There’s a bit of a down feeling about the hobby these days: everybody is understandably worried about Gen Con and Essen being cancelled, and a few games are being delayed. But I’m feeling pretty confident that this is going to be a good year for game releases regardless of the convention scene!
Normally the Gathering of Friends offers a bit of a preview of what is to come, and with that being cancelled this year, I’ve been skimming through BGG and publisher newsletters to find what games I’m looking forward to. And though it is only April, I quickly realized that there are several titles that I’m itching to play.
So here’s a list. Ten 2020 titles that I’m eagerly anticipating. I haven’t played most of these — although I’m offering impressions on a couple of them that I have played — and I hope I’ll be back in coming months with more thoughts.
Next Move is a publishers where I’m willing to try just about anything they print, and I’m interested in this mostly because of who is making it. Beez was rumored to release at Origins, although I’m not sure of the current status. The details are thin on gameplay, but it seems players compete to use their bees to complete public and private objectives.
Also from the Plan B companies, I’m looking forward to the Era: Medieval Age expansion.
I love social deduction games, and Feed the Kraken bills itself as as one. Published by Funtails (which did Glen More II: Chronicles), the game is a nautically themed hidden role deduction game. I’m actually going to get to play this this week, I think: the publishers are doing a few online games via Google Hangouts. Though the timeline isn’t clear, the publisher recently said they were delayed the Kickstarter until later this year, so this might end up being a 2021 title.
Also, in their recent newsletter, Funtails said they’d be doing more expansions for Glen More II, including a solo version. I’m greatly looking forward to that (even though I admit that I have not yet finished all of the chronicles).
Loot of Lima is a re-implementation of my favorite deduction games of all time, Deduce or Die (which was designed by Larry Levy of this site). I’m a huge fan of deduction games, so this naturally made my list. It was scheduled to come out this summer from BoardGameTables.com. They’re also producing three small 10-minute games that I’m looking forward to.
Ted Alspach is one of my favorite designers, and Bezier is one of my favorite publishers, so I’m naturally looking forward to Maglev Metro. Though the company is primarily known for its social deduction games, Ted got his start working on Age of Steam maps, so he’s done some rail game work before (not to mention Whistle Stop), and he’s done a few medium-weight titles with remarkable success (Suburbia, Castles of Mad King Ludwig).
I had the chance to look at Maglev Metro a few months ago, and it was looking fantastic, a cool pickup and deliver rail game with an engine building aspect (no pun intended).
Also from Bezier, I’m greatly looking forward to the next game in the Silver line!
I’m cheating a little here: I’ve actually played My City 21 times on a German copy. English copies are supposed to be released this summer.
This legacy game from Reiner Knizia features a 24-game campaign along with an “eternal board” that can be played anytime. It is a polyominoes puzzle game, and each game in the campaign changes the rules in small ways.
My City is a truly exceptional design, and I think it could win the Spiel des Jahres or Kennerspiel des Jahres.
New York Zoo, designed by Uwe Rosenberg and released by Feuerland and Capstone Games, is an animal-themed tile placement game. I love animal-themed games, and Uwe Rosenberg is a favorite designer of mine, so when you toss that in with his penchant for polyominoes, I think this looks super cool.
Paris is being billed as a medium-weight Euro game. Designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Keisling — who have done great things together in the past — this game was on Kickstarter recently and looks stunningly well-produced.
I’ve become a huge Shem Philips fan in recent months. I loved the North Sea trilogy, and I’ve recently picked up and enjoyed the first two games in the West Kingdom trilogy. Viscounts of the West Kingdom is the next (and final) game in the series. This will come out later this year from Renegade. I’m also looking forward to the West Kingdome Tomesaga, which seems roughly similar to the North Sea Runesaga in that it will link all three games.
Now i just need to go figure out what a Viscount is…
I absolutely love Kingdom Builder, so I’m looking forward to this re-implementation, Winter Kingdom. The new game uses new tile shapes (they’re hexagonal) with new terrain types and scoring mechanics. This was on Kickstarter recently and is scheduled for delivery later this year.
There are also a couple of reprints that I’m incredibly interested in. The first is Kemet: Blood and Sand, which is reportedly hitting Kickstart next month, though probably aiming for a 2021 release.
Speaking of epic-feeling games with a war mechanic, Clash of Cultures is also being reprinted by Wizkids and is being billed as Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition. I weirdly think I like the old art better, but the new game looks cool too.