Essen Spiel 2020 releases – game reviews live and incoming

The box art for Essen 2020 release Lost Ruins of Arnak

So the reviews are starting to come in for the Essen Spiel 2020 releases. I wasn’t massively excited about the list of titles this year, but there are bound to be some great new board games. And with just one review in from me so far, things are looking more hopeful than I’d thought.

This will be an evolving post until about March, so please bookmark and pop back once a month so. I’d love to go faster with the reviews, but the new UK lockdown is making things more difficult. I’ll update the list as review copies are confirmed and when reviews go live. As you can imagine, it’s quite a task for publishers to have to deal with all this via post/email rather than face to face, so I’m not holding my breath. But given time, the games will come! Some are already on the shelves, and more are on the way.

Essen Spiel 2020 releases: Game reviews – live

  • Anansi (1-5 players, 30-60 mins)
    Reprint, with new art, of clever trick-taking game Eternity.
  • Aqualin (2 players, 20 mins) Very light abstract with both players scoring the same pieces, but in different ways.
  • Bonfire (1-4 players, 1-2 hours) Point salad-y Stefan Feld euro game, at the high end of complexity for his game designs.
  • Lost Ruins of Arnak (1-4 players, 1-2 hours)
    Deck building/action selection/resource conversion euro.
  • Under Falling Skies (1 player, 20-30 mins)
    Sci-fi/save the world solo dice puzzler, including full campaign mode.

Spiel reviews incoming

  • Curious Cargo (Being played – 2 players, 45 mins) Pick up and deliver, tile placement and route building in this factory-based one-on-one puzzler.
  • Gods Love Dinosaurs (Being played – 2-5 players, 45 mins) Light tile-laying game where players create sustainable food chains.
  • Kompromat (incoming – 2 players, 30 mins) A gamers take on Blackjack/Pontoon/21, with an element of Schotten-Totten thrown in.
  • Royal Visit (incoming – 2 players, 30 mins) Reprint of designer Reiner Knizia’s 2006 tug-of-war style hand management card game, Times Square.

The ‘hopefully’ list

I’m also hoping to get my hands on all the other games on my recent Essen wishlist post. And of course I’d love to hear about the new games on your shelves – and the ones you can’t wait to get your hands on. Reach out on Facebook or Twitter and let me know what I’ve missed and need to check out.

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