In exactly 3 hours, I leave Nottingham to embark on an adventure of games and gaming. For the first time, I will be attending Essen Spiel. There are over a 1000 games being released/debuted this year and as much as I would love to fill a Boeing 737 with games, I can’t so I came up with purchase criteria.

First off I will try before I buy at least when I am able to. No expansions. No games that are already available for general retail or at least in the UK. The games have to at least support 2+ players. My preferences towards game designers that I like in terms of designed games, all though this is not essential.

with all that in mind in no particular order, this is my top 5 Essen 2015 want list.

Pandemic Legacy
pandemic legacy

I love co-op games and Matt Leacock is the master when it comes to designing them. That’s why this Legacy version of Pandemic easily makes it onto my Essen want list.

T.I.M.E Stories


This clean minimalist design just adds to the intrigue I already have for this game. With a rich theme and scenario-driven gameplay, I can’t resist.

Between Two Cities


Now with a 2 player variant as well as a solo mode this checks all my boxes. Stonemaier produces some of the most beautiful games not only do they look stunning they are fantastic to play making Between Two Cities an easy pick.

7 Wonders: Duel

7 wonders duel

Designed by two of the most featured games designers throughout my collection and specifically for 2 players, I will be hunting 7 Wonders: Duel down for sure.

Spirits of the Rice Paddy

spirits of the rice

Containing some of my favorite game mechanics: Tile Placement, card drafting, and Simultaneous Action Selection. All topped off with art from one of my favorite artist Daniel Solis. Making Spirits of the Rice Paddy my last pick for Essen.

I hope to see many familiar faces at Essen and find out what’s on your want list, but even those who can’t attend this year, what would be on your list and why?