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

Autumn Tokyo Game Market, which I may occasionally slip up and refer to as “Fall”, is happening next weekend, while I’ll be at BGG.CON. Thankfully, that means I’ll miss the last few days of announcements and updates, lest I find even more titles to become enamored with! I’m going to cut back and narrow what I pick up, as I still have a bit of translating and playing to catch up on, but I suppose that shouldn’t stop us from taking a look at some of the titles that I’m looking forward to trying, tracking in the distance, or simply happy to know exist.

Some of these you may be able to find for sale at Pax Unplugged in a few weeks (look for Big Cat Games’ booth; they should also have Hiktorune and Desktop HEBOCON Battle Kit). Others will be able available to play in the “First Look” area there.

We’ll start out with, well, this shirt.

Designer: MogRice
Publisher: もぐらのしっぽ
Booth: E24 (Both days)
Players: 2-6
Length: 5-10 minutes
Age: 6+
Price: 2500 ¥
English Rules: Unknown
Preorder: Unknown

The game will come in S, M, and L and is designed to play waiting in line wherever you are. The designer indicates that no additional components are required!

I talked about this publisher last time, and this probably won’t be the last, but るりるりゲームズ again has some stunning game conceits being released.

Designer: るりるり
Publisher: るりるり
Booth: S43 (Saturday)
Players: 2-4
Length: 30-60 minutes
Age: 10+
Price: 2500 ¥
English Rules: It’s safe to assume no
Preorder: DM on Twitter

Above is a submarine sonar game that involves dragging a jingle-bell based sonar device through the game box and listening for the pings to determine the location of rocks on the sea floor. You can see more of the variety and creativity of るりるり’s games on their blog here. I did pre-order their 3 trick-taking releases this year, so I soon should have more to say than just making goo-goo eyes at these photos; one is themed about bananas, one is a solo game, and the other involves dexterity! (All three come in one box.)

I don’t mean to only focus on the smaller publishers, as the larger Japanese publishers you’re likely to have heard of, such as Oink! or Okazu, will be there as well. Saashi & Saashi will be there, but this time not with a Saashi & Saashi design, rather a Saashi and Daryl Chow effort.

旅のあと (Remember our Trip)
Designer: Saashi and Daryl Chow
Publisher: Saashi & Saashi
Booth: A04 (both)
Players: 2-4
Length: 30 minutes
Age: 10+
Price: Unknown
English Rules: I would assume so
Preorder: Not available

It has some of the flip-and-write elements of Let’s Make a Bus Route and the pattern laying of Chow’s Overbooked. One of the Saashi’s notes that the quantity available at TGM will be limited and that general sales will not start until December or January.

Another I don’t plan to buy, but am enamored with the production of, is 1ミリ感覚 (roughly: 1 MM Sensation).

Designer: 鈴木 圭一
Publisher: ちょっとずつ違う
Booth: V31 (Saturday)
Players: 2-6
Length: 10-20 minutes
Age: 4+
Price: 1700 ¥
English Rules: It’s safe to assume no
Preorder: Email available on gamemarket site.

The game has 39 square cards, ranging from 6.1 cm to 9.9 cm in 0.1 cm increments, and your goal is to find one of the card(s) that is 1 mm off from the previously chosen card. So I guess I have two questions: how do you manufacture this and why aren’t more board game videos like that?

You may know that Japanese trick-takers are one of my favorite genres, and this Fall there are more than 25 trick-taking titles (and 1 book) that have been announced so far! Heck, there are three just about weather.

Several of the titles I’m most looking forward to are re-prints that have been difficult to get a hold of. First, Suki Games is reprinting Volltreffer.

Designer: Günter Burkhardt
Publisher: 数寄ゲームズ (Suki Games)
Booth: D-14 (Both)
Players: 3-5
Length: 30 minutes
Age: 10+
Price: 2000 ¥
English Rules: Likely at some point. (EN Volltreffer rules)
Preorder: Form here

I first had a chance to play this at T5, and quite enjoyed it. Players form their hands by spending VPs to draft cards from a pool, and can earn VPs for creating certain sets in the cards they’ve drafted. Players then earn points through a trick-taking phase, with the goal to be the closest to a certain amount (66) of VPs when the game end is triggered.

One I haven’t had a chance to try, but am quite looking forward to, is dois, from designer 新澤 大樹.

