Gen Con 2016 is almost here. This year promises to be even bigger than last year with an expanded dealer hall and pretty much every hotel in the city selling out. If you haven’t had a chance to wade through the deluge of new releases, you still have time to create your wish list. While information still can be scarce before the convention (Fantasy Flight Games never releases information ahead of time), these are the games we are most looking forward to checking out at the con.
Top Ten 2016 Gen Con New Releases I’m Looking Forward To
Honorable Mention: Tides of Madness
Tides of Time was released at Gen Con 2016 and it ended up being a great 2 player card drafting game. Portal Games is back again with Tides of Madness, a game that takes Tides of Time, and puts a great Cthulhu spin on it. Tides of Madness has a push your luck aspect where players have a chance at losing the game outright if they can’t keep their madness in check. Sign me up!
2 Players • Portal Games – Booth: 2566
10. Merchants and Marauders: Broadsides
Set in the pick up and deliver universe of Merchants and Marauders, Broadsides is a more tactical game where two players square off against each other trying to destroy their opponent’s ship. Merchants and Marauders: Broadsides looks to be a fairly accessible game using a bit of hand management to perform your actions.
2 Players • Z-Man Games – Booth: 1429
9. Terraforming Mars
A sci-fi game where players will be terraforming Mars, and also building out a colony, just sounds all kinds of cool. While First Martians is the Mars themed game I’m most excited about releasing this year, Terraforming Mars still has my attention. A heavy eurogame, I think this one will appeal to the fans of games with some deep strategy that players can really sink their teeth into.
1-5 Players • Stronghold Games – Booth: 2323
8. Mystic Vale
Mystic Vale is a deck building and press-your-luck game by AEG. What really intrigues me about the game is the new “card crafting” system that lets you not only build your deck during the game, but also “craft” individual cards as you play. It sounds quite unique.
2-4 Players • AEG – Booth: 701
7. Captain Sonar
Ever since I saw The Hunt for Red October, I’ve always enjoyed Submarine combat. Captain Sonar puts two teams in charge of their own sub for an intense underwater battle. The game can be played either in realtime or turn-by-turn. This one reminds me a bit of Space Cadets: Dice Duel (which I love).
2-8 Players • Asmodee Games – Booth: 1619
6. Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
Great Pandemic game play with a Lovecraftian twist? Yes please! Instead of curing diseases that are threatening the world, players take on the role of investigators trying to stop cults from unleashing the ancient evils ones. Travel to the classic New England fictional towns of Arkham, Dunwich, Innsmouth and Kingsport to seal portals and fight off insanity.
2-4 Players • Z-Man Games – Booth: 1429
5. Legendary Encounters: A Firefly Deck Building Game
Not much is known about Upper Deck’s latest game in their Legendary lineup, but the Firefly theme has my attention. I’m a big fan of Legendary Marvel and Aliens, so I have high hopes for Firefly. From what I’ve learned, it will be fully cooperative and each game will be an “episode”. Firefly should also be compatible with the other games in the Legendary system if you want to have a crazy game with heroes, aliens, predators and the crew of Serenity.
1-5 Players • Upperdeck – Booth: 1205
The game that has been years in the making, Legacy-style game founder Rob Daviau is back in the saddle again with SeaFall. This time, his game is set in the Age of Sail as SeaFall is a 4x style game, but without the extermination. Anticipation for this one has been very high and I’m anxious to get it to my table.
3-5 Players • Plaid Hat Games – Booth: 1537
3. Potion Explosion
If Splendor and Candy Crush had a baby, it’s be Potion Explosion. Publisher Cool Mini or Not Games has somehow taking the “match 3” type game that’s all over mobile gaming and brought it to our tabletops. The game play looks both innovative and highly accessible.
2-4 Players • CMON Games – Booth: 509
2. Junk Art
At Gen Con 2015, one of my hits of the convention was Flick ‘em Up by newcomer Pretzel Games. They are at it again this year with their newest dexterity game, Junk Art. This colorful game comes with sixty wooden pieces and ten different game modes. For some reason I always get drawn to dexterity games, so this will be one I’m going to check out early.
2-6 Players • Pretzel Games – Booth: 1429
1. Cry Havoc
This one has been on my want list for quite a while. Cry Havoc is a SciFi, card driven, asymmetric, area control war game. I love asymmetric games and the unique feeling you get when you get to try out each of the different factions. Cry Havoc also features some deck building and great looking miniatures. Everything I’ve heard of this one so far has given me high hopes for its game play and it looks to be exceptionally well produced.
2-4 Players • Portal Games – Booth: 2566
So that’s our Top 10 Games for Gen Con 2016 we are looking forward to. What games have caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below.
I am excited to find the surprise / sleeper game of the show – last Rhino Hero last year or Concept from 2014.
How would you describe the difference between the two Mars games, Terraforming Mars and First Martians?
I ask because Terraforming Mars sounds like an excellent game, and of a style I am familiar with, so I’m curious what excites you more about First Martians and what kind of game it is.
First Martians is a cooperative game based on the existing game Robinson Crusoe. I believe it will also be using an app integration, much in the same way that X-Com did.
Surprised that firefly is still on there after seeing the art previews… I was super excited to get it but can’t deal with how bad lots of the art is
I own Marvel Legendary and Alien Legendary and the art has never really been that great. I’ll live as long as the gameplay is still as good as it is in Alien Encounters.