Your Origins Game Fair 2017 Pick for "Game of Show"
Bill Kunes
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Cincinnati
Ohio
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From gallery of W Eric Martin

For many gamers the impressions of new or upcoming games coming out of conventions are exciting and informative. Even more so for those of us at home wishing we were able to attend.

If you went to the 2017 Origins Game Fair, which game stood out to you as the "Game of Show", and why? Who do you think will also like it?

Feel free to Add an item to the list if it is not already present, otherwise thumbsup the existing item to show your support.

2016 / 2015 / 2014

Thanks, in advance, for sharing!!

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1. Board Game: Lisboa [Average Rating:8.18 Overall Rank:67]
Board Game: Lisboa
John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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It has to be Lisboa, as I was able to pick up my KS copy there, learn the game at the demo from designer Vital Lacerda, who had come all the way from Portugal to show off his new game!
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2. Board Game: Century: Spice Road [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:236] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Board Game: Century: Spice Road
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
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Board Game: Century: Spice Road

Century: Spice Road was my pick. It was the one game I had hoped to buy at the show. However, it sold out on Friday and I was only there for Saturday. Fortunately, they had multiple tables set up to demo and we got to play a full game.

It was easy to teach/learn and played quickly, yet I could see a level of depth that would be grasped with more plays. Everyone in my game really enjoyed it and would have bought a copy instantly had they been available. This is definitely on my Buy List.

Other games I tried, ranked in order of preference:

Codenames: Duet
Unearth
Sentient
Honshū
Flip Ships

More details --> Origins 2017

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3. Board Game: Summit: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:2815]
Board Game: Summit: The Board Game
Krista Donnelly
United States
Beltsville
Maryland
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This was a little hard to find but I tracked it down by Saturday and got a game in on Saturday afternoon. I came away highly impressed and ordered a copy from their website. The game will be released later this summer. It's highly customizable (competitive or cooperative, and lots of ways to vary the difficulty). The mountain climbing theme was very rich and implemented in clever ways - e.g. as you use food, oxygen and other supplies, your weight decreases so your speed increases. You can drop specific items at various spots and plan to pick them up later. One turn I retrieved the skies that my Sherpa was carrying, cached them on the mountain so I could make a run to the summit and then picked them up on the way back down. Some randomness with the event cards and weather dice, but nothing that I couldn't tolerate.

I also liked Hotshots, Flip Ships, Witches of the Revolution, Overlords of Infamy, Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks (played two full games - I would warn that it seems to be hard to make progress so the game tends to run long, but the theme was immersive), and wanted to demo Spirit Island but didn't get the chance.
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4. Board Game: Bärenpark [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:291]
Board Game: Bärenpark
Ben Garbe
United States
Waukesha
Wisconsin
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Didn't play a ton of new stuff at Origins, but Barenpark was definitely my favorite. It's basically Patchwork for up to four players (and MUCH better than Cottage Garden). Apparently the game originally involved roller coasters before being re-themed with BEARS.

HONORABLE MENTION: Hounded

Board Game: Hounded


I spend a lot of time on BGG so there aren't many games that I haven't at least heard of, but Hounded was completely off my radar prior to Origins. A highly asymmetrical Mr. Jack-esque game with excellent components and a fun/unique theme! Played the mega-sized version in the main gaming hall on Saturday and immediately picked up a copy to take home.
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5. Board Game: 878 Vikings: Invasions of England [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:712]
Board Game: 878 Vikings: Invasions of England
For me 878: Vikings was my top game of Origins. I really like the changes from the Birth of America series and I think the fact that it comes with miniatures as opposed to cubes adds a lot.
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6. Board Game: Spirit Island [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:13]
Board Game: Spirit Island
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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The Top 2 New This Year Games for me at the show were Spirit Island and Lignum (Second Edition). Probably the best game that was new to me that I played was Adrenaline (I think it came out last summer).

Spirit Island is a heavier coop in which you play a god trying to push back colonial settlers who will build cities and pollute the land.

