The biggest source of information in preparation for the onslaught of new games coming in after the end of the Essen show is always the superb Essen preview list on BGG.
But another way of trying to find out what the hot games after Essen could be (and with the number of games coming out we have to be selective), is to have a look/listen and some videos/podcasts talking about their most anticipated games for Essen. It worked quite well for me last year, so I did it again this year. I’ve watched a total of 13 videos on Youtube and made notes about the games that are being mentioned. Sorted by the number of times a game got mentioned, here is my totally non-scientific Top 20 of the most anticipated games for Essen 2019 (in case of a tie, I used the thumbs up on the Essen preview list as a tie-breaker):
- Teotihuacan: City of Gods (English edition)
- Forum Trajanum
- Azul: Stained Glas
- Holding On
- Gingerbread House
- The River
- Underwater Cities
- Treasure Island
- Dice Hospital
- Key Flow
- Blue Lagoon
- Shadows in Amsterdam
- Camel Up (2nd Edition)
Here is the playlist with all 13 videos:
Most of the games in the Top 20 are no surprise because they are the “common ground” between all those videos I’ve watched. But watching all these videos it was interesting to see that the common ground seems to be smaller this year (= a lot of the Top lists included games only mentioned once or twice in the videos) compared to the last two years which indicates for me that we are looking at a good Essen year with a wide selection of interesting games. As always with Essen the trick is to find the games that have staying power beyond the initial hype about nice looking components, interesting themes and a well-known designer (these seem to be the most often used criteria to select games of interest in the preparation for Essen).
Last year’s Top 5 of the podcast summary list was Charterstone, Nusfjord, Altiplano, Meeple Circus and Clans of Caledonia. All five turned out to be really good to solid games and also did quite well in regards to sales (besides Charterstone which for some reasons didn’t do very well).
Let’s see how this year’s games will perform…