Spring Game Market Anticipation Post (ゲームマーケット2019春プレビュー)

I’m not attending Tokyo Game Market and never have, but wanted to highlight some titles that are being released and other things about the convention. Some of these will be ones I have my eye on acquiring, and others will be just be things I’m happy to see existing. I started this post a month or so ago and things have been changing almost daily as news and updates either appear or fail to appear. This is the latest information I have today.

Designer: 奥空 武志
Publisher: NSGクリエイト
Booth: I02
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday and Sunday
English Rules Included: Yes (expected 5/22)

I’ve been seeing tweets about Hyakkaten in my feed for awhile and am glad to see it finally being released. The colors and escalators are quite visually engaging. Players are running a department store business (competitively), including advertising and creating the arrangement of the departments.

ゴシップアンドザシティ (Gossip and the City)
Designer: シマムラロックボーイ
Publisher: ハレルヤロックボーイ
Booth: M20
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: No

A card game about exposing or catch-and-killing celebrity gossip stories. You can’t see it in the preview above, but each suit has a shadow of the celebrity which shows what they’ve been up to. From a rough translation of the game’s description, it has aspects of Arboretum (where you want to collect certain cards of a color, but the rank of other cards you hold of that color will factor into your scoring) and one of those games with end game dq-conditions (e.g. the player who did the most of something won’t get to score). Also a little Ponzi Scheme/QE where there are secret trades/offers and not everyone will end up with the same information.

The overwhelming majority of titles that will be released can be pre-ordered, but Gossip and the City is one of the few I’ve seen where the pre-orders were closed several weeks early as all copies were reserved. I hope I got in on time.

Designer: Kaya Miyano
Publisher: Cosaic
Booth: H23
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: Unknown

There are a few roll and writes I’m keeping my eye on, and this is one of them. My notes have the English title as “Summer Holiday Memo”, but I’m not sure where I got that from. The sheet you write on appears to be a page from a monthly calendar and the cards are things you might have done while on Summer break. I’m slightly worried there is too much language-dependency on the cards, so we’ll see.

One interesting note about the game is that it appears to have been created during a group game design jam in 2015! You can read more about it here.

I have also pre-ordered Fruitale which has some roll and write elements, and am thinking about マドリーノ(Madrino), a roll and write that involves house floor plans where odd things can happen like your bathroom has no walls or doors. The designer for Madrino is considering English rules, though in a Twitter poll this week, people had voted that a haircut, booth preparations, and selfcare should take priority over working on the EN rules. (I voted for selfcare.)

三津浜 (Mitsuhama)
Designer: 鈴木一馬
Publisher: Tarte Games
Booth: S10
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: Unknown

A dice and auction game themed around fishing, warehousing that fish, and selling it to local cooks. The designer has done some rule translations in the past for other designers’ games, so I’m optimistic this one may come with English rules. I’m also a sucker for box covers that allude back to the Alea style.

ハニーフェスタ (Honey Festa)
Designer: ゆたか
Exhibit Day(s): Both
English Rules Included: Unknown

Other than being described as a puzzle game, I don’t know much about Honey Festa. The tweets that I’ve seen on it are passionate about wanting to play it again and from sources credible to me.

The publisher and booth locations are blank above as well. I’m writing these throughout May and information is still sparse. Typically I find out about games on Twitter, through folks I follow, or certain hashtags related to the convention. Usually a little while later information about the game will show up on gamemarket.jp which is a central resource for a lot of the available information. Sometimes there is information on bodoge.hoobby.net, a sorta Japanese version of BGG. There are also some pre-convention shows around Tokyo where folks can try games early, and the website for some of these mini-expos will include details on games; vorspiel.info is an example of this. This year some games have also gone up early on booth.pm, and you can find them by a hashtag affiliated with the convention there. (For titles like Infinity Mirai Box, the box is so large that the Game Market organizers have restricted how many physical copies the publisher may bring in, so they are encouraging sales through booth.)

I’m getting nervous that Honey Festa will not appear at this convention. I’ve reached out to the publisher and haven’t heard back. UPDATE: ゆたか says that it will be close; printing delays mean that it likely will not be available on Saturday, but it may be available on Sunday.

Designer: みっきー
Publisher: 嘴広卿(はしびろきょう)
Booth: N39
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: Unknown

Speaking of booth, the GORiATE publisher has released this title early on booth and you can order now. Saigo describes this one as a push-your-luck drafting game. Each player takes on the roll of a David attempting to prevail over a central Goliath. I’m a sucker for card games, partially because I feel more confident that I’ll be able to play them due to the likelyhood of lesser language dependency with the components and the odds that I (who speaks no Japanese) will need to translate the rules. Also, card games are usually inexpensive.

みんなのお茶請け (Everyone’s Served)
Designer: Hammer
Publisher: Hammer Works
Booth: B15 (Okazu)
Exhibit Day(s): Both
English Rules Included: No

Speaking of which, I’ve started on drafts of English rules for some games so that I might have enough information going in.

