On March 28th, 2021 the Osaka Game Market was held. It is the biggest board game convention in Osaka held annually. It’s bigger sister is the Tokyo Game Market which is held twice a year. The Osaka Game Market is a very traditional convention with a lot of indie creators from Japan. A lot of the games are first edition versions which are often hand-made and hand-packaged. This was the first time I had visited and it was wonderful.
Nearly all the games at the Osaka and Tokyo Game Markets are discounted as a thank you to the fans visiting the event. It could mean creators break even or not at all. So it makes these Game Markets a special event and really heart-warming. There were a lot of games at the Game Market, and I was unable to cover everything, but here is just a snippet of some of the games.
You are probably the Criminal (あなたがたぶん犯人です) by Ikagaya.
Usually there is only one crime, but in this game there are actually two acts. Find out who the murderer is and avoid being accused as the suspect yourself. Make some statements, gather some information and fabricate evidence to throw off suspicion.
ゆるゆるボドゲバカ by @yuruyurubgbk
This is a little Board game manga series that introduces board games. At the Osaka Game Market, there were 2 editions all handmade. These were really cute and useful. Since my Japanese skill is not that good, I can use these to practice my Japanese reading ability.
Kodoku no Rondo (コドクのロンド) (Dance with the Last One) by MadeInPocket
This game we previewed in the Osaka Game Market preview blog. We played this game over zoom, but I was able to pick up a copy at the Osaka Game Market. At the event you can get an expansion/promo card set as well. It was great to see the creator at the event.
Gagario by Saien Games.
I was excited to see Saien Games again. It has been about 7 years since I have visited their booth. This is a 2 player game made in 2015 which reminds me a little of Khmer.
I spoke with the designer for a little. I found out that most of his games are hand made, so he can only make a small quantity. If you own one of his previous games they might be collectors editions. Since they are handmade there is a chance they may go out of print. I mentioned to him that international gamers are still a fan of his games.
Moon Adventure by Oink Games
Moon Adventure is a beautiful addition to their game line. I had a chance to playtest this and it was a lot of fun. Players are working together in space to collect resources to bring back to their ship. Players have individual oxygen supplies that they must manage, and limited space for carrying resources. Also with the added player roles, you’ll need to work together, communicate well in order to succeed your mission. This is a medium weight game packed into a wonderfully compact box.
Nessie’s True Identity by Itten
Nessie’s True Identity made its appearance at the Osaka Game Market. I played this game last year in November at the Tokyo Game Market. Everyone is a Nessie fan, who must try to guess the identity of Nessie. Each round the clue giver gives 1 hint. Players then make a guess each. If the guesses are close to the answer, the ship is moved 1 space closer to Nessie. If someone guesses the identity that round, don’t reveal who said it. Just move the ship next to Nessie. Players then vote who gave the correct answer. If the majority is correct they get a point. The new version has wonderful white boards to write on. Also the little first edition is really cute. It even fits in the 2nd edition box.
Coordinates published by Yanekan’s board game studio
As they say, never judge a game by it’s cover. This is a beautiful 2-3 player tile laying game that came out in 2019. The game has a fantasy feel to it, players roll dice and resolve that space either to get items, or an effect from a tile. Then you can use coins to purchase and add a tile to your board, or remove a tile from your board. The game is reasonably priced at the Game Market, so I picked one up.
Remain a kitten (こねこのままで) is by Mame Mame
This trick taking game is for 3-8 players. Each player has a cute kitten to take care of. It you keep picking up tricks each round your kitten will grow even longer.
Here are some extra photos from the Osaka Game Market.