Board Game Reviews

Origins 2018 Top Ten

Origins Game fair has come and went. MeepleGamers were there with our fantastically bright green and orange garb. We made friends, played a few games, and saw old friends. 

This years con seemed to have more Origins releases, though some were holdovers from Essen. We even found a few titles that have not yet been released that will be released over this summer, that are just too cool not to talk about.

So, this is your Origins 2018, MeepleGamers Top Ten.

Thornwatch – Loneshark Games

Thornwatch: Eyrewood Adventures is a graphic novel adventure roleplaying game.  Using wonderfully illustrated tiles the Judge (a gamemaster of sorts) creates an abstract map reminiscent of scenes in a graphic novel in which the adventure will play out.  The unique momentum system presents player order and monster health in an easy to interpret track that encourages dynamic gameplay and cooperation amongst players.  Perhaps most exciting is the thought of an RPG system that is not only accessible, but that promises drop-in/drop-out gameplay from session to session.  This will be one to watch after its release in early July. – Kevin 

 

The Witchborn: Enter Perdition – Witchborn Corporation

Enter Perdition is the outcome of a partnership between The Witchborn and Reaper Bones to create a starter box that includes the original Witchborn system, but now with all the miniatures needed to get started and explore this interesting fantasy world through skirmish-based play.  The starter comes with quick start rules, campaign rules, clan rules booklets.  It is all there, in one box, ready to go and I think it is just what The Witchborn needed to really take off.  I am really excited because it is a wonderful skirmish/rpg gaming system and I cannot wait it share it with you in the coming weeks. – Kevin

The Shared Dream – ODAM Publishing

The Shared Dream is cooperative board game set in the publisher’s Of Dreams and Magic universe.  The players have just awoken to find they experienced the same dream and have taken to the streets to explore their city and prevent the dream from coming to pass in the waking world of reality.  Players race to find clues and fight off denizens of the nightmare to save the innocent sleeping citizens of the city.  With multiple nightmares, player characters, and a modular board, The Shared Dream can tell many stories just from the base game, but ODAM publishing is also supporting the title with numerous expansions.  You will be seeing a lot about this game from us this summer. – Kevin

 

         

Purgatory House – Wicked Clever

I always like to look for something completely unknown to me, that hidden gem at a convention.  One that has me really excited is Purgatory House.  If you follow me you know that I am big into accessibility in the hobby right now and Purgatory House is a horror roleplaying game that falls right in line.  It promises a pick-up-and-play ruleset and the gameplay and skill checks are driven by two decks of cards and a blackjack mechanism.  If it can pull it off, I think they may have a winner with this product and they are working on a Sci-Fi product coming to Kickstarter later this year.  I can’t wait to get this to the table with a group! – Kevin

Wildlands – Osprey Publishing

Wildlands is Martin Wallace’s take on a skirmish miniatures game with a board game presentation.  The art and miniatures look great and, as I have mentioned, it could be a great entry point for players to discover the joys of tabletop miniatures games as a sort of hybrid product.  It launches in Kickstarter in October of 2018, so it will be a while before we are getting it the table, but I am very excited to see where this project leads.  Osprey has demonstrated great production values in their board games and they are well-known in the world of tabletop miniatures. – Kevin

Senshi – Arcane Wonders

Senshi is one of two new releases from Arcane Wonders. It is a simple yet engaging abstract title that allows the player to build a warrior monk, and when they are built, you either win or lose based on balance and highest built characteristic. 

The idea is elegant, in that there are few available actions, and it is simple enough that you can easily take it in you car, to enjoy while waiting on dinner at your favorite restaurant. – Josh

Racoon Tycoon – Forbidden Games

Raccoon Tycoon is currently on KickStarter, and we had the pleasure of being one of the first to preview it.

The game plays so well and tight for an economy game that I cannot help by be excited by it. I am already on pins and needles to see the finalized product. Stretch goals are being met. Forbidden Games has hit the nail on its head. – Josh

Holding On – Hub Games

Rory from Rory’s Story Cube fame, has designed a game about end of life palliative healthcare.

This is an experience you must play or witness at least once. If nothing else, it will tell you who will respect your wishes with a durable power of attorney. The feelings that were manifested with this game were real and palpable. It has been picked up by Asmodee, so, coming at Christmas? – Josh

Welcome to… – Deep Water Games

This game was the buzz of the con. It must be included on this list, as it had so many people talking about it. This will likely be Deep Water Games breakout hit. 

Mystery of the Temples – Deep Water Games

Round and round she goes. This is the basic gist of Mystery of the Temples, and sounds much simpler than it is. It is for me, one of my favorites to be released at Origins, if not my favorite. This game has become a top-shelfer immediately for me. – Josh

For these reasons, two fantastic games releasing at Origins, from the same publisher, the crown of the show must go in our opinion to Deep Water Games. Congrats! 

Sailing Toward Osiris – Daily Magic

Apparently, when Pharoah dies, the river ride to Osiris takes 7 years. STO was first shown at Origins in 2009, 7 years ago. 

This is being hailed as W. David Mackenzie’s board game opus. There is a LOT going on in this game, but it does not feel like too much when playing. Each decision leads to other decisions until the end of the round, and then you do it all over again. This is a sure-fire hit for Daily Magic if boardgamers like board games. – Josh

Josh
#regeeked

Josh

Josh Hale is an avid TT gamer and loves the process of learning something new not by reading directions, but by playing through a round. He also is a single father and lawyer, so staying busy is never a problem.
Josh
#regeeked

Josh Hale is an avid TT gamer and loves the process of learning something new not by reading directions, but by playing through a round. He also is a single father and lawyer, so staying busy is never a problem.

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