Spotlight on Games > Ludographies > Essen 2010
Essen 2010 Game by Game

Pure Abstracts

Touko Tahkokallio; Onni Games; 2-4; 45
Double tile-laying game. The lower layer are hexagonal and represent the elements earth, air, wind and fire while the upper layer are smashed glass and represent elementals (in player colors). Elementals gain strength from the type of element it is on, plus adjacent ones, but loses power for each unfavorable wrong element placed next to it. Goal is surround tiles of the fifth element: aether. [more]

Bernard Tavitian; Asmodée/Lud Editions; 2-4
Tile placement with movement from the creator of Blokus. Pieces in four colors are randomly distributed on a grid. Each turn you can move to an adjacent space showing your color or jump over one to capture it. Player left with the most colors showing wins. [more]

Henrik Morast; Gerhards Spiel und Design; 2; 20
On a hexagonal grid with just 25 spaces, players try to get their pieces to connect two sides, but there's a catch: you can only move your opponent's pieces. The board begins empty. If you want to place on a space that is occupied, you shunt the piece to an adjacent space, which may trigger a chain reaction of shunting. [more]

Stefan Kögl; Spielewerkstatt Murmel, Bambus; 2/4; 15-25
Connection game reminiscent of Rumis and Punct in which players try to form a continuous line of 3D Tetris-like blocks to connect two board edges. Pieces may be placed anywhere above the board so long as no empty space is created beneath them. Also permits team play. The connection must be visible when viewed from above. By the inventor of Rumis. [more]

Don Q. und die Vermessung von La Mancha
Heinrich Glumpler; Edition Perlhuhn; 2; 20
"Don Q. and the La Mancha Survey". Each player places hidden markers on his side of the board, some positive, some negative. Then they take turns placing tokens on the board, each placement forcing revelation of an opposing marker. Tokens facing three or more positive markers will score. When a player believes that more than half of the final points have been scored, he can decide to play Don Q. From that moment on, all points count for Sancho Panza. When all markers have been revealed, the player with most points is the winner. [more]

18 Ghosts
Michael Rieneck; nestorgames; 2; 15
The story line is of ghosts trying to escape via three magic portals – in fixed locations – from a castle in Scotland in which they have imprisoned for five centuries. There are twenty-five rooms plus a dungeon while ghosts come in two (player) types and three colors. Each room has a "carpet" showing a movement path in the form of an elbow, a T or a cross. Each player tries to be the first to escape a red, blue and yellow of his own ghosts. Actions including moving a ghost to an adjacent chamber, fighting one in an adjacent chamber (the result completely pre-determined by color) or releasing a defeated on from the dungeon. Portals rotate each time a same-color ghost is defeated which is important as they can only be entered from a single side. [more]

Bruno Stefanini; Gigamic; 1-4; 20; 8+
Inspired by Sodoku, each player using the same grid. There is one example of each number per line, per column and per square. At the start the numbers are hidden by pieces. Drawing a number from the bag tells which number you must find by removing one of the 81 pieces. If successful, you keep the piece and go again. If not, the piece goes to the next player who now tries to find the number. Goal is to collect the most pieces. Includes twenty double-sided grids. [more]

Fred Horn; Österreichisches Spiele Museum/SP&L/Ducosim/Club TreEmme; 2
"Cut-and-play game" consisting of a board printed on a card plus 64 pieces. Players take turns populating a grid of connected spaces with their own tokens. When the board is completely full, the players take turns removing one of their own tokens one at a time. When a player's turn ends with one or more tokens isolated, i.e. not connected to any other tokens, those tokens are immediately removed as well. The first player with no tokens left on the board wins the game. [more]

Chislaine van den Bulk; Giuoco; 2; 20
Boardless game, or rather one in which the board is formed during play by placement of square tiles. Players take turns placing blue or clear glass pieces on any free tile, gaining points by ending a row. Also, at the end of play each row of 4 or more in their color scores. [more]

Tim Mierzejewski; Z-Man Games; 2-6; 30
The playing area is formed by 49 round face up tiles which because they point in 0-4 directions form a directed graph. Based on a player's current location they draw cards, play half of them and move. Becoming trapped or out of card knocks a player out. Win by being the last standing. [more]

