth it. I hope Ashes is successful and I can get in at the right time.
Overall, this Gen Con seems a bit light on releases that have me excited. Last year, when I made my "Top 10" list, I had a HUGE amount of trouble trying to narrow it down to 10 releases. This year, after about my 6th or 7th choice, I had to fill it out with games Im interested in, but certainly not dying to purchase. It feels like the big publishers are releasing less games, and more and more tiny kickstarter companies and bringing yet-to-be-released games to demo. Im sure some of those games will be great, but its hard to get excited about a game or a company that has no track record.
I wonder if this is just an off year? Are the big publishers are just more focused on Essen? Are we waiting for something else, something new to begin?