One Sentence Reviews of Gen Con 2018 Games
Chris Wray
United States
Harrisonville
Missouri
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Gen Con has come and gone, but I've been playing the games me and my friends brought back. I normally write long-winded written reviews, but I've been toying with the idea of doing ultra-concise reviews.

So here are my micro reviews of Gen Con 2018 games. A few of these are based on 1-2 plays. I had posted this on Twitter earlier (@OpinionatedGmrs) but clarified some of the descriptions here.
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1. Board Game: Blue Lagoon [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:864]
Board Game: Blue Lagoon
Chris Wray
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Reiner Knizia redoes Through the Desert, creating an addictive point-salad game that sacrifices some depth for more approachability.
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2. Board Game: Clank! Expeditions: Gold and Silk [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
Board Game: Clank! Expeditions: Gold and Silk
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
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I played the "Gold" side, which adds a new map with a "mining" feature, plus a bonus for having the most coins at the end: if you like Clank!, this is an inexpensive way to freshen up gameplay.
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3. Board Game: Coimbra [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:170]
Board Game: Coimbra
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Coimbra is a beautiful, heavyweight Euro with a lot going on: though you make only 12 decisions in the game (primarily about which cards to try to buy with the available dice pool), those decisions cascade cleverly into point salad during final scoring.
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4. Board Game: Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:139]
Board Game: Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game
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Ignacy Trzewiczek’s modern, extremely cool twist on the genre founded by Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, and with streamlined rules, but unfortunately also with gameplay that can feel artificially obtuse.
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5. Board Game: Dinosaur Tea Party [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:3041]
Board Game: Dinosaur Tea Party
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Cute, and whimsical, but only fun in theory, because it is not really a deduction game to me (despite me admitting that it is totally a deduction game) because players don’t have to actually use logic but rather just develop AP and stare at stuff around the table.
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6. Board Game: Downforce: Danger Circuit [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
Board Game: Downforce: Danger Circuit
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Danger Circuit is a cool expansion if you liked Downforce: it adds two cool new tracks and additional powers.
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7. Board Game: dude [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:10560] [Average Rating:5.78 Unranked]
Board Game: dude
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This game was fun to play exactly once, and even then, it was really only fun for about 30 seconds.

Bonus: I also played More Dude, which is actually better, since it has pictures and graphical representations on the cards rather than just text.
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8. Board Game: Forbidden Sky [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1864]
Board Game: Forbidden Sky
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An admirable sequel to Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Island, with a cool toy factor that gives the game amazing table presence, but also with a few mechanics that my game group didn’t enjoy due to things becoming chaotic at the end.
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9. Board Game: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters: Creepy Cellar Expansion [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Board Game: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters: Creepy Cellar Expansion
Chris Wray
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Brian Yu’s Kinderspiel des Jahres-winning masterpiece gets even better by taking the best parts of last year’s promo mini-expansion and mixing them with a creepy cellar to add cool new gameplay elements.
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10. Board Game: Gizmos [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:317]
Board Game: Gizmos
Chris Wray
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Missouri
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An outstanding engine-building game with a cool marble dispenser that is probably going to captivate the hobby’s attention over the next few months.
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11. Board Game: Lost Cities: Rivals [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2416]
Board Game: Lost Cities: Rivals
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
Missouri
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A delightful combination of the play-a-higher-number card mechanic from Lost Cities, the auction mechanic from Traumfabrik, and the press-your-luck mechanic of Ra.
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12. Board Game: Mesozooic [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:6038]
Board Game: Mesozooic
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
Missouri
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A game that is way more fun than I initially expected it to be, Mesozooic is a cool mix of card drafting and the old "missing piece" puzzles.
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13. Board Game: Nimble [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:9686]
Board Game: Nimble
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
Missouri
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A cool dexterity game that actually isn’t a dexterity game in any way but rather a real time how-quickly-can-my-brain-process-colors-and-throw-down-cards game.
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14. Board Game: Paper Tales [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:948]
Board Game: Paper Tales
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
Missouri
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A fun card drafting game, with very beautiful artwork, where you have elements of civilization building, a cool time mechanic, and even "wars" between players (though this conflict aspect feels very strong).
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15. Board Game: Patchwork Express [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:3337]
Board Game: Patchwork Express
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
Missouri
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It is a lot like Patchwork, but five to ten minutes shorter, and that unfortunately means less of the button economics I enjoyed in Patchwork.
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16. Board Game: Piepmatz [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:1439]
Board Game: Piepmatz
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
Missouri
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One of the few Lookout games I haven't enjoyed, Piepmatz almost caused me to fall asleep, because of both the aggressively boring gameplay and the theme/artwork (though the artwork was still attractive).
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17. Board Game: Pikoko [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:4237]
Board Game: Pikoko
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An exceptionally well-produced trick-taking game where you can see everybody’s cards but your own, but (surprisingly and disappointingly) there isn’t as much of a deduction aspect as I had wished for.
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18. Board Game: Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:489] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Board Game: Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition
Chris Wray
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Missouri
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One of the best roll-and-writes I’ve tried, but I’m enjoying the base game so much I haven’t even considered moving onto the “Blazing Red” or “Deep Blue” expansions.
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19. Board Game: Scarabya [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2783]
Board Game: Scarabya
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
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A beautiful and engaging we-all-play-the-same-polyomino-at-the-same-time game that isn’t quite as good as NMBR 9, but nonetheless was I-want-to-play-again fun.
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20. Board Game: Shadows: Amsterdam [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:2324]
Board Game: Shadows: Amsterdam
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
Missouri
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This game, which most definitely wasn't at Gen Con (despite the publisher tweeting that it was), is an excellent combination of Mysterium and Codenames that currently sits on my Essen most-anticipated list.
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21. Board Game: TAGS [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:3922]
Board Game: TAGS
Chris Wray
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Harrisonville
Missouri
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A real-time game that plays a little too much like Scattergories, but at least it was well produced.
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22. Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Prelude [Average Rating:8.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.81 Unranked]
Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Prelude
Chris Wray
United States
Harrisonville
Missouri
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A clever card-based expansion for Terraforming Mars that jumpstarts the terraforming, shortening the game by a generation or two, and also includes some additional corporations and project cards.
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23. Board Game: Root [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:34]
Board Game: Root
Chris Wray
United States
Harrisonville
Missouri
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Probably the hottest title since Gen Con 2018, Root is a game where the asymmetry is the main selling point, but given my disdain for programming games, it probably would have been more enjoyable if I had played a different character than The Erie.
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24. Board Game: Spirits of the Forest [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1476]
Board Game: Spirits of the Forest
Chris Wray
United States
Harrisonville
Missouri
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Michael Schacht's latest creation is an interesting set collection game where you draft cards from the left or right of a central display, attempting to get majorities in sets, but ultimately the game isn't all that exciting, and the color choices by the publisher were odd.
 
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25. Board Game: Ultimate Werewolf Legacy [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:5389]
Board Game: Ultimate Werewolf Legacy
Chris Wray
United States
Harrisonville
Missouri
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A masterpiece: the single best social deduction game I’ve ever played, and the first game I’ve rated a 10 on BGG in several years.
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