Designer: Taiki Shinzawa (新澤 大樹)
Publisher: 倦怠期 (Kentaiki)
Booth: E-29-30 (Both)
Players: 3-4
Length: 60 minutes
Age: 10+
Price: 2000 ¥
English Rules: Unlikely (2014 EN rules)
Preorder: Google Form here.

dois is one of two trick-takers I know that use separate cards for ranks and suit. In dois, for the first trick of a hand, each player will play one of each type into piles in front of themselves, and in future tricks, will play one card, covering up the corresponding type. That is, if you play a 6 and a Cat in the first trick, then for the second trick, you will still have played either a 6 or a Cat, but the other will be replaced by the card you played from your hand.

I’m pretty excited about that concept, and it’s been elusive to acquire a used copy of. I’m tempering what I pick up this Fall by thinking about what I’ll be able to pick up afterwords through or other sites, but acquisition of 新澤 大樹 ‘s games continues to be the most elusive for me, so I know I have to grab them while I can.

In total, and so far, 新澤 大樹 has 3 trick-takers planned for TGM: dois, American Bookshop Card Game, and Count Up 21.

One trick-taker I haven’t yet decided on is the up-to 8 player “party” trick-taker ARISAKI DANCE et Ballet, which involves the players doing ballet choreography. (The designer beseeches you to not use the game as a punishment.)

アリサキダンス (ARISAKI DANCE et Ballet)
Designer: Ichigoba Nap ( 苺葉居眠 )
Publisher: @BUDAcafe(アットブダカフェ)
Booth: U-13 (Saturday)
Players: 4-8
Length: 20-30 minutes
Age: 8+
Price: 2900 ¥
English Rules: Yes
Preorder: Not yet

As best I can tell, there is a standard trick taking round, and the winner then has 15-30 seconds to study the cards they’ve taken and perform the dance. The points they earn for the trick are to some degree judged by the other player’s rating of their performance (I think…)

Moving away from card games for a bit, one title that I’m currently not planning to pick up, but am possibly kicking myself already for is 箸でCUBEs.

Designer: Ichigoba Nap ( 苺葉居眠 )
Publisher: Joyple Games
Booth: T-10 (Saturday)
Players: 1-2
Length: 20 minutes
Age: 6+
Price: 5500 ¥
English Rules: Yes
Preorder: Google Form here

My gaming tastes have ebbed and flowed over time, and we’re currently in a lull for a couple types of games, including both 2-player and dexterity games. I had already splurged on another dexterity game and the publisher tells me this one should be available afterwards, so I’m holding off for now.

箸でCUBEs is a 2-player analog Tetris game using 2 to 5 block polyominoes. Each player receives an outline of the well they will drop pieces in, and chopsticks that they’ll use to manipulate and place them. A deck of cards will determine which piece a player needs to place next, and the line completion bonus is dropping a 1×2 block into your opponents well wherever you’d like!

There are a few common themes this Fall, such as games about bananas, also games about butts. There are of course several roll and writes, such as 四畳半ペーパー賽系 and In the Ruin. There are also a few commodity speculation games, such as とびこめ!さきもの!, but the one I want to talk about is SUPER SUSURU SOUP.

Designer: Yuto Fujikawa
Publisher: 角刈書店
Booth: エリア12 (Both)
Players: 3-4
Length: 15-30 minutes
Age: 9+
Price: 1100 ¥
English Rules: Yes
Preorder: Google Form here

In SUPER SUSURU SOUP, players want to collect the most popular ramen ingredient cards from the suits of chicken, pork, fish, and umami, with ranks 3 through 9. Similar to the recent Spiel release “No Return”, each player has two phases in the game, may enter the second one asynchronously, and once they do, may not return to the first.

Here, in the first phase, the players are obtaining ingredients by either drawing from the top of the deck, or any card from the discard. If the player chooses the top of the deck, they are not obliged to keep it and may discard it immediately, but this is the only way to get rid of a card.

To enter the second phase, a player opens their store and in future turns will collect income. To open the store, the player gets to determine the popularity of an ingredient (1, 2, or 3), with each value being used once and determining the most cards of a type a player may have. Any more than that, and a player doesn’t score for that type; equal to or less than and the cards score face value.

This post will be mostly card games and exotic games, as for me, the language barrier to previewing or playing many of the board games that are released is prohibitively high -otherwise I’d be telling you about Beverage and Philadelphia and Refinery and Land and Project Universe and others.

