It's almost that time of the year again, Gen Con. For those who do not know this name, Gen Con is the biggest board game convention in America. The biggest publishers go there to showcase their newest games and even put them up to play before their release. This post contains some of the games we look most forward to at Gen Con 2017!
A game that caught our eye almost immediately is Pandemic Legacy: Season 2. Pandemic Legacy is a cooperative game based on the Pandemic games that stretches a campaign over multiple playthroughs, every game you play has an influence on the next games that will be played. Two years ago, Z-man Games published Pandemic Legacy Season 1. This game quickly took the first place on the list of best games ever on BoardGameGeek, and it still remains there today. There is not much we can say about this game because we might spoil parts of the story and it is always better to experience this yourself. The game will not yet be available for purchase at Gen Con, but there will be a demo available to play, we suppose this will be the most played game on Gen Con this year.
For the players that rather have a shorter and a more abstract game, the brand new expansion for Splendor, Cities of Splendor, will be playable for the first time at Gen Con 2017, but you will also be able to buy the game there. Cities of Splendor contains four new modules for the game that can be added each separately or all together. Starting off, there is the cities expansion which replaces the nobles with city cards that have harder objectives on them. If you complete one of the objectives, you win the game. Next, we have Trading Posts, these can win you extra gems and points by using development cards. A third module, The Orient, adds new cards that can be bought that, instead of giving you gem production, give you extra abilities to alter the game. The last module is The Strongholds, players can place towers their towers on cards that are on the table to claim them before buying.
It's no secret that I am a big fan of Terraforming Mars and this makes this next game, or expansion actually, even better. Hellas & Elysium is an expansion for Terraforming Mars that lets players explore and terraform two totally new areas on the planet. The same rules as the basic game apply to these boards, but a new grid brings new limitations, new milestones and new awards with it. This makes it so that the different games you play will vary even more. This expansion will be available to be played and even to be bought at Gen Con. The game is already on my list to buy after this event.
Enough expansions and sequels to games, time for a whole new concept with Photosynthesis. In this game, players are creating a forest with their favorite trees. Planting and growing trees is done using sunlight you receive at the start of each turn, the amount you receive depends on how much trees a player has an how big these trees are. Make sure your trees are not standing in the shadown of another tree because then they won't receive any light at all. Fortunately, the sun is constantly moving around the board which makes the direction of the shadow change every turn. When the sun has been arround the board three times, the game is over and players receive points for how close their trees are to the center of the board and the amount of light you have left. This game looks amazing because of the mini trees that come with it made from cardboard and because of the unique game principle with the shadows that hasn't been used by any other game that I can think of. Photosynthesis looks like a game you should really try out.
These are four of our favorite new games that will be released or are available to be played at Gen Con 2017. Naturally, there are many more games that will be available there that we would like to play, but these were the first to catch our attention. A complete list of all games at this convention can be found on the Gen Con 50 preview tool by BoardGameGeek.
Sadly, we will not be able to go to Gen Con because it is a bit far for us, but chances are that after this event most of the released games will also be released in European stores. And for those who want a bit of the atmosphere, there is also GenCant. GenCant is a website that hosts contests for people who can't go to Gen Con.
Did we forget some important games on our list? Or do you have a game we should really try out? Leave us a comment below.