Only two more weeks until Essen, time to ramp up the preparations for the busiest time of the year. A useful instrument to get a feeling for the interest in the new games presented at Essen are Youtube videos about the most anticipated games of the board game show.
I watched a few during the last couple of days and made notes which games where mentioned. The result is an aggregated Top 5 which in most parts is not very surprising:
1) Charterstone: The only game that was mentioned in every video. But not everybody is convinced that the game will work, but the combination of Legacy game and Eurogame has too much lure.
2) Nusford: After last years A Feast for Odin there are high hopes for another special Rosenberg game.
3) Altiplano: A new bag building game from the team behind Orleans? Count me in and it seems like I’m not the only one.
4) Meeple Circus (the only real surprise in the Top 5, I didn’t hear anything about this games before I started watching the videos, but I can see why people like it: stacking Meeples? What’s not to like?) and Gaia Project (Terra Mystica still has a lot of fans and the promise of a streamlined experience secures this heavyweight a Top 5 spot)
5) Clans of Caledonia (Radho called this game the Terra Mystica killer, so let’s see if Clans or the Gaia Project will be the bigger hit) and Photosynthesis (an abstract game with beautiful artwork and components which got a big boost in popularity after a pre-release at Gencon)
Honorable mentions of games that were mentioned quite often, but didn’t make the cut for the Top 5:
We also had hoped for an arrival early this week of the reprint of Cthulhu Wars, but unfortunately, it is stuck in customs and will need a few more days. Hopefully, by the end of the week, we should know more about the exact release date.
Capital was a surprise in April and despite an ugly graphic design the gameplay was a big success with our customers and we received a lot of great feedback. Yamatai is a success like all the big box releases from Days of Wonder, but this one is especially interesting for fans of Five Tribes. Clank! Sunken Treasures is the first expansion for Clank and after the success of the base game a Top 5 spot for the expansion was to be expected. Rounding up the Top 5 is Barenpark, the newest game of Cacao designer Phil Walker-Harding.
The two player version of Caverna took the top spot in the pre-order Top 5 easily. Charterstone and Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium kept their Top 5 spots from last month and are still going strong. After the disappointment with the cancelled retail release of Gloomhaven 1st edition a lot of customers jumped on the chance to secure a copy of the reprint. And the Anniversary edition of In the Year of the Dragon is a game quite a few of our customers have been waiting for.
After the success of Terraforming Mars, it’s no wonder that the first expansion goes straight to Number 1. Out of the five, The Expanse is the biggest surprise, but I guess the success of the books and the TV show on Netflix are playing their parts. And it is a good sign that the new board game unit of Wizkids (lead by Zev Shlasinger, formerly head of Zman Games) is off to a good start.
Last weekend I had time to look back at a busy February and check what our Top 5 Games in pre-orders and actual sales have been. Here are the results:
Top 5 Sales
1) Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
3) Flamme Rouge
5) The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire
The top spot for the new Sherlock game was no surprise: the first game was a big success and everything Space Cowboys are touching at the moment turns into gold (proof is Unlock, the second Space Cowboy game in the Top 5). Inis and Flamme Rogue have finally been available in bigger numbers, so you could actually order them without having a pre-order in place for months. And The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire is one of the positive surprises of the new year and now two months in a row in the Top 5.
Top 5 Pre-Orders
1) First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
3) Dice Forge
4) Santorini: Golden Fleece
5) Quadropolis: Public Services
First Martians looks great and I can’t wait for it to arrive. I really like games with an app integreation, so this one has been on my wish list for a while. Charterstone sounds like an interesting concept and like Space Cowboys Stonemaier Games can’t do anything wrong at the moment. Not so sure about Dice Forge, the idea sounds good, but is there enough game in the box to go beyond a shiny new concept? And two expansions (Santorini: Golden Fleece & Quadropolis: Public Services) for highly successful games rounding up the pre-order Top 5.
Scythe has been a massive hit for Stonemaier Games since it’s first release in October last year. The game will be available again at the end of the week, the newest reprint has arrived today in the UK.
Perfect timing for Shut Up & Sit Down to publish their review of the game:
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