I’m not the biggest ladder climbing fan, in games or when it comes to gutter maintenance, but do plan to pick up SCOUT!.

Designer: 梶野桂
Publisher: ワンモアゲーム!
Booth: A-07 (Both)
Players: 3-5
Length: 15-30 minutes
Age: 9+
Price: 1800 ¥
English Rules: Yes
Preorder: Google Form here

SCOUT! is a ladder climbing game that is similar to the much loved Krass Kariert in using the can’t-rearrange mechanic, and allowing insertions of certain cards. I played KK twice, and must admit it didn’t grab me likes it seems to many people; it was close, and I could almost grasp it, but I wanted something a little more.

In SCOUT!, all cards have 2 possible values, though once in your hand it is set. However, if you pass, rather than picking up one of the 2 cards in front of you, as in KK, you instead take a card from either end of the current high set and insert it somewhere into your hand, either side up! (If instead of passing you choose to play a higher set, you take the previous high set face down as points.)

Will this be what I want? Time will tell.

One of my favorite games that I won’t be picking up is Like That Music!.

ミューレンソウ (Like That Music!)
Designer: シラカワリュウ
Publisher: カラメルカラム (Caramel Column Inc.)
Booth: F-01-02 (Both)
Players: 3-6
Length: 30-60 minutes
Age: 13+
Price: 2000 ¥
English Rules: I don’t expect them
Preorder: Unknown

It’s sort of a mashup of Spotify and Dixit. Players are queuing up songs in order to make the other players guess which album cover they think would be most appropriate to the music.

That’s a brilliant concept and the sample album covers from the game are all stunning -I would check them all out of the library, but… I’m not sure the game is for me. It would require a fairly narrow subset of my gaming friends to shine, so I’m going to pass for now.

I am trying not to fill this post with what could come across as “gimmicky” games, and am currently leaving off the game that uses a blindfold and a behind-the-couch-I-dropped-something grabber for instance, but sometimes the potential is palpable enough that I’m mentioning it regardless. As is the case with Relicers.

ファクトリアの発掘者たち (RELICERS)
Designer: 赤瀬よぐ
Publisher: 長崎ボドゲチーム (BrainBrainGames)
Booth: K-11-12 (Both)
Players: 2-6
Length: 30 minutes
Age: 10+
Price: 1500 ¥
English Rules: I don’t expect them
Preorder: Here

Relicers involves the players physically tearing by hand a certain component in order to make lottery tickets of a sort that will later be excavated! There aren’t English rules, and I haven’t had time to make a rough translation to help determine if I want to pick up. For now, I’m passing, but I may change my mind. As I said at the top, the timing of TGM this fall is great for my wallet, as I’ll be busy with RollingCon and BGGCON and will miss any last minute TGM news or releases.

I would probably be remiss if I didn’t mention that R-ECO, one of the early Japanese niche titles that made a splash oversees (released in 2003), is getting a graphic overhaul and reprint.

アールエコ (R-ECO)
Designer: 川崎晋 (Susumu Kawasaki)
Publisher: カワサキファクトリー (Kawasaki Factory)
Booth: E-13-14 (Both)
Players: 2-4
Length: 30 minutes
Age: 8+
Price: 1500 ¥
English Rules: Unknown. (EN rules for 2014 edition)
Preorder: Google Form here

Along with Parade, I remember this being a card game that was simply filled with angsty-decisions. In contrast to other games I was playing at the time, this wasn’t a game where there were many things you wanted to do, rather, this was a game where everything you could do hurt, yet you had to do something. It was wonderful.

Of course, there are also several for which enough information hasn’t been released for me to make up my mind, such as SUGOIGP.

SUGOIGP (Super Ultra Great Overd Incredible Grand Prix)
Designer: Unknown
Publisher: Studio Turbine
Booth: L-25-26 (Both)
Players: 2-4
Length: 30-40 minutes
Age: 7+
Price: 4500 ¥
English Rules: No
Preorder: Google Form here

I can’t tell many details yet, but it comes in this cute garage box and has you match up a translucent driver card with a car. You collect certain colors of cubes, and then I think you aim to make certain patterns to satisfy cards that determine how far you advance? We’ll see. As best I can determine it is a real-time game, and between that and the price, I’m likely passing.