Andy Hopwood; Prime Games; 2; 10
Derived from Noughts and Crosses (Tic-Tac-Toe), but with each piece having a particular power and trying create the most lines of 3 counters. Made up of a four 2x2 boards which together form a 4x4 or arrangeable in different ways as a variant. Each player has eight pieces with two of four different symbols and each play determines something about where the opponent can play their next piece, i.e. to play in a straight line from it, away from it or adjacent to it. [more]

Mobbing: Reine Chefsache
Raphael Gottlieb & Frank Stark; Heidelberger; 3-6; 30
Players compete to succeed an 83-year old CEO by gaining a voting majority on the board, plus good references. How is this to be accomplished? By argument, lies and sucking up. Playing lobby cards which constitute an auction can get the ear of board members. Other cards improve one's references, or rubbish those of others. Subtitle means "Good Company". [more]

Bernard Tavitian; Winning Moves Deutschland; 2,4; 30
Each player has 24 different pieces composed of 1 to 4 segments. Placed pieces must touch other pieces of the same color. By the inventor of the similar Blokus, but this time pieces are long tubes which lie in the grooves of a square grid. [more]

Néstor Romeral Andrès; nestorgames; 2-4; 60
Said to be a cross between Hex and Go, has players trying to create groups by placing in a hexagonal grid. Each player controls a color, but may place in any color. The final score for a color is calculated by multiplying the sizes of the different groups of that color. Includes 135 pieces in black and white, 91 in red and 68 in blue. [more]

Hartmut Kommerell; HiKu-Spiele; 2; 15-20; 10+
Each player has 13 counters, 8 in one color and 5 in another. The board shows 13 spaces. Gradually players "color" the board with their pieces, the goal being to create fewer equal color combinations in adjacent spaces than the opponent. Comes with several semi-precious stones in a leather pouch that when opened forms the board. [more]

Bruno Cathala & Bruno Faidutti; nestorgames; 2; 15
Ostrich warfare, but since they put their heads in the sand you don't know what special powers they have, or even whose side they're on. The board is composed by arranging four 3x3 tiles grids. Bushes are placed on them and each player places six ostrich pawns on his side. A turn is either moving any ostrich by the knight's move or rotating a tile by ninety degrees. Face down ostriches all look alike and their sides are not revealed until they reach the opponent's edge. Some of them also have special abilities, e.g. moving bushes, swapping piece locations, examining pieces or swapping tiles. The first player to achieve four face up ostriches wins. [more]

Reiner Knizia; Schmidt; 1
There are individually colored Tetris-style pieces and puzzle cards that have a few colored squares amid a majority of black areas. The puzzle is solved by placing pieces to cover all the space, starting with the colored ones which must match exactly. [more]

Plateau X
Hendrik Simon; Winning Moves Deutschland; 2-4; 20-30
Players try to reach the highest point on the constantly build mound of blocks. A turn consists of either placing a tile, placing a pawn or moving a pawn. Moves require that for each step the pawn either go up or down a level. The player at the highest point when play ends wins. [more]

Seiji Kanai & Hayato Kisaragi; One Draw/Japon Brand; 2; 15
Title stands for "Regality vs. Religion: Revolution". Players take turns placing pawns on a 3x3 board. Each pawn either turns or destroys one or more of the pawns surrounding it. When all squares have been filled, the holder of the most pawns are facing in his direction wins. [more]

Andreas Dante; Sphinx Spieleverlag/dante-Spiele; 2; 5-10
The board reminds of a small version of Chinese Checkers, but the center rotates and so does a ring around the center. Players place marbles and make 60 degree rotations trying to get five in a row. [more]

Schäfchen ins Trockene
Philipp Kolhoff; 2; 10-20; 10+
"Little Sheep in the Dry (desert?)" is about sheep and the inevitable wolves. Both players move the sheep around, possibly into the shelter in pairs or off the map to score (like they're not "scoring" in the shelter). The wolf then kills one of the sheep in the largest flock which players avoid being the one having (try to get the flock out of there). Comes with several semi-precious stones in a leather pouch that when opened forms the board. [more]

Scho K.O.
Andreas Kuhnekath & Steffen Mühlhäuser; Steffen Spiele; 2; 10-20
Place tiles resembling black and white chocolate squares on two layers, trying to create the largest connected region. Smarties that go on the tile intersections both permit and block overlapping at the second layer. Looks delicious! [more]

Niek Neuwahl; