What I’m looking forward to seeing/playing at PAX Unplugged 2019?

With PAX Unplugged just a few days away, I wanted to highlight the games that I’m looking forward to either trying or seeing first hand.

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The Top Choices

Azul: Summer PavilionAzul is one of the best games I’ve ever played. It has a quick learning curve, beautiful design and colors, and just enough strategy and depth for new and old players alike. On the flip side, I hated Sintra. It was too bloated and took away what made Azul easy and accessible. I have a burning desire to see if Summer Pavilion is a return to form or if it’s another dud (in my opinion).

Flotilla – Not having a two-player option (unless there’s a variant I’m unaware of) makes this Waterworld-esque game a hard sell for me but the theme is interesting and I’m a fan of the mechanics, it’s just a matter of how they fit together.

MegaCity: Oceania – I love dexterity games and I love city building games. Honestly, we’d probably have bought this blindly if we didn’t have an infant but dexterity games and babies don’t work well together. This is one I definitely want to get my hands on to play and see if it needs to be added to the collection. So many of our dexterity games have pasted on themes; maybe city building will bring the mechanic alive?

On Mars – I love the theme but wonder how it handles at two-players. Vital Lacerda has a track record for games and while I enjoyed The Gallerist, I’m not certain that I loved it. I also worry that it may be too heavy for our lives at this moment. I would love to be able to demo a round or two just to get a feel for the game but expect this to be one that I stare at from a far as it may be incredibly popular.

On the Underground: London/Berlin – I really like route building games but at the same time, many have felt formulaic and haven’t brought anything new or exciting to the genre that entices me in a way to add that game to our collection. Is On the Underground it? No idea but the vivid colors and well thought out gameplay give me high hopes.

Second Choices

Aquatica – A fantasy deck builder about becoming an ocean king. It may not be for us but the premise is interesting enough.
Alubari: A Nice Cup of Tea – From the Snowdonia family comes a game about harvesting tea leaves. I know that sounds riveting but
Bios: Origins – I 100% will not play this at PAX but I want to see it played. We’ve seen it for purchase and are not intimidated by the weight but just don’t have enough information as to whether this game is for us or not.
Bus – Splotter Spellen has a great catalog of games to their name. Some have been big hits with us (Food Chain Magnate) whereas others have fallen flat (Antiquity). I wonder if Bus is the route building/pick-up and deliver game we’ve been looking for that offers familiar gameplay mechanics with deep strategy. Unfortunately, the price point is something we can’t jump into on a whim but I hope there’s an opening at a table for us to try this.
Carrossel – I love abstract strategy games. This one features simultaneous gameplay which should make a quick game and I expect this to be played between our heavier fares.
Castello Methoni – Another city building game that has some gorgeous components. This is another three or more player game that I doubt I’ll look for too hard due to the player limitations but I would like to see a round or two.
Consumption: Food and Choices – Designed by a dietitian, this is a worker placement and resource management game that has players managing their bodies via caloric intake. I love the theme but wonder if it’ll be too much like managing your own diet to actually be fun.
Deep Blue – A lightweight press-your-luck game that features diving for wealth and wrecking other players chances at fame? Sign me up.
Fast Sloths – A cute take on pick up and deliver and racing mechanics.
Die Macher – I definitely don’t see us playing a game of this but I’m highly interested in seeing a copy with my bare hands. This is a heavy political and economical game that ticks all the boxes for me but I haven’t found a review that really pushes me one way or the other.
It’s a Wonderful World – This science fiction civilization game that deals heavily with card drafting has been on my radar for most of 2019. I almost backed this on Kickstarter but decided against it at the last second. I want to see if I’ll regret my decision.
The Magnificent – Another game with a unique theme and some pedigree behind the developers. The aesthetics have drawn me in big time for this game so kudos to Martin Mottet.
Sabotage – I’ve loved almost all of Tim Flowers games so Sabotage gets added to our list. The only reason it’s not in the first tier is that his games tend to always be busy and if I can’t see it, I don’t want to waste time standing in line on the off-chance I get to play it.

Prêt-à-Porter – A unique theme and a reprint of a highly sought after game has this on my radar. It’s a clear second choice however as I felt like the hype died down once it was released. I haven’t seen much of anything about it since people have been able to get their hands on it and I worry that the rareness of getting your hands on a copy shielded the gameplay from criticism…or maybe I’m completely wrong and people are having so much fun with it that they don’t have time to talk about it.

Yukon Airways – I like pick-up and deliver games and while I haven’t done as much background work on seeing if this is something I’d like, it’s worth putting down as a mention.

Older Games

PAX Unplugged has an amazing rental library. After using it to its fullest potential last year, there are a few older games that I’d love to try out that shouldn’t be too hard to play.

1944: Race to the Rhine – I love everything about this game in theory and am dying to try it out. With the Kickstarter live for the spiritual successor (1941: Race to Moscow) I want an opportunity to try and see if this is worth backing the newer version.

Concordia – Wanted to play it last year but didn’t. Maybe this is the year.

War Chest – This is a game that I’ve been told I need to try due to my love of abstract games.

 

Author: Two off the Top

Just a guy that wants to talk about board games more than his future wife tolerates.

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