This is a part of a series on Gen Con 50.
Day 1 of Gen Con is finally over, but the hype surrounding these games just won't fade away. Let's look at Gaming Library's picks for Gen Con so far.
Clank! In! Space!
2 - 4 Players
Science Fiction Dungeon Crawler/Deck Building Game
Renegade Game Studios
Clank! is a phenomenal game and a big hit of 2016. Do you know what else could make Clank! better? SPACE! And they did exactly just that. Renegade Game Studios held on to this announcement for a while and dropped it right before Gen Con and it caught us off guard.
Clank! In! Space! is a rework and a standalone base set, not unlike the original Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure. In this version of Clank! you play thieves (IN SPACE!) trying to sneak around (IN SPACE!) and steal (IN SPACE!) and fight (IN SPACE!) your way through the nefarious Lord Eradikus’ flagship, Eradikus Prime. True expertise in burgling will be rewarded, and a CLANK! will always spell trouble.
Environmental Strategy Game
Photosynthesis is one of the more unique games in Gen Con. The premise is simple: grow trees using the light of the sun. The height of your trees allow you to absorb more sunlight and slow the growth of your opponents smaller trees that fall under their shade. Of course, the sun’s position changes through time, so prepare as the light falls on different angles and hits your trees in different ways.
There are a lot of reasons to be excited for Photosynthesis. The game is intuitive and its theme translates well in its general game design, which rare in these kinds of abstract strategy games. The game has a neat focus on spatial awareness, as the sun hits the board on many different angles and the inner spots offer more potential points but are prone to being blocked off by trees on the outer rings of the board. The board also happens to be made from recycled materials, so that surely helps.
Fantasy Library Worker Placement Game
Ex Libris topped a lot of anticipated lists from board game reviewers and bloggers so it’s no surprise that it would find its way on our own list. The game has a unique theme, setting you as a book collector vying for the position of Grand Librarian of your village. You have to expand, clean, and alphabetize your collection to impress the inspector with the help of your assistants, including one very special assistant with specific expertise.
Ex Libris is shaping up to be one of the more interesting takes on worker placement while still being faithful to the genre. A lot of decisions to make, unique main assistants that shape the way you play them, and a good theme to boot.
Also, take some time to read through the titles of the books you collect and discover what your library actually houses. Some are funny but some are mysterious -even scary!
Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time
Time-Traveling/Confiscation Heist Cooperative Game
Professor Evil, as his name suggests, is up to no good! It’s up to you and your team to stop him from stealing historical items from the timeline by stealing them back when he’s not around. Don't take your time, though, as he eventually is planning to shut these treasures up for good. Sneak around and don't get caught! Time is not in your hands.
Professor Evil comes from a long line of games that incorporate the heist/infiltration theme. Sneaking around is always a fun mechanism to play with and Professor Evil brings it up a notch with his enigmatic movement and puzzles that you have to solve. Everyone needs to team up and use their special roles to try to beat the clock and the man of the hour, Professor Evil himself.
Medical Comedy Area Control Game
We have been playing as doctors and other experts in Pandemic for years and now it’s time for the virus to take revenge! In VIRAL, play as a virus on a mission to spread out and inflict terror to gain VPs! Victory Points? NO! VIRAL POINTS! Journey through the body fighting other viruses and avoiding the pesky immune system to be the best virus and become VIRAL.
Viral is a treat. The fact that the board is basically your vital body parts sans the actual body is pretty neat.There is enough interaction in the game to please competitive players but the game isn't all about getting back at each other. The event cards become an incentive to cover most bases, and the research points become a different threat to manage. Your virus might be in danger of getting cured, so be careful with snowballing your sickness!
BONUS: Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)
Epic 4X of Epic Epicness, also Science Fiction.
Fantasy Flight Games
Yes, folks it's not a meme anymore, Fantasy Flight Games is releasing the fourth edition of Twilight Imperium, the classic 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, and Exterminate) game of epic proportions. Control any of the factions in a bid to take the throne of Mecatol Rex and become the next ruler of the galaxy.
Twilight Imperium means a lot to different gamers: to most it is the mountain which one should climb, to others a necessary rite of passage, and to some the game they lost a large chunk of their life to. The return of the gaming classic is a good sign as it is both a step forward and a look back in terms of where the hobby is now.
Ready for your next immersive gaming experience? Twilight Imperium might be the game for you.
This is part of an ongoing coverage of Gen Con 50. Celebrate with Gaming Library and dive deeper into this one-of-a-kind gaming event. For review requests and other board game related content, contact Duane at email@example.com