It seems to be doing the rounds. Everywhere you look, someone is doing an Anticipated Games of 2018 list. I’ve watched or read a few and I’ve actually found them quite interesting. It can be remarkably difficult to work out which games to look out for as there’s no centralised place where you can see all the upcoming games.
At least, not where you can see all the good ones. Ah, but here’s the rub. How do you know which ones will be good and which just have lots of hype? In all honesty, nobody does, but people usually have reasons for looking forward to one game rather than another so I think it still has value.
Most of the games in my list are Kickstarters, as I follow and back a lot of projects on Kickstarter so these feel like more reliable picks than “the artwork in this game looks pretty”. Without further ado then, let’s jump into my Top 10 Anticipated Games of 2018…
Groves is a nice little bag-building, worker-placement game. You draw workers (spirits) from your bag and you can place them on your own worker-placement spots (groves) to take actions. However, it is also possible to build portals that allow you to place your spirits on other people’s groves to benefit from their action spaces.
This denies them the use of those spaces, but at the end of the round, they will get to keep any spirits you put on their boards! I can see this leading to some interesting tactical decisions. The artwork looks nice, but it was really the mechanisms of this one that drew me in.
This is an competitive adventure game of sorts. You run around a map having encounters, fighting monsters and sealing rifts in order to collect different types of energy. The first player to gain enough energy of the three different types wins.
The thing that interested me the most though, was the card play. You take actions by playing cards, which have two orientations: in-hand and on-table. When you play a card from your hand it does one thing, but once it’s been played to the table, it rotates to the on-table orientation and it will do something different when you activate it. It creates a clever little puzzle aspect to the game that reminds me of the card play from Mage Knight.
Epoch is a fairly complex area-control, resource-management game. You gradually reveal and move around a map of tiles that provide different ways to use your resources and score points – and there are lots of ways to score points. You can take location actions, depending on where you are, you have a character action and you can gain companions who provide additional actions that you can take.
It’s one of those games that’s difficult to explain because there’s so much going on. The artwork looks great though and I know it’s the kind of game that I will like. It has lots of strategy, a need to pay attention to what the other players are doing, variable player powers and a decent chunk of theme.
In Dice Hospital, players draft dice (representing patients) to treat in their hospital. Your hospital is made up of a number of tiles (rooms) that each treat different kinds of patients. Some rooms treat certain colours, other rooms treat certain numbers, etc.
The lower the number on the dice, the more sick the patient is and if you don’t manage to treat some of your patients in a round, they getter sicker and eventually they may die! You can upgrade your hospital by adding extra treatment rooms or by employing specialised staff who help you treat patients. The more patients you treat, the more points you get, but it looks like a well-designed strategy game with a really engaging theme.
I love civ-building games. Particularly prehistoric ones. To describe Rise of Tribes as a civ-building game might be a bit of a stretch as it’s fairly light, but that’s the theme. You have a tribe of meeples that spread out across a map, establish villages, develop tech and complete objectives.
If too many meeples from different players end up on the same hex, there’s a very simple fighting mechanism that wipes most of them out. There’s a neat dice mechanism for taking the actions though, which involves adding the dice you roll each turn to a line of existing dice and bumping the one on the end off. The combination of dice that remain determines the strength of your action. It’s simple, but requires careful thought. Oh, and the artwork is A-MA-ZING!
That’s it for today. Join me next week as I go through the rest of my top 10 anticipated games of 2018. Are there any games that you’re particularly looking forward to?