Lignum came out at Essen a few years ago, but hasn't made it to the US until now. It's a dry euro about harvesting and selling wood. The central mechanic in the game is the river concept from Egizia, a worker placement track that you can travel down at your own speed but never move back on. Tightly designed with harsh decision space.

Adrenaline is a euro game with a first person shooter skin. You pick up guns and power cubes and shoot people until they explode. They respawn and you do it again. The slick idea is that the damage you actually deal is a majority control element and each character is essentially a walking scoring area. It's like an inverse area control game.
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7. Board Game: The Godfather: Corleone's Empire [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:309]
Board Game: The Godfather: Corleone's Empire
Charlotte Malone
United States
Floyds Knobs
Indiana
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I was super-excited to try this, and got to jump in on a demo last minute on Wednesday. It was very "Lang-esque" - the mechanics were simple and seemless, and the decisions were interesting. I loved the theme, and it was very well-integrated. And I love those little suitcases! Very nice touch. I finished dead last behind a guy who left the game, so clearly I'm not a good mobster. (In fairness, our turns were over, we were waiting for the others to finish so we could do final scoring, and he had somewhere to be - was all good.)

I also tried :

Codenames Duet (liked but didn't love)
the Adrenaline expansion (prototype, excited to see how the finished product turns out)
Century Spice Road (liked but didn't love, although the little bowls were a super nice touch)
Not Alone (bought a copy)
Ethnos (really enjoyed)

It was a fun week!

Edit: can't believe I forgot! The Scavengers expansion to 51st State! I didn't expect it to be there! Haven't had a chance to play it yet, but I'm so pumped!
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8. Board Game: Sentient [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:1016]
Board Game: Sentient
Mike DiLisio
United States
Homestead
Florida
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No theme, but amazing art, super quick to learn and play. Tons of great dice manipulation/mitigation decisions. Card drafting. Set collection. Light area majority. Good mix of in-game and end-game scoring. This is a game that takes a lot of mechanisms, and blends them so smoothly, you don't even necessarily realize they're all there.

And, FWIW my final, too early, first impressions ranking on the games I got at Origins:
1) Sentient
2) Century: Spice Road
3) The Lost Expedition
4) Flipships
5) Okey Dokey
Haven't played yet: Joraku
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9. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:453]
Board Game: Pax Porfiriana
Shaun Morris
United States
New Jersey
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Hands down my favorite game of the show.

It's not a new game, but it was new to me.

The premise is intriguing as it's based in history, with the flavor text on the cards actually being short historical factoids.

Very cutthroat and strategic yet simple mechanics. I loved everything about this game.

It's not going to be for everyone but I think it will appeal to a wide range of people due to the simplicity of the mechanics.
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10. Board Game: Element [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:2162] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Board Game: Element
Mardigan 7
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An amazing game! I loved playing it! Well done Rather Dashing!
Check it out!
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11. Board Game: Hotshots [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:2569]
Board Game: Hotshots
Brian Duplaisir
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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Hotshots was a game that really impressed me. This is a coop game that has the pandemic feel. Take an action and then let the game attack you back. While similar to pandemic, I enjoyed the simplicity of the rules and loved the push your luck element in the game. The game can also be scaled for difficulty with tile placement for creating tougher maps and if you get the promo you can replace the very helpful lake with the somewhat helpful river. Or if it is to hard, put both in.

I think it may be time to sell my collection of flashpoint fire rescue because I find it quite fiddiliy and so many ity bity rules for every little thing you do in the game. Anyone interested let me know.
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12. Board Game: Dragonfire [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:1111]
Board Game: Dragonfire
Colton Stark
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I was really impressed by Dragonfire the D&D cooperative deck builder. Really smart design, engaging, and great art work. Something I am very excited to see come out in a few weeks.
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13. Board Game: Pulsar 2849 [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:215]
Board Game: Pulsar 2849
Dylan Thurston
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
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Leaving aside the games I was personally involved with, I really enjoyed playing a prototype of Pulsar 2849, due out from CGE by the end of the year. Already in my first game, I could see there are lots of different strategies and paths to victory.

