27 Anticipated games from GenCon 2018

Cogs and Commissars

GenCon is the premiere gaming convention in the United States, and it takes place this weekend in Indianapolis. A convention where companies debut their latest games, there is excitement to try and possibly buy the latest board games available.

Individuals vote on the website BoardGameGeek.com on their most-anticipated games. You’ll find 12 of their top games listed, as well as a personal top eight and some other games that sound cool. So without further adieu:

Honorable Mention:

Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger. The once-loved genera of book is now a narrative adventure game. Amazon link.

Samurai Jack: Back to the Past. Based on the fifth and final season of the animated series, Samurai Jack: Back to the Past picks up the title character’s mission to return to the era before the reign of his adversary, the evil demon Aku. Amazon link.

Samari Jack

Startropolis. Startropolis is a modular 3-D space station game for 2-4 people. Each turn, players buy modules and connect them to the existing space station.

Dual Powers: Revolution 1917. Dual Powers: Revolution 1917 is an area control strategy game for 1-2 players. Each player directs the forces of the conservative Provisional Government or the socialist activists of the Petrograd Soviet in a struggle for power and influence that will shape Russia’s future and either launch or suppress the impending civil war.

Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar. The game the lucky kid on your street had with its giant rolling bolder is back, and this time with actual game play.

Pantone: The Game. Can you make colored cards look like a specific character? Can you do it well enough that other people can guess that character correctly? Enter Pantone Party where the Creator has multiple cards in 16 Pantone colors to do just that. Amazon link.

Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game. One player plays as Pickle Rick as he tries to escape a heavily armed compound, while the other player takes on the roles of both the Russians and Jaguar as they try to stop him. Amazon link.

My Top 8:

8. Endeavor: Age of Sail. Players strive to earn glory for their empires. Sailing out from Europe and the Mediterranean, players will establish shipping routes and occupy cities the world over.

7. Cult: Choose Your God Wisely. Summon and empower your god before your friends. Recruit followers, perform dark rituals, bribe officials, or inspire an uprising of the angry mob. Amazon.

6. Dinosaur Tea Party. It’s the most sought-after invitation of the year: Dinoton Abbey for high tea. Now you’re all gussied up in your bespoke finery and sporting the hottest fascinator straight from Savile Row. There’s just one problem: You can’t remember anyone’s name. Amazon.

dinosaur tea party

5. Neon Gods. A story of street gangs set in a kaleidoscopic near future of heightened reality inspired by sci-fi cinema of the 1970s and 1980s. Amazon.

4. Koi. As a koi fish, you spend your days (turns) swimming to and fro by playing a number of movement cards, with the goal of gobbling up as many dragonflies and frogs as you can every day.

3. Trash Pandas. A game, where you play as raccoons scavenging for food. Amazon.

Trash Pandas

2. Cogs and Commissars. The robot revolution will not be televised. But who will lead it? Convince others to follow you towards your goals. Vive la révolution!

1. Junk Orbit. Space — the final junkyard. Collect junk circulating planets. This garbage powers your ship, or drop it off at its destination for cash. You choose how to use the scrap you collect. Amazon.

Junk Orbit

Board Game Geek’s Top 12

12: The Mind. The Mind is more than just a game. It’s an experiment, a journey, a team experience in which you can’t exchange information, yet will become one to defeat all the levels of the game. Amazon.

11: Arboretum. Arboretum is a strategic card Game that challenges players to create the most beautiful path through the garden. Choosing the correct cards and placing them in the most efficient orientation will score you the most points at the end of the Game. With elegantly simple rules, arboretum offers players surprisingly complex choices. Amazon.


10. Reef. In the game Reef, players take on the role of the reef itself, alternating turns in which they carefully select the colors and patterns in which to grow and expand — the more beautiful the reef, the more points they score. Pre-order.


9. Century: Eastern Wonders. Centuries ago, the lucrative spice trade compelled the prosperous nations of the world to explore alternate routes to the sources of these precious goods. These nations took to the seas to seek out exotic lands. This led to the discovery of the famed Spice Islands where the most valuable spices of the world were found. This discovery also led to further exploration, competition….and later, war! Amazon.

8. Brass: Birmingham. Brass: Birmingham is an economic strategy game sequel to Martin Wallace’ 2007 masterpiece, Brass. Birmingham tells the story of competing entrepreneurs in Birmingham during the industrial revolution, between the years of 1770-1870. Amazon.

brass billingham

7. Raids. Players sail from island to island to collect vikings and viking-related paraphernalia, using them fight one another for good spaces and fight monsters for points. Amazon.

6. Chronicles of Crime. A cooperative game of crime investigation, mixing VR experience and board gaming. With the same physical components (board, locations, characters and items), players will be able to play plenty of different scenarios and solve as many different crime stories. Amazon.

5. Coimbra. Nestled in the heart of Portugal, the city of Coimbra serves as a cultural center of the country. As the head of one of Coimbra’s oldest houses, you seek to earn prestige by deepening relationships with nearby monasteries or funding expeditions of the era. To reach this goal, you must vie for the favors of the city’s most influential citizens, even if you must offer a bit of coin or some protective detail.

4. The Reckoners. 10 years ago… A mysterious burst in the sky gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. They’re called Epics. But, every Epic turned out to be evil. Today, in the city once known as Chicago (now Newcago), an all-powerful Epic named Steelheart reigns supreme. Based on the novels by Brandon Sanderson. Pre-order.

The Reckoners

3. Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game. Solve mysterious crimes and see if you would handle the job of a true detective in a modern setting. Amazon.

2. Forbidden Sky. Soar to dizzying heights in this electrifying adventure! works as a team to uncover a mystical power platform that floats at the center of a savage lightning Storm. Connect a circuit of cables to launch a secret rocket – all before you are electrocuted or blown off the bridge and plummet below. Amazon.

1. Root. Root is a game of woodland might and right. Stalk the woods as one of the Vagabonds, seize the initiative with the Eyrie birds of prey, rule over your subjects as the Marquise de Cat, or command the Woodland Alliance to create a new order. With creatures and cunning, you’ll rule a fantastic forest kingdom in the ultimate asymmetric game of adventure and war.


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Jason is a writer and photographer. He has been published on Madison.com, Beloit Daily News, The Capital Times Mashable and CNN. You can follow him on Twitter @The_Dean.

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