I went to a *local con - the primary reason was for us antipodeans to get our hands on some Essen titles and give them a crack. Here’s some of the games and my quick take on them.
*Local being in Canberra while I’m in Ballarat, near Melbourrne. Only took me 8.5 hours of driving to get home yesterday
Gizmos is a really satisfying engine builder. It has appeal for newer gamers and veterans alike. Toy factor is fun and works!
I really enjoyed Wildlands too… (this is high praise because Wildlands is not my kind of game). Also Martin Wallace taught me directly making it a little bit special.
Smartphone Inc! SO VERY GOOD. I hope it gets wider distribution My pick of the games that I played. Kind of like Food Chain Magnate lite - just the supply and demand stuff. An economic game without actual cash!
Piepmatz was interesting but just ok. People can be baffled how the birds move around. I got it and did well but still beaten by a player who had literally no idea, just playing down cards.
Newton is… needlessly complicated. Not terrible
Coimbra doesn’t overstay its welcome but didn’t really gel with me. Pleasant.
Blackout Hong Kong is a hot mess in a bad way
Underwater Cities is amazing if you like Terraforming Mars (I don’t) but I still had a good time but was too long at 4. I can see this being really popular even though the component quality is lacking.
I brought along my own copy of The Estates since KS backers here don’t have it. A joy to teach multiple time and great interactive game. This is right in my wheelhouse and I love it.
Oh, I also enjoyed MetroX which is a flip and write. Kind of like Welcome To… but with Japanese train lines. Deviously smart.
This has been an episode of Hammond’s mini-reviews