Top 10 Anticipated Games at UKGE 2019

Exit Games

The UK Games Expo is our favourite convention.  We go every year and film loads of videos of upcoming games.  Each year, before we go, we use the Tabletop Together Tool to prioritise the games that we’re most interested in.

The convention starts in less than a week, and I’ve looked through hundreds of games that are being demoed.  Which games am I anticipating the most?  Here’s my Top 10…

10. TEAM3

This is a dexterity/communication game based on the three wise monkeys.  Each team consists of three people: one who can’t talk, one who can’t see and one who can’t hear.  The mute person has to communicate a 3D structure on a card to the deaf person who has to tell the blind person how to build it using the pieces provided.  It sounds like great fun!

9. Exit: The Catacombs of Horror

We love puzzles and always look forward to the Exit games.  I don’t know how they do it, but they keep managing to surprise us with their ingenuity each time.  Will the latest Exit game be as good as the previous ones?  We sure hope so!

8. Letter Jam

This is a weird cross between Hanabi (my favourite game!) and Scrabble.  The players work together to construct words using the letters in front of them, but they can’t see their own letters, they can only see the letters in front of everyone else!  So they have to give clever clues to let players know what letters they might have.

7. Ragusa

I backed this one on Kickstarter, but it hasn’t been delivered yet, so I’m looking forward to playing a demo.  It’s a Euro where you build houses between resource spaces and claim the resources of the three surrounding spaces.  If you build next to someone else’s house, they get to trigger their house again though!

6. Rome and Roll

We played a prototype of this game from Dávid Turczi (Anachrony, Kitchen Rush) at AireCon a few months ago and really liked it.  It’s a roll-and-write heavy Euro!  Lots of engine building and a nice Tetris-style spatial element.  I’m keen to see how the prototype has developed since we last played it.

5. Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write

Imperial Settlers is a well-known card-driven civilisation game.  Roll-and-writes are all the rage at the moment and this is the offering from Ignacy Trzewiczek (Detective, Robinson Crusoe).  Imperial Settlers was really solid so I have high hopes for this one!

4. Europe Divided

This is a card-driven influence/war game along the lines of Twilight Struggle (which I really like), but adds an interesting deck-building element to it.  It’s set after the Cold War from 1992 to present day and, like Twilight Struggle, looks like it’s steeped in historical facts and events.

Crypt X

3. Crypt X

What’s that?  A new puzzle game, you say?  Yes please!  Crypt X promises to be a narrative puzzle game that has you following in the footsteps of a missing archaeology professor.  The theme in the Exit games is always rather thin, so I’m hoping that this one will tell more of a story.

2. Medium

This is a party game where people pair up and reveal two cards with words on (eg. banjo + tropical).  Each pair has a few seconds to think of the best word that connects them.  They then call out their word simultaneously and if they both say the same thing, they score a point.  It sounds hard, but I really want to give it a try!


1. Cloudspire

I got to see (but not play) an early prototype of this at Essen 2018.  It’s from Chip Theory Games (Too Many Bones, Hoplomachus) and I’ve backed it on Kickstarter.  It’s a tower defense/MOBA-style game using their characteristic poker chips as units.  I’m really hoping they have a playable demo of this as I can’t wait to try it!

So those are the games I’m most excited about (although there are loads more on my shortlist).  Which ones are you most interested in?

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Jonathan Hicks

Jonathan is the director of Maven Games. He blogs and records podcast episodes several times a week. Whenever he isn't doing anything else, he designs games.

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