For those not in the know, the Essen toy fair is a huge game con open to the public in Germany, with an attendance around 150k. Yes, it dwarfs GenCon. Germany also is still home to the most concentrated gaming culture. As there will be several new things out there, I'm going to go through the preview list on BoardgameGeek. I will not be listing anything that was at GenCon, though it's still likely new to many, and certainly to the European market. A few came close to getting on here, but I was trying to speed through the 31 page geeklist at one go.
The Exiled: Siege- This is the second edition of an interesting coop game, fighting against the hazards of a fantasy medieval wilderness. The new edition adds a one vs. all mode as well, and the campaign sounds pretty cool. I did not back it on KS, but I did come close.
Peak Oil- You better believe there's some "clean energy" worship going on here. That said, there appear to be some good game ideas, and I'd still be interested in playing. But, I'd want to play before buying this one.
Secret Weapons of the Third Reich- Unfortunately, the art is getting redone on this one. But, it's part coop, part drafting, part worker placement. And, one might become a traitor as the allies advance and possibly take the technologies you worked so hard for.
Outlive- This is a post apocalyptic worker displacement game. There's occasionally a fight over goods, you have a shelter to rebuild, and there's other cool ideas here as well. I did back this game when it was on KS.
Empires: Galactic Rebellion- Well, it's a "sequel" to Empires: Age of Discovery, which a lot of folks really liked. I was not a big fan of the game, but this looks like it has more paths available, which might mean more victory options, addressing my biggest qualm. I'd personally want to see it played, and it has some potential.
Cottage Garden- Because Uwe Rosenberg does interesting things with "dull" topics. Agricola, Mercator, Glass Road, The Gates of Loyang, and his money machine Bohnanza(to name a few). He wants to do things with polyominos? Let me see it.
Great Western Trail- A game about a cattle run? With buildings to use/build and workers to hire? Show me more.
Gentleman's Deal- I'm not one for party games generally, but this looks worthwhile. Mostly due to the fact that there's some game theory involved. The Dealer offers an amount to each player, they vote simultaneously on accepting, and the Dealer gets the rest if accepted, or loses a turn if not. There's a bit more here, and I'll likely watch for it. 5-9 player games that are good are rare.
The Arrival- This is an Irish themed reimplementation of Martin Wallace's Mordred. Reading my way through Skelos issue 1, I think I might like the idea of this version better. A combination of resources, corruption, and fighting the Formori.
Not Alone- Big scaling possibilities(2-7), asymmetric play, and the only drawback is the generic SF theme? Just pretend it's The Thing, and you're characters are in Antarctica. Soundtrack by Mr. Carpenter recommended.
Drachenturm- Yeah, it's from German publisher HABA. Yes, it's a kid's coop game. Just take a look and you'll see there's some great kid's games out there. In fact, just look at HABA's games period. Lady Richmond, Meduris, Hamsterbande, and Lumina all look like a lot of fun.
TZARR- I was going to avoid any two player abstracts, but a GIPF project reissue? Too good to pass. Also, ZERTZ.
Snowblind: Race for the Pole- A press your luck game about racing back from the South Pole. At least, that's what the list says, maybe they have it backwards. The weather is against you as you try to balance speed, supplies, and health of you expedition.
Key to the City- London- This has a LOT in common with Keyflower. I'm more than alright with that. Some streamlining, but some new elements, too. So, I look forward to having a chance to someday play this one.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.