Back from Essen 2012 with...
Mark Rivera
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My friends and I have the attitude that Essen is a great opportunity to pick up Indie games and unusual games that might be hard to get for a while back in Blighty. There is also the challenge of 1 suitcase and 20 kilos max weight or get surcharged by Easyjet

Essen 2012 was brilliant. My 5th Essen, it was certainly the largest and I think I covered a fair amount of mileage as I tried to squeeze in as much as possible yesterday and today. It was a great opportunity to make new contacts and friends, and meet virtual friends in the flesh and that's what I enjoy most. I had a great time and would recommend a trip to Essen to any gamer for sure.

Some observations -

1) The amount of Indie game companies was astonishing. I think this bodes well for our great hobby.

2) It seemed to me that most of the creativity was coming from the Indies as opposed to the established heavyweights. Can't measure this but it just seemed that way.

3) Germans make the BEST pastries!

4) Small games may be the new BIG (there were were quite a few)

ok, 5) I was thrilled by the reception of a game I've designed


So anyhoo, here's a list of what I picked up at Essen 2012 and possibly comments about a few games that I didn't pick up. I will add further comments as I can find he time.
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1. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:217]
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Great fun playing this last night. In great demand at the AEG booth. May be the surprise success of Essen 2012.
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2. Board Game: Wilderness [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:4173]
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I really enjoyed playing Wilderness. A really nice game to play with non-gamers. Lots of variety, mix of race game, wilderness survival and player interaction.
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3. Board Game: Japanese Castle [Average Rating:4.86 Unranked]
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Why hasn't done this before? Maybe they have but this one has reminded me of how I loved building houses o cards when I was young.
 
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4. Board Game: Codinca [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:3941]
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The great guys of Backspindle Games had pre-production copies of this fun abstract game. And I generally don't like abstracts. I helped to playtest this one so I'm biased.
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5. Board Game: Neuroshima: Convoy [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2062]
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Looks interesting.
 
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6. Board Game: Zombie! Run for Your Lives! [Average Rating:4.43 Overall Rank:15629]
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We'll see how this shapes up. I've enjoyed some of the other games by this company.
 
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7. Board Game: Space Station [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:4318]
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8. Board Game: Shinobi: War of Clans [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:7651]
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9. Board Game: Brawling Barons [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:6058]
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10. Board Game: Oh no... INVASION!!! [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:10874]
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11. Board Game: Rumble in the Dungeon [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:3255] [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
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Sounds like a fun, interactive and fast social game.
 
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12. Board Game: Rumble in the House [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:3998] [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
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Ditto as above.
 
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13. Board Game: Phantom [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:7338]
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14. Board Game: The Jam [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:13106]
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15. Board Game: Ragami [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:8547]
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Tried this one, which looked great, but was too mathy for my own gaming taste and obscured the theme which I thought was cool.
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16. Board Game: Desperados [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:5611]
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Decided not to buy when I found out that the theme was pretty much pasted on and wasn't really evocative of the old West.
 
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17. Board Game: Turned [Average Rating:6.14 Unranked]
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Not very impressed with this one so passed. Nothing new to offer to the genre which is overrun with Zombie games.
 
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18. Board Game: Twin Tin Bots [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:3020]
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Saw the prototype version and it looks fun with cool bits!
 
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