I would also rank Century: Spice Road as a great new game.
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14. Board Game: Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:2646]
Board Game: Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks
Steve O'Grady
United States
Jacksonville
Alabama
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Several that impressed me have already been mentioned. Dragonfire is one my wife can't wait to buy. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong was a game we played for the first time that left a huge BUY impression on us, though it has been out a while.

Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks was a surprise. We were skeptical at the outset but kept an open mind. It has a dice rolling mechanic, like Tiny Epic Galaxies, or Run, Fight, or Die!, with no rerolls except by card. Not my favorite mechanic. But what drove it home for us was it was deeply immersed in theme. Choices where to go...earths past, earths future, different planets, different times. Each player plays the Doctor, all trying to save Galifrey, much like the episode Time of the Doctors, but with the Daleks hot on your trail. Meet Cybermen. One player had the unfortunate experience of meeting up with weeping Angels. Companions are present, and are best when matched to the right doctor (ex. Amy Pond with the 11th Doctor).

Best Doctor Who game out there. Doctor Who fans....enjoy richly. Non Doctor Who fans...not a bad game in a race to get to Galifrey first, with many adventures along the way.
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15. Board Game: Arena: For the Gods! [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:3143]
Board Game: Arena: For the Gods!
Kirk K

New Kensington
Pennsylvania
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This was my favorite demo and purchase from the show.

A very close runner up (I had trouble deciding) was Delve from Indy Boards & Cards. All I can say about that one is Carcassonne, your days are numbered...
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16. Board Game: Unearth [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1104]
Board Game: Unearth
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This was the first board game I've wanted to like solely based on the artwork.

Games were demoed with three players apiece, which played fairly well. There is a good amount of tension between collecting buildings that are all the same color versus taking buildings that your opponent's are scoring.

The Dice rolling aspect is solid. There's a bidding mechanism with them, but a use for low rolls, by gaining building blocks for obtaining special powers. Additionally Dice spent on unsuccessful bids get turned into special one time powers that help alter die rolls, etc.

The game is fairly simple and fun. Just a small amount of interaction between players. Only available for preorder now, but I'm excited to get my copy.

Did I mention the incredible artwork?!??
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17. Board Game: Caverna: Cave vs Cave [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:603]
Board Game: Caverna: Cave vs Cave
Curtis Frantz
United States
State College
PA
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I was lucky enough to be about 6th in line to pick this up on Thursday morning, but didn't get a chance to crack it open until tonight. It was totally worth it! Strangely enough, I've never played the regular version of Caverna but after discovering that I liked Agricola: ACBaS significantly better than Agricola, this was a must have for me. The game plays pretty briskly and you always feel like you're able to do something productive, even if your opponent does sometimes get in the way. By the end of the game, you've got so many cogs in the engine that there are many options. I would definitely recommend picking up a copy whether or not you like Caverna.

Runner-up: Barenpark
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18. Board Game: Flatline [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1502]
Board Game: Flatline
Jason Montgomery
United States
Kokomo
Indiana
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I can't believe nobody has mentioned Flatline yet! By far my favorite game of the Con! Co-op, tons of custom dice, app-based timer... You're working together in an "outer-space E.R." to treat injured crew members. Fun...Exciting...Pressure! Renegade Games nailed this one! Love it!
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19. Board Game: Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:2501]
Board Game: Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time
Sherri Fillingham
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While not for sale at Origins, this was the game I left the table wanting, and wanting badly. Great co-op with a fun theme and some interesting mechanics. While our team won rather easily, I watched another team go down to ignominious defeat in a close contest -- just the type of challenge I want to see in a game.