For Game Market titles I want to try, I often jump off a cliff. Last Fall was the first time that I really went blindly into picking some titles up from GM, and my current stance is that I’m thrilled enough with ペーターと2匹の牧羊犬 (Peter’s Two Sheep Dogs), 天下鳴動 (Tenka Meidou/World Rumbling), and エスパーピザ屋 ゴーストタウンへ行く (Psychic Pizza Deliverers Go to the Ghost Town) that it was worth it. I’m glad I didn’t miss out on those.

Everyone’s Served comes with cards numbered 1-48 which have varying amounts of positive or negative points on them. Everyone gets a hand of cards and a few cards are flipped face up in a tableau. The players in turn order play a card face up. The cards resolve in ascending order, with a card earning that player any cards in the tableau that are less than the card played, and the highest card taking all remaining cards. The cards played in one round form the tableau of the next round. (There are a few other rules, but that’s the gist.)

四季折折 (Humble Tea Party)
Designer: ななつむ
Publisher: ななつむ
Booth: T11
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: Unknown, though a summary is available.

Humble Tea Party is a tile placement game where players are arranging Japanese sweets in a box that is a 3×3 grid. Players aim to be the most humble and try to place the best sweets in other player’s boxes, hoping to earn the fewest points for themselves, and the most points for their opponents.

There are also untold treasures that I’ll never experience, but just bring me so much joy that they exist below. Check out the games from るりるり in the tweet below.

In the upper left, a handmade cardboard take on the Master Thieves concept (which I recommend you look further into here); I believe the one in the upper right is elsewhere referred to as “Space Urchin”, and look at the love and care put into the cat and mouse backgammon style game in the lower right. The designer posted that a trick-taking game would be available, and posted an hour later that all copies had been reserved. I can’t imagine the magic that can be found at Game Market that isn’t available on any previews.

Designer: Sirou Yamaoka
Publisher: Siroup
Booth: M49-50
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: Yes

I keep my eye out for any trick-taking games being released, and there are a few this Spring. Pompiers is on my list based upon the designer. I have currently passed on 色映に生へど~いろはにおえど (Iroha ni Oedo) and カラーギャングルズ.

(I’m going to end this post by saying “There’s a lot to look forward to.”, and there is. But I also want to shout out nononon factory and K’nnon (designer of 色映に生へど~いろはにおえど ) for adding 16 previously released titles, dating back to 2012, to their pre-order reservation list. There’s a lot of back catalog treasures too enjoy as well.)

Still on trick-taking, I’m expecting Zimbabweee Trick to be released, and the designer has recently released the images below of the cards (single-indexed in the upper right!) and while there is a photo of the box, further details are light for now. (I’ve previously discussed the game play in one of my T5 posts.)

The designer has also posted this shot of the cards for a game called Time Palatrix that I believe will be a trick-taking game, but I haven’t been able to find any additional details. He has told me that there will not be English rules. For both games, he’s also said that more information will be available this weekend.

3番目に強いもぐら (Third Strongest Mole)
Designer: ささき
Publisher: インスタント・インスト
Booth: X04
Exhibit Day(s): Sunday
English Rules Included: No

Even if only for myself, I’ve tried to be up to date. Typically I awake each morning to several new entries on the Game Market site to skim for being of any interest to me. At some point I cut myself off lest I find too much I’m interested in. Yesterday, one of several new ones I came across was 3番目に強いもぐら (Third Strongest Mole). 3SM is a 5-player only trick taking game. That only has one suit. That only costs 500円 (around $4.55). The image above is a crop of the Japanese rules, and I haven’t yet tried to translate them into English. Roughly, it appears that each player has a hand of 7 cards, and each trick a player will score points equal to where they rank in that trick (e.g. 1 point for first, 2 for second), with an ultimate goal of being the Median Mole.

太陽と月の王国 (Kingdom of the Sun and the Moon)
Designer: つれづれ愚者
Publisher: こぐま工房 (Koguma Koubou)
Booth: Y18
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: Unknown

I recently reviewed Hiktorune from たきざわまさかず . The publisher こぐま工房 (Koguma Koubou) has recently been sharing photos of a Game Market release 太陽と月の王国 (Kingdom of the Sun and the Moon). Other than being a card game, little information is available. I’ll note that the cards in photos of the game are the cards for the game トライアングル (Triangle), and the designer of this one is つれづれ愚者, the designer of Triangle (a game that I hope to tell you more about soon.) . The publisher confirmed to me that they do not accept pre-orders, but they will be there Saturday.

