Essen by Proxy: News from the Livestream (Saturday, part 1) (Melissa Rogerson)

Scattered notes today, as games are demoed. I’m not sure what the timeframe is, but these video demos WILL be posted to Boardgamegeek so if a game sounds interesting please go and look it up.

  • 13 clues, from dv Giochi: I love deduction games! Big thumbs up for this. I really enjoyed last year’s Watson and Holmes, but it has the limitation that you can only really play each case once. (Still hoping for an expansion announcement). This one is more flexible, and it includes pencils.
  • Steel Arena: Friday Night Robot Fight – props for super enthusiastic demoer Zhenya “just call me Jane” from GAGA Games, who wasn’t sure she’d manage the demo in 5 minutes: “I like it too much to be quick” – it looks fun & fast, has robots and explosions, and feels like it might fit a King of Tokyo type slot.
  • Gentleman’s Deal – negotiation & discussion game about shady deals in a small town.
  • First Class by Helmut Ohley (Russian Railroads, Trambahn) – A good, clear, fast demo by Moritz Brunnhofer from HiG. Lots of interest in the Livestream; this is an Orient Express themed game. Of course, there’s a variant that incorporates a murder. I really like the look of it, both the visual design and the gameplay. The insert looks really well designed, too. There’s a Z-Man version coming, but the HiG version appears to be language independent (although the rules are only in German) – and for those who care, there are conductor meeples!
  • Carcassonne: Amazonas – the third in the CC around the world series. New element is a race along a river, with boats, the basic CC gameplay is there – place a tile, place a meeple. Next one (not until 2018?) might be Africa, but where is Australia in all this? Talk to me, HiG – we can do this! Drop bear meeples FTW.
  • CC mini expansion: The Watchtowers.
  • American Railroads – HiG’s answer to Ticket to Ride! Not really, but it’s an expansion to Russian Railroads with new player boards. Russian Railroads is so good, how could this not be?
  • Donkey Derby – It’s a race! With donkeys! Of course, it’s competing with Los Mampfos, Roads and Boats and Finca for a place on my “donkey game” shelf, which isn’t a great start. It’s a roll and move game with betting; very simple; I suspect that my niblings would enjoy it, but it’s not for me.
  • Motion Pictures: Movies out of cardboard – In chat, we take a moment or five to admire how good Beth is at this hosting business. Like the adorable Monsterfalle (and 7 Wonders), in Motion Pictures you are interacting/competing with the players on either side of you, rather than with everyone at the table. Lots of fun movie references, great artwork on the cards, lots of laughs. I’d love to get a copy in time for PAX Australia. Verdict is that this game looks pretty interesting, and the blue satin cape is a winner.
  • When I Dream – A party game about dreams, complete with Very Attractive Sleeping Mask for the dreamer to wear. It’s always nice when game components do double duty. “The first player gives me a clue that reminds me of bacon.” – players are fairies who give clues to the dreamer, trying to get them to guess the words on the clue cards. Players may also be imps, though, who want them to guess wrongly; and tricksters want the game to be a tie. It’s a light fun party game with pretty art and a very food focused demo that is making me hungry. The game ends with the storyteller telling the story of their dream: eating bacon on top of a wall when a horde of zombies appears. This light party game sounds like a winner; both this and Motion Pictures have been doing really well – get ‘em today if you want ‘em!
  • Chitchat time because Beth is 20 minutes ahead, with an International Man of Mystery:
    • OMG RORY’S STORY CUBES DR WHO (not demoed but I am exploding with joy. Still haven’t seen the Moomin ones in Australia yet though). Beth did a video with Rory at his booth & it will be on BGG later. Dr Who, Looney Tunes & Scooby Doo. Massive Story Cubes fangirl geekout which I totally share. There’s also an organiser box with lots of perfectly organised compartments for different story cubes so you can write the Dr Who Scooby Doo Moomin Meets Marvin the Martian Mashup Crossover Fanfiction Storycubes I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM NOT WRITING THIS ALL IN CAPITALS RIGHT NOW. And a bag for people who prefer bags, like Rory’s business partner Anita. Swoon.
    • Ravensburger is putting together a 40,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. It has to be put together in packs rather than in one piece, because human brains cannot comprehend that. Speaking purely for my own.
