The UK Games Expo has been and gone, offering thousands of board gamers a chance to get their hands on some games so hot and up to date that they haven’t even been released yet – some on display may never even see the light of day depending on their Kickstarter success, but we’ve spent some time chatting to the developers of some great looking games that all deserve to get some solid attention. So without further delay, let’s check out our five games to watch in the coming months.
1. The Networks
This is a game all about setting up your own TV network, putting together schedules and trying to gain the most popularity. It looked fantastic, and some of the program names were genuinely funny the first time they came up. It also proved to be incredibly popular, with the developer’s whole stock of games being sold before the end of the show. We chatted to Gil, the guy behind the game, and it’s easy to see why people would want to buy things from him – a very approachable guy, who’s created a very approachable game. Well worth looking out for.
Created by Big Potato, the minds behind Obama Llama, Scrawl is a cross between Chinese Whispers and Pictionary, leading to some horrific and hugely inappropriate final drawings. There’s no doubt this will be a success – Big Potato’s games always are – but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of a mention here. We sadly didn’t get chance to play it, but we saw others doing just that and the stall-holding pairing of Zoe and Massimo were every bit as bonkers and likeable as the games they develop.
One missed by a lot of people at the show, but still worth a good chunk of attention. Everdark is like nothing I’ve seen before, utilising a 3D pyramid-style (only round, not square) multi layered playing area which doubles up as a movable, changeable maze. Players need to get out of the maze, but various parts get blocked off along the way, and with the levels rotating frequently and screwing up your route there’s no time to settle on a single strategy. This is still very early in development, but the possibilities are huge.
4. Z War One
Zombie games are 10 a penny right now, and need to have something special to stand out. Well, how about a comic-book driven story and buildings that you can download, print and build to give your playing area a fully 3D environment? That’s exactly what Z War One gives you, letting you read the story build-up in a great looking comic book, then outlining exactly how to pay out the board and where to place the characters. It’s a great way to setup the story, and is infinitely expandable for as long as the developer wants to create new comic chapters.
5. Battle of the Bands
A card game on a t-shirt, Battle of the Bands had a heck of a fanfare at the show with a large stage and plenty of noise. The game itself looked very cool, building up a range of tours for your bands by combining various aspects together to get the most fans. A cross between teamwork and competition between players should lead to a pretty intriguing idea once it hits the Kickstarter campaign soon.
An Overall Verdict?
Well, this was the first time I’d been to the UKGE, and it was quite the eye opener. There was FAR more there than I ever anticipated, with so many different games and developers to chat to it was difficult to decide what to do next. I spoke to a lot of people, played a few games, but next time we go there’s a definite plan of action: speak to more people, and play more games. And if you’re thinking about going, then stop thinking and go and get some tickets as soon as they’re available. You won’t regret it.