I also liked (and bought)
Deadline
Quest for the Antidote
Vast: The Crystal Caverns
Hounded
Battle Kittens

As you can see, I tended toward the lighter games, but was thrilled with all that I played!
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20. Board Game: Hunt for the Ring [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1785]
Board Game: Hunt for the Ring
Ian Kissell
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Got to play one side of the board. Really great hidden movenemt game with some clever mechanisms, plus the familiar dice and cards from War of the ring. Really excited for this one to come out.

I also really like Wordsy.

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21. Board Game: This Belongs in a Museum [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:15019]
Board Game: This Belongs in a Museum
Joe Gidcumb
United States
Canton
OH
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My daughter and I played this Sunday afternoon at the show. Although a simple tile laying game, we found it to be very fun and interesting with the special actions allowed by certain cards. The game was fun as a 2-player game and believe it would become even more exciting with the full 4 player count. It was going to be an instant buy for us, but we were sad to hear that they were sold out. I ordered it on Monday as a surprise for my daughter. I know one game we will be playing on our camping trip this weekend.

Honorable mentions included:
Spoils of War
Arena of the Gods

I did also purchase Near and Far, Terraforming Mars and Get the Cheese.


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22. Board Game: Ethnos [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:231]
Board Game: Ethnos
Scott Jenkins
United States
Ashtabula
Ohio
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This has to be my main game of the show. I wanted to see it and after my first event I went to CMON booth only to find my entire family demo-ing it. I played it was awesome. I needless to say got one of the few copies they had that arrived on Saturday.

Others-

Swords and Sorcery (nabbed one)
Near and Far (Got the kickstarter edition, YAY!)
and of Course my completionest got Legendary X-men which I have reviewed on my channel

Everything BoardGames!
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23. Board Game: Destiny Aurora: Renegades [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:13117]
Board Game: Destiny Aurora: Renegades
M King
United States
Wilder
Kentucky
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Microbadge: Up Front fanMicrobadge: Dungeon Command fanMicrobadge: Level 04 BGG posterMicrobadge: Wargamer of 40+ yearsMicrobadge: It doesn't matter who you are - you can go to a library and read anything
Didn't play many of the consensus hot games. But I stumbled on this and playing a full demo mission was the most fun I had at the con. From the sci fi theme to the easy to learn but tactically interesting mechanics, this one had me reaching for my wallet to preorder it.
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24. Board Game: Kilt Castle [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:6141]
Board Game: Kilt Castle
Agent Emme (mmazala)
United States
Ohio
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Next trip: BGG.CON Spring!
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Phelanpt Feb 11, 2:15 PM: evils have mostly stood by and watch goods fall. except for emme. she's spinning them round and round.
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There wasn't a game that I head-over-heels fell in love with this year, but there were some games that I enjoyed. My favorite I suppose was Kilt Castle. I played a full game in the exhibitor hall with 3 friends and had a very good time playing.

Concept: Players build towers around the board and earn points during scoring for areas where their pieces are the topmost on towers. Certain pieces are worth more during scoring than others, but they can also be covered up by other players' pieces. The excitement in the game comes from determining where to place your piece following the game's system which usually results in giving other players opportunities to place pieces as well.

I liked this abstract game. So did my friends Paul, Michael, and Jose. It was cutthroat, you have to pay attention to what others are doing, the board changes fast, and Michael just squeaked out a win in the end. Lots of trash talking and teasing.

Runners up:

- Celestia (this isn't new, right? If it is new, then it is my favorite)

- Wordsy (it's too similar to Boggle and other word games for me to really be like, "wow, this is innovative", but I liked it and had fun playing)


https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/226725/origins-2017-games...?
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25. Board Game: Hounded [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:5617]
Board Game: Hounded
Nathan Norton
United States
Michigan
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An excellent fox hunt-themed two-player cat and mouse chase. So well designed with really interesting art. The surprise of the con for me. I hadn't heard a peep about it and we tried it out on a lark, and adored it. Buddy of mine bought a copy and I would have too if it hadn't been for a huge purchase I made just before discovering it.

Playing as either the Fox or the Hunting Party provide interesting decisions and puzzly, difficult back-and-forth. Love.
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