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Looking for a game that won't happen. What I did play in Essen 2016
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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This year I've attended the Essen fair for the fifth time: I wasn't thrilled by any game in particular, as the very few ones I'm waiting for now haven't been published yet (Doom, Xcom expansion) or haven't made it to the fair (Bloodborne).

So I just strolled through the halls for three days and let myself be surprised by what I saw while playing what I could: in the end it was a satisfying experience, as there were several good games I managed to play, though none of them was exceptional.
I didn't even buy anything except for the (pre-ordered) Cyclades expansion, Monuments.

This list collects all the games I played.
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1. Board Game: Potions Brew [Average Rating:3.51 Overall Rank:16277]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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My very first game on Thursday, with two of my buddies who really wanted to play it: it was a very bad start.
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2. Board Game: 4 Gods [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:3827]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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Then they wanted to play this game I didn't even hear of before: it's not bad but it didn't impress me either.
It felt like the Carcassonne farmers gone mystic.
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3. Board Game: Pocket Madness [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4698]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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The third game I played: it made my Essen list (I enjoy most of the games by Cathala) but it was quite close to the bottom.

It turned out as a light card game with a pasted-on Cthulhu theme: in the end it wasn't either bad nor exciting so I passed on it.
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4. Board Game: Fold-it [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:4534]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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I was curious to see how this creative filler works and on Thursday's noon I managed to play it: I also wanted to buy it but sadly it was already sold out.
 
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5. Board Game: Kanagawa [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:534]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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The first surprise I stumbled into: I didn't know this game and found it by chance but in the end I enjoyed it so much that I played it twice, once on Thursday (on my own) and once on Saturday (with my friends).

I wanted to see how it stood the test of my buddies and sadly had to drop it: they're so prone to AP that they made even Kanagawa a slog.
I wouldn't stand playing it at such a slow pace again.
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6. Board Game: Inis [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:108]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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As one of this year's most hyped games, I wanted to try it out although I already knew I wouldn't enjoy it: and I was right, with so little real interaction it's even worse than I expected.
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7. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:188] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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The third new game by Cathala I played on my first day (and the last overall on Thursday): it's a superlight game that left me lukewarm.
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8. Board Game: Not Alone [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:585]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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Friday started with one of the best games I played at this year's Essen: I was with most of my buddies and we lost badly to a very challenging GM whose commitment made us enjoy the game even more.

We left the booth only after buying four or five copies of the game, including one for a friend who couldn't come to Essen with us.
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9. Board Game: Squirrel Rush [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:8834]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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I played it with a friend and some random guys as the former was looking for games to play with children. This one wasn't my cup of tea.
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10. Board Game: Commissioner Victor: The lost painting case [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:8263] [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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And plastic for the Plastic Throne!
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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Another game I played it with a friend who was looking for games to play with children: it wasn't my cup of tea either.
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11. Board Game: Ragers: Champions of the Arena [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:12917]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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A generic fantasy two-player card game lacking any character and flavor: playing it (as the sparring partner for a friend who really wished to try it) was a chore.
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12. Board Game: Rent a Hero [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2279]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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A fun filler that I enjoyed: in my opinion, this year Iello wins the award for the best publisher at the Essen fair, as they brought so many light and good games that happen to be both fun to play and beautiful to look at.
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13. Board Game: Vikings on Board [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:4379]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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And plastic for the Plastic Throne!
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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Playing it was my fault: while I played Kingdomino the day before, I noticed that the people playing this other game were having a good time, so I thought it was fun.

I was so wrong.
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14. Board Game: The Mysterious Forest [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:7356]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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On our quest to find games to play with children, we tried this one as well, which is a cute eye candy: sadly though there's little game in it.
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15. Board Game: Oceanos [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1010]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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Not a Bauza fan here but I (moderately) enjoyed playing this game: I wouldn't fancy doing the same often though.
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16. Board Game: Raptor [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:315]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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I had been wanting to play this for some time and Friday had my chance at last: it's a solid two-player game with stunning components.

Sadly the friend I would play it most often didn't like the game half as much as I did, so I decided not to purchase it to avoid wasting my money.
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17. Board Game: Raise Your Goblets [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:3670]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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A very nice idea with great components: sadly it's way too fiddly for a party game.

With this game I ended my Friday at the fair.
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18. Board Game: The Dragon & Flagon [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2349]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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The first game we played on Saturday.

I was sure I would have enjoyed this game but in the end I dind't like it at all: it's a fiddly game with too many rules and even more downtime for the light "beer and pretzels" game it should be.
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19. Board Game: Sea of Clouds [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1508]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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A solid card game that we really enjoyed: sadly, I thinks it lacks replayability though.
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20. Board Game: Histrio [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:2920]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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We were taught the rules twice by two different explainers: later, it turned out that both of them explained them wrong (and by a great deal).

Nonetheless, we enjoyed what we think we saw of the real game and would give it another chance gladly.
 
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21. Board Game: Sail Away [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:12818]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
Bolzano
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And plastic for the Plastic Throne!
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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One of the best and most replayable light games we tried at the fair: probably we would have bought it hadn't it already been sold out.
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22. Board Game: POW! [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:7694]
Nicola Gambetti
Italy
Bolzano
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And plastic for the Plastic Throne!
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No! This is not a board game, but Stanislao Moulinsky in one of his best disguises!
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We closed both Saturday and our attendance at this year's Essen playing this game twice, which happens to be Sushizok with a different theme.
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