Floris

Floris

It is the Countess’ flower ball, and you are invited. Since the countess kind of digs flowers (not literally, she had gardeners for that…) – you want to bring her the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and thus get the most sympathy points. But beware – the countess may be a bit greedy for the flowery stuff – but excessiveness is not rewarded. After all it is still Noblesse Oblige!

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Pocket Madness

Many of us gamers have spent countless hours of our lives fighting the Great Old Ones. But do we even know why? Have we done the research on that one? Maybe under the reign of Cthulhu, Azathoth and their like there would be free cotton candy for everyone. You now have the chance to do that research. But be careful, the knowledge of the Old Ones quickly leads to insanity – as you will find out when playing Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc’s Pocket Madness.

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Sea of Clouds

Sea of Clouds

The right combination of two familiar game mechanics can create something new and fun. Sea of Clouds combines a drafting game with a press-your-luck mechanic. If you enjoy only one of those, then this game is definitely worth your time because it combines the best parts of them. And it does that while letting you loot the skies as a flying pirate, if you needed any more convincing.

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Futschikato / Fuji Flush

Futschikato / Fuji Flush

Our first review of a 2016 Essen game is, by necessity, of a light game. We have to play it a couple of times, after all. Futschikato / Fuji Flush, a card game by Friedemann Friese, is as light as any game we ever reviewed, but nevertheless is a really fun game. That’s all thanks to one small twist: low cards can gang up on high cards. No matter how good your card is, you can never feel safe.

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The Game

The Game

This is the game you will never find on Google. Because the name of the game is The Game, and that’s just not very distinctive. The Game is a cooperative card game that was nominated for the 2015 Spiel des Jahres. It’s small and abstract, but that doesn’t say anything about how much fun it is.

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Sushi Go!

Sushi Go!

Contrary to most places you go to eat now, modern sushi was originally a type of fast food if Wikipedia is to be believed. It’s thus very fitting that Sushi Go! is a fast food type of game: you play it quickly, with no preparation needed, and then you go back for a second helping. Unlike fast food, however, you don’t have to feel guilty after Sushi Go!, it makes you neither fat nor sick, only entertained.

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7 Wonders: Duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Mighty empires are fighting for supremacy over the ancient world. But where once up to seven empires where in contest, now there are only two. 7 Wonders: Duel condenses the action of 7 Wonders into a two player game, playing in two being the one weak spot 7 Wonders always had. To make that happen, many things had to change, but the game remains the same.

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Black Hat

Black Hat

There have been many different ideas to spice up trick-taking games over the years. Black Hat’s way to do that is to add a game board where you move your pawns when you take a trick. A lot then depends on proper timing, you want to take a trick when moving on the board is the most beneficial for you.

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Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings

Death is when your life really starts. That, at least, was the belief of the ancient Egyptians, and they prepared for the afterlife by taking everything with them, plus the kitchen sink. If you thought the way your mother packed for a three week vacation was over the top, then you haven’t seen an Egyptian burial chamber. In Valley of the Kings, your goal is to stuff your tomb with more things than the other players, meaning that you’ll be richer than they are in the afterlife. And that’s all that counts, isn’t it?

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Elysium

Elysium

Usually, when a game tells you to create your own legend, it doesn’t mean you should kill the people participating in it. But when the game is named after the Greek underworld for heroes and demigods it was predictable that they would have to get there somehow, and the usual way is dying. But at least they will contribute to your legend and maybe help secure your place on Olympus.

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