Some games aren’t new. I’m looking to pick up Coupe Ration which was previously released, and Mauna Kea, a 2 player game about astronomical observations of a comet. A friend who has been in Japan since early May (but will unfortunately miss Game Market) was also able to pick up a copy of Triangle for me.

insect inc.
Booth: K12
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: Unknown

I’ve got my eye on some games from the more established Japanese publishers, such as Okazu and analog lunchbox (“SHOBAI” All Right, Across the United States, and Dazzling Diceline), but if you haven’t seen, there is an interesting spin-off of sorts from analog lunchbox, Polar Pond, which is releasing insect inc, about which little is known, but it looks like this:

I don’t know how many of these I’ll end up picking up, but in case I don’t, or I don’t get around to reviewing them, I wanted to give you a taste of some of the things that are coming out. While I focus on card games and games that make you say “That can’t possibly work…”, there are more euro style games and war games as well. If I was picking one of those up, it would be 公国のペレストロイカ (перестройки e Княжество) (and HYAKKATEN, of course).

教授ヘアーサロンへようこそ。(Welcome to Professor Hair Salon)
Designer: エヌ氏
Publisher: 植民地戦争+α
Booth: L13
Exhibit Day(s): Saturday
English Rules Included: Unknown

The publisher of 公国のペレストロイカ (перестройки e Княжество) that I mentioned above will also have 教授ヘアーサロンへようこそ (Welcome to Professor Hair Salon), though it is not a new release. It first seems to have appeared at the Spring 2015 Game Market, but as I said above, publishers add some interesting previous titles to their pre-orders that I’d otherwise never know of. It appears to be some sort of real-time math game about efficiently scheduling appointments at your salon.

At Game Market and on booth there are always quite a few RPGs being released or sold, and while they aren’t my jam, sometimes I want them to be – such as when I read about one coming out where the players use the receipts they have in their pockets and otherwise at hand and have to justify them as business expenses to their accountants.

That paragraph goes for kid’s games as well. I’m passing on the solo kid’s game that aims to teach them how to make funny comic strips. I also passed on Glutten Ants, but do want to show it to you.

I’ve been entertained by the amount of “work” themed games: in which the setting is a workplace/office, or about going to work, or about spending time with co-workers. Narumi Factory has games where the players are project managers trying to manger risk and a game where players are worked to death with 80 hours work weeks. There’s a management consultancy firm that has games about job hunting, interviewing, selling tires, and a game where you are sent by your bosses to buy bread and must remember their orders (it involves physically running back and forth between two tables). Then there’s also “Under the Tabler”, debuting at Game Market, in which co-workers have finished a large project and play footsie under the table at a bar afterwards; here, the bar is a miniature table and the feet are replaced by the player’s hands.

Though you never know what theme you’ll get: there are also 2 games being released that are themed around climbing stairs.

There’s a game being released with an “In Rainbows” pricing model: pay what you want.

There will be some non-game items as well, like jewelry and mugs. What I specifically wanted to highlight was some of the items from Fukunaga Print Co., Ltd. Their “Kami’s Workshop” is bringing a few of the games they released earlier this year, but the one that pulls at me is best highlighted in this video today. A puzzle of sorts made by layers of paper that represent a mathematical function –but not in a vacuum. The function is printed on the mat, and the whole things comes in a nice little frame.

There are also a few Korean games I’m keeping an eye out for and hoping the publishers make an appearance. Popcorn Games has a stunning reprint of Bottle Imp coming out (though I don’t know when), and 1979 Games has “Charon’s Poker”. I adore Yeon-Min Jung’s trick-taking game “BON” (Boast or Nothing), and recently Leon (of Korea Boardgames and formerly of Nice Game Shop) shared an image of Yeon-Min Jung’s new release from 1979, “Charon’s Poker”. 1979 did have or share a booth at the smaller Osaka Game Market earlier this year, so I’m hoping this will be available in Tokyo in a few weeks. Leon has told me they won’t be there, so I’m assuming they won’t be, but their Osaka appearance was only announced a week prior, and they only opened pre-orders 4 days prior, so a boy can hope.

Game Market will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26. It’s around now that I attempt a cold turkey strategy on Game Market news. I’ll try not to keep up with all the news I’ve been scouring, lest I simply find more things that I’d be ok if I just hadn’t known about them. (And if I do find things, I’ll add them to the tab in my spreadsheet to look into later –such as a semi-cooperative game about building poker type hands and becoming virtuous.)

My friend Shari is recapping her first trip in a geeklist here which has plenty of details on the experience of planning the trip, not just the games. You can also check out W. Eric’s preview, my friend Rand has put together a geeklist of titles he is looking forward to, and the aforementioned Leon has a list too.

If you’re looking for new releases on Twitter, try the hashtags #ゲームマーケット2019春 and #ゲムマ2019春 .

I’ll leave you with this fall Game Market preview.

Corinth Construction was demoed at Vorpsiel and is a sort of customizable plinko where you spend part of the game building the board and part of the game launching balls of different materials pinball-style and see who they gives points to.

There’s a lot to look forward to.

James Nathanより

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2 Responses to Spring Game Market Anticipation Post (ゲームマーケット2019春プレビュー)

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