Visit to Spiel Messe Essen 2022
Last October, we went to the Essen game fair to fulfil a childhood dream and to meet other designers and members of the gaming community from all walks of life.
I can tell you that we were not disappointed! We met some great people with whom we were able to discuss our various projects. We also had the opportunity to test some real nuggets created by independent publishers. Some are still in the prototype stage and others have just finished funding on Kickstarter.
Here are some of the games we discovered during our visit to the fair:
We met the Dark Omen team by chance, while we were looking for Swiss game publishers (and yes, we are still a bit patriotic 😊). After a wonderful welcome, we were able to discover a dark game as we like them with very original mechanics.
Dark Omen is a new kind of RPG. One that you can simply drop onto the table and start playing without too much preparation. As the team says : “It’s a beginner-friendly, easy to learn, but immersive game. Game enthusiasts will be excited, because from aside its simplicity, it’s also a very tactical and decision-driven game: A game to have casual fun with, as much as a game to master.
A high replayability factor is at its core. The intuitive handicap system (Runes), although specifically random, is integrated into every players strategic decisions. The movable board also adds a very engaging and fun factor, never seen before in any game. We think we’ve created a game that can be played by both hardcore and casual gamers, from the age of 12y and up. Dark Omen is about bridging these worlds, bringing people together to just have fun.”
Well, I must admit that we backed Nanolith a few days before going to SPIEL. But it was really a coincidence because Devrim was desperately looking for a game that was not the classic “High Fantasy Dragon Bashing” Dungeon Crawler and it was at this very moment that Woodpecker Games launched its first project, Nanolith.
Nanolith is a cyberpunk dungeon-crawler with role-playing elements.
The game is played in two books, the encounter book and the storybook, which presents the quest of the four main characters to retrieve their lost memories.
In the encounter book artworks, scenario maps and comics tell the progressing story of a human civilization on the brink of extinction. Scenario outcomes, items the players get during the encounters, and player decisions reference text sections.
In the storybook, an engaging narrative awaits the players. Choose – your – own – adventure style short stories, hidden paragraphs, and riddles let the players dive deeper and deeper in the world of Nanolith.
We met Marc and Max, two of the three co-creators of the game. They told us about their adventure from the beginning of the creation to the launch of their Kickstarter campaign. We were able to get some valuable information for our own campaign. Thanks guys! Your help is invaluable to us.
Eye of Zamrock - Invasion
This is an epic fantasy competitive game of strategy, adventure, resource management and Kingdom building, with a large world map, massive card decks, miniatures, modified dice rolling and lore driven.
We had the opportunity to meet its co-creator, Zlatko, who presented the game to us and with whom we shared a very good time. The game was a very advanced prototype but we already enjoyed the beautiful artwork of the board and cards as well as the miniatures. It is clear that we were won over and the Zamrock team will be able to count us among their backers during their Kickstarter.
Still in our search for Swiss game creators, we have Marc, co-founder of Treecer. The company is not new to the game scene and has a great track record on Kickstarter with titles like P’achakuna and Darwin’s Choice.
Its next project, Zoo Tycoon, will allow you to run your own zoo and promises to be another great success.
In Zoo Tycoon, 2 to 4 players compete to build the most successful zoo. Each player has the freedom to develop their own zoo with over 34 species, food stalls, zoo shops and more. Each animal has its own care requirements, focusing on three key areas: popularity with visitors, educational value and nature conservation.
As with real-life zoos, players must find the right balance between popularity and conservation during the game. In the end, the lowest value between these two measures will count towards your final score.
If you love nature and animals, please support this project.
The Horror Game Show
If there are any games that make you sit down at a table, it is the ones with a horror theme. This is the case with ‘The Horror Game Show’, the title of the next game from Bored Games. In Horror Game Show, the player takes on the role of a producer of a new reality TV show. He has his own team of contestants that he trains, equips and promotes. But he also has the hunters: psychopathic murderers, devoid of any feelings or emotions, human monsters. But these monsters are bigger stars than any other celebrity.
The player’s goal is of course obvious: to make as much money as possible and gain as much fame and prestige as possible.
We had a great time with Sebastian, the co-founder and CEO of Bored Games, talking about his company and its different projects. And we even fell in love with “Spin Doctors”, a game based on election campaigns and strongly inspired by “House of cards”. Sounds great! You can definitely count us among your fans.
Pozdrowienia mój przyjacielu!
Quarter circle to the right + X, “HADOOOOKEEEEEEEEENNNNN!!!”. A Z with the gamepad + Y, “SHOOOOORYUUUUKEEEEN”!!! Doesn’t that remind you of anything?
Inspired by the basis of fighting games from the 90s and 2000s such as Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, the Plotmaker Games team created Combo Fighter, a very fast and nervous card game where two players confront each other by performing devastating combos in order to knock out their opponent as quickly as possible.
The rules are learned in less than 10 minutes and the games last no more than 15 minutes. But it’s so much fun that you quickly play a 2nd one for the rematch, then a 3rd one for the final, and then another one… In short, Snorre, Asger and Amanda did a fantastic job that reminded us of our youth, when we preferred to spend our money in the arcade rather than on the school benches .
Our visit to the Essen Game Fair was really informative and fun. In addition to discovering interesting games and previews, we were able to meet very open-minded people, who didn’t hesitate to share their experiences in creating game companies, and who gave us valuable advice on launching Kickstarter campaigns.
Essen truly deserves its name as the world centre of board games. It is a must for anyone who wants to create their own board game or simply wants to get off the beaten track and discover real gems that can sometimes go unnoticed because of big commercial titles.