There are usually a number of non-game products of interest being shown as well, such as this wooden set of playing cards.

The designer says they’re durable enough to use, though admits there will be differences in the wood grain. The cost is above $100, so it’s not going to make my cut.

One of my favorite games of the year so far has been Gossip and the City, and the designer and publisher have a new flip-and-write polyomino game for the Fall.

Designer: シマムラナオ
Publisher: ハレルヤロックボーイ
Booth: M-57-58 (Saturday)
Players: 1-100
Length: 25 minutes
Age: 10+
Price: 2500 ¥
English Rules: Yes, but not yet
Preorder: Google Form here

From what I’ve seen of the rules, the game takes place over 12 months, with a conveyor of polyomino shape cards. Five cards are visible each month, and at the end of the month, one will slide off, and a new one will appear. Six dice are rolled each month, and placed in the corresponding location next to the cards, with the discard pile being the sixth. The die are different colors and determine which color you use to fill in that shape on your board.

Some scorings will be consistent from game to game, such as bonuses for filling in each square of the tatami mats on your board, having many green shapes, having the color with the least squares on each mat not be blue, etc. Others will be chosen randomly at the start of the game from a deck of possibilities.

Your mother also sends you an allowance and you have a wallet of money that you can use to various effects.

You probably could guess this, but most points wins!

There are also any number of games which I pass by fairly quickly in my research, either due to the language barrier for word games, the language barrier for games with lots of text, or specific genres, such as RPGs. There was a word game specific convention in Japan recently, “World Word Game Festival”, and it seems to have spurned a number of interesting releases, though few are playable by non-Japanese speakers. If you do speak or read Japanese, many will be available at the fall TGM.

Tokyo Game Market isn’t only Japanese publishers. The Korean designer/publisher 1979 Games had a booth at a Game Market earlier this year that had gone unannounced and he premiered a new game: Charon’s Poker.

Charon’s Poker
Designer: Yeon-Min Jung
Publisher: Popcorngamesedu
Booth: E-16 (Both)
Players: 3-5
Length: 20 minutes
Age: 14+
Price: 2500 ¥
English Rules: Yes
Preorder: Coming soon

Earlier this year, the game was released in a small quantity (maybe 25 or so) in a glass jar version from 1979 Games, and it has now been picked up by Popcorn for a larger, though still limited, edition in an Oink! sized box. Yeon-Min says he will have limited copies at TGM and will also bring around 5 copies of BON (Boast or Nothing), one of my favorite trick-taking games.

As for the game itself, I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but from reading the rules, it’s an odd game of trying to make poker hands when you can’t rearrange the order of your cards.

If you’re looking for more coverage, the site for the convention itself ( has extensive information; there are a few hashtags, such as ゲムマ2019秋, that can be useful for finding TGM news on Twitter; some titles will be available to purchase from and releases are tagged by convention if you want to limit your results to only ゲームマーケット2019秋 you can; similarly, you can search bodoge.hoobby, a Japanese site analogous to boardgamegeek, for those titles tagged as releasing this TGM; and a few of us have been adding titles to a geeklist on bgg itself.

If you come to the Not Hot Games Room on Saturday night at BGGCON, I should have a few Japanese trick-takers from the last few years (such as Time Palatrix) if you’d like to try them, and will have a copy of Charon’s Poker with me as well.

I don’t know how to stop posts like these, because each day closer to the convention brings announcements of several new titles and additional details on others. Today (Thursday), that means the Take A Plunge! Futures Trading! English rulebook was released; more information on this game I saw based on The New York Times’ article, 36 Questions That Lead To Love); a cooperative time machine game that involves flipping those little containers of coffee creamer? Sure, that’s a thing; or this game that roughly translates as “Pet Disaster Prevention Card Game” that is an educational experience based on disaster preparedness instructions for taking care of your pets; this penguin themed programming came, COOL PROGRAMMING; Coordinates, a grid-based game of roll-and-placing that I might pick up from booth later on; and, oooh, what is this PACIFIC GO, I must know more!; a free ghost dousing game? How do I stop reading more!

I’m going to leave you with a game that while it will be at the Game Market, you cannot make reservations and there will only be a few copies. The mechanics of the game haven’t be revealed yet, but as with Hiktorune and Babel, the publisher and designer’s use of quality paper components is central to the design.

James Nathanより

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