I had an amazing, whirlwind of a convention season along with a ton of non-gaming related travel, and I’m still buzzing from it all. While I’m looking forward to hibernating for a few months and reconnecting with my local gamer friends, I’m grateful for all of the amazing times I had attending board game conventions in 2022, and for all of the wonderful people I met. I figure now’s as good a time as ever to wrap up the year with more photos from SPIEL ’22 to highlight more new and upcoming releases that might interest you.
• Coral is a quick-playing, abstract strategy game for 1-4 players which was released in Q4 2022 from Tangi Tabuteau and 2Tomatoes Games. In Coral, you stack colorful blocks to develop coral reef with your opponents, while trying to position your own species closest to the top to absorb the most sunlight.
• While at the 2Tomatoes Games booth, I also checked out a prototype of Through Ice and Snow, which is an exploration, survival, worker placement game for 1–4 players from designer Fernando Eduardo Sánchez. In Through Ice and Snow, you’ll journey through the Arctic and vie to become the most prestigious explorer by documenting species, mapping treacherous lands, and discovering the elusive Northwest passage. Through Ice and Snow plays in 45–90 minutes, features a modular map, and was successfully funded on Kickstarter in May 2022 (KS link).
• Federation is a worker placement game with a healthy dose of player interaction and sci-fi politics from designers Dimitri Perrier and Matthieu Verdier and French publisher Explor8. In Federation, 2-4 players compete to earn the most prestige to prove they are the best delegate to join the Federation.
Federation, which was released in Q4 2022, plays in 60-120 minutes and features a large game board with vibrant, colorful art from Miguel Coimbra, which is paired nicely with Alexis Vanmeerbeeck’s excellent graphic design, making it language independent.
• I enjoyed a demo of Eivind Vetlesen‘s big, 4X, civilization-building game Europa Universalis: The Price of Power, from Norweigan publisher Aegir Games. Europa Universalis: The Price of Power is a based on the famous strategy PC game series Europa Universalis by Paradox Interactive. Although I’ve never played the PC game, a few players in my demo game who had, were very excited about how much the board game captured the essence of the PC game.
The base game of Europa Universalis: The Price of Power plays with 1-4 players in 90-300 minutes, with a solo mode designed by Dávid Turczi. You can even play with up to 6 players with the Fate of Empires expansion. After my demo teaser, I’m looking forward to delving deeper into this one.
• When you see a game with a blacklight at a game convention, sometimes you just have to stop and check it out. In this case, it was Run, Ghost, Run!, a 2021 release from designers Amine Mohamed Rahmani and Phil Vizcarro, and Letheia and Blackrock Games. In Run, Ghost, Run!, 2-4 players play as a group of mischievous ghosts trying to sneak through a hotel without being seen by the humans peeking through the keyhole.
• If you’re looking for something a bit more serious and tense, be sure to check out The Chase of the Bismarck: Operation Rheinübung 1941, a 2-player, cat-and-mouse, hidden movement, World War II game from Jack Greene, Patrick Gebhardt, and VUCA Simulations, which plays in 60 minutes.
• I checked out a prototype of Thorgal: The Board Game, an upcoming co-operative, story-driven, scenario-based game from Portal Games and designers Joanna Kijanka, Jan Maurycy Święcicki, and Rafał Szyma. Thorgal: The Board Game plays with 1–4 players in 90–120 minutes and has a unique feel to it with polyomino exploration, polyomino health on the characters, and the action card system, combined with a variety of completely different scenarios. It is targeted to launch for crowdfunding on Gamefound in Q1 2023 and I’m already looking forward to playing it.
• At SPIEL ’22, I also chatted with the Into the Unknown team about Marcin Wełnicki‘s massive, co-operative campaign game Aeon Trespass: Odyssey, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter in September 2019 (KS link). I was blown away with how much love and detail went into every aspect of this beasty game that’s full of adventure, exploration, narrative, and giant monsters.
Aeon Trespass: Odyssey has an open world video game vibe with a big storybook, a ton of 7th Continent-style map cards, and highly detailed miniatures which can be modified. In addtion, Aeon Trespass: Odyssey packs in 300 hours of gameplay over a trilogy of campaign cycles, with more on the way. Fans of games like Gloomhaven and Kingdom Death Monster will likely dig this.
• While I didn’t get the opportunity to demo Leo Soloviey‘s fast-paced, medieval, historical strategy game Bretwalda, from PHALANX, it looks and sounds great. Heck, even in its prototype form it looks like it belongs in a museum. Soloviey is not only the designer of Bretwalda, but he’s also the talented artist behind the game too.
• Ephios is a political, science fiction, card game for 2-4 players from WaDri and French publisher Disto studio. I caught the tail end of a rundown of how it plays, and that was all I needed to make me regret not picking up the French edition and translating it until they have an official English version. It seemed right up my alley.
<–In case you missed it, A Look at Candice’s SPIEL ’22 Experiences: Part 1–>