The new shiny games I know I want to get this year
Anticipation. It’s a wonderous thing. So many new things to look forward to, including what you don’t know is coming!
But like any time you try to read the future, it’s exciting and scary at the same time. What do I want to play more than anything else? It’s easy when you look back with all the information. Trying to predict what is coming – no so easy.
I have included games that are not only announced but should be in my hands this year. This excludes Kickstarters like the current Return to Dark Tower, as it won’t deliver until next year. As much as I can’t wait to play it, I can’t play it in 2020, so it’s out.
Will my Top 10 look anything like this list? Probably not. But enough about that – let’s get to the list!
Number 10 – Lander
This is a leap of faith addition. Lander is due to come to Kickstarter in March 2020, with no release date yet. It has been sent around to various game stores around the world for playtesting and demos. Not Queensland though – boo! :p
It also looks like a contender for quick manufacturing, so I am taking a chance it will be delivered by the years’ end.
But what is Lander? Think of a mix between Terraforming Mars and Catan, and that should put you in the right frame of mind. Build your area, control your resources, and trade with others trying to do the same.
Different game modes to help learn the game also help a lot. Expect a Kickstarter preview article when the campaign launches later this year.
Number 9 – Dungeon Drop
Dungeon crawlers are great fun, but they tend to have two things in common. First, a lot of setup and teardown time. Second, they can become multi-hour game sessions where a small mistake can invalidate hours of gameplay.
So what about a small scale dungeon crawler that can be set up, played and packed away in about 30 minutes? That is what Dungeon Drop is promising! Using cubes instead of minis may not be as appealing to some, but it keeps Dungeon Drop small and affordable.
I missed the Kickstarter, but it should be hitting retail later this year, and I will nab a copy then!
Number 8 – Burgle Bros 2: The Casino Capers
Burgle Bros was a fun little adventure that is on my ‘Need to get into my games night’ list. I quite enjoy it, as did a lot of people as its popularity increased over the years. I get most of my plays on my phone, which for this game isn’t as fun as playing with people around a table.
And now, in 2020, the sequel should be coming to me from the successful Kickstarter! Burgle Bros 2: The Casino Capers isn’t just more Burgle Bros. There are streamlined mechanics and new challenges to overcome.
New rooms, new decisions, new gear even! Expect this to come up a few times once it arrives, even if only in solo mode 🙂
Number 7 – Kemet: Blood and Sand
This will be much higher in some peoples choices for great games coming in 2020. For me, this might take some convincing to get some game night regulars to try it. So, a little further down my list.
Kemet is basically an area control game. Deploy your and try to keep areas the longest to collect points. One of its biggest draws is the Egyptian theme, which includes summoning monsters to fight with you.
Kemet is excellent, but it had some rules issues. This was addressed very well with a ruleset built with the Board Game Geek community, commonly referred to as Kemet 1.5.
Kemet: Blood and Sand goes even further in addressing these issues, without the limitations of existing components. I can’t wait to see how this goes.
Number 6 – Crypt X
Another Kickstarter that is being delivered this year all going well. Crypt X describes itself as a narrative puzzle. You must use the missing professor’s notes to discover what has become of him.
The game contains 51 puzzles, solved with a mixture of physical and augmented reality. Each solution takes you further down the narrative path, and each problem is not necessarily stand alone.
Think Unlock! or other escape room in a box type games, but with a campaign mode and overarching story. Not 100% accurate, but close enough to explain why I am excited by Crypt X.
I might be playing this on date nights with Rabbit rather than a game night experience, but it should be a heap of fun.
Number 5 – Hostage Negotiator: Career
Hostage Negotiator is a game I pick up and put down regularly. It has an app version that works well, even if graphically there could be improvements.
Hostage Negotiator: Career does just what you think it does from the title. It takes the solo gameplay of the original and adds a career mode to the game.
Will this make Hostage Negotiators gameplay better? Probably Not. It should be more of the gameplay I know with some add ons. Hostage Negotiator is already an excellent game. The career mode will just give me a reason to play a few more games more regularly, and that can’t be a bad thing.
Number 4 – Deep Space D-6: Armada
I have spoken a few times about Deep Space D-6, the strangely absorbing space dice worker placement game. I even got around to giving it a review.
One of the things I wished I could do was play this game with others. It’s not that I don’t like solo gaming, it’s just games give me an excuse to catch up with friends. Solo gaming rarely lets me do that.
That is all set to change because the follow-up game Deep Space D-6: Armada is on Kickstarter, and delivers this year! Now I can work with my friends to save the galaxy 🙂
Read my review, check out the Kickstarter (there should still be 2 days left to back it!) and see why I can’t wait for this game.
Number 3 – Blood on the Clocktower
I have written about this Australian Werewolf inspired game before. It even made my most anticipated games of 2018 list. Ooops, bit of a time slip there 🙂 I have even had the chance to watch a couple of games while at PAX Aus.
Werewolf and The Resistance were social deduction staples at my game stores game nights. Playing such games is mostly how I formed my more recent circle of friends.
Blood On The Clocktower is more than just a ‘werewolf clone’, and I cannot wait to start hosting games at my game nights soon after it is delivered.
Number 2 – Escape the Dark Sector
So you know I love Escape the Dark Castle. I have reviewed it. Made a podcast episode about it. It even made my Top 10 games of 2019! OK, through a couple of small technicalities, but you can see I love it.
Why wouldn’t I be waiting to move from the castle into space? It’s not just a retheme though, there are some new additions to the gameplay as well.
I am delighted that Themeborne can now refer to the Escape The Dark as a series, and can’t wait to see what else is in store down the line.
Number 1 – Cosmic Encounter Duel
This was a by the skin of its teeth contender for this list. It was literally revealed while putting the draft article on the site, requiring a quick re-shuffling of my list!
Cosmic Encounter is excellent and has been loved (and lovingly hated!) for almost 45 years. Various new editions have come out over the years, but the core gameplay has remained largely intact over that time.
One problem with the original game is it isn’t great at two players. So why not take a page from 7 Wonders book and make a two-player version? Hello, Cosmic Encounter Duel.
I know a few people that would play Cosmic Encounter more if there were more players available. Now, if it’s just a pair of us, we can still play it! I will also be able to introduce this as a date night game with Rabbit, who I don’t believe has played Cosmic Encounter.
How can one of my favourite games of all time, coming in a version I can play with just one other person, not be my most anticipated game of 2020?