  • Anachrony, which some have Kickstartered (cue cheering). The box is big enough for Beth to hide behind, and demoer Viktor wears a vivid yellow tie which is perfect for the lapel mike. Fortunately for us, he has the presentation skills to match. Components look great, including chit-holding miniatures for Kickstarter backers, which are available to non-backers as an expansion. Chat verdict: “this game looks amazing!”
  • Amis Cube by Deinko Games and demonstrator MinWoo An takes a selfie with the BGG background. There should be more of this.
    Meanwhile, it’s hello Norway with Katherine and her fabulous hiccoughs taking over and Beth off for a lunchbreak – and a surprise for MinWoo who maybe didn’t quite realise that he was doing the live selfie. He wins bonus points by saying hello to me, though. I like him a lot. Is he the Dr M who is credited as the game’s designer? Enquiring minds want to know!
    This game has funky modular sort of Soma cube style thingies. They look awesome. You can change the shape of the pieces if you can’t make a cube; this appeals to people like me who learned how to solve Rubik’s Cubes and then learned how to take them apart & put them back together faster than we could solve them. I think it’s like a competitive 3D puzzle. Also, it has a really good bell just like the one that comes with Halli Galli. Games with bells are super cool. Also, MinWoo is really really good at assembling 3D cubes. Note to self: Never play a game like this with the designer. Chatters are suggesting we do a mashup of Amis Cube with Lift It, the game where you wear cranes on your head. Interesting game, good presentation.
  • Mission Impractical – from Vennerød Forlag AS – we wonder whether they might possibly be the only Scandinavians in the building. There’s a recurring Norway theme here that maybe you had to be in chat to follow. This is a social deduction game where you have a secret mission and then you have to choose 4 items that will help you to achieve that mission. Other players have to guess your mission: Are you trying to mow the lawn, overcome a hangover, repair a bicycle tyre or destroy the one ring? I think this guy is totally trying to destroy the one ring with a frying pan and floor wax and a couple of other things, but Fraser just got our sheets off the washing line and I have to go help make the bed, so I will never know. I would play this game and enjoy it. It’s in that “anyone can play it” codenames genre, and looks really fun. I hope I can get a copy in time for PAX Aus in 3 weeks.
  • Perfect Crime – “everything that you can do in this game is something that real live bank robbers use to get into banks.” Good practice, then. 2-5 players, 90 minutes, looks interesting. We’ve enjoyed the Small-Time Criminals puzzle room so this might be a good fit for my larcenous family.
  • Area 51: Top Secret – bit of a spate of secret/spy/theft games here. Not that I am complaining! Harald said hello to all of us so we like him a lot. (Note this, future demoers! It’s not quite as good as “Hello Melissa” but it’s close.) This is a game about storing alien artefacts in top secret bunkers. Really nice isomorphic angle on the overhead camera. This is another finalist from a competition that Mücke Spiele ran in 2009, and is the sixth game to use the same set of pieces.

It’s break time so I’m going to post this. It’s getting long!

About Melissa

Melissa lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she plays games with her husband Fraser and their two adult daughters. She works as a lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction and researches tabletop games. Find out more about her research at
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4 Responses to Essen by Proxy: News from the Livestream (Saturday, part 1) (Melissa Rogerson)

  1. Pingback: Essen by Proxy: News from the Livestream (Saturday, part 1) (Melissa Rogerson) -

  2. pdfprime says:

    When I Dream has gorgeous looking dream-like cards. I did not get an answer in the chat — Is there a functional reason for the pictures? It seems like a lot of art work for minimal game play value. The person having the dream doesn’t get to see the pictures until they wake up, right?

    • Melissa says:

      That’s my understanding – it’s nicer to have the pictures rather than Codenames-style cards with just words. I think it’s thematic.

    • Hi and thanks for your nice words! Yes the game could work without the art but despite the use of the theme, the art mostly helps the players to confuse or to help the dreamer. For example zombie has a backround for pyramids and imps can distract the dreamer giving clues for mummy. Also art was chosen for the game because players in pressure of time they are keen on saying clue words that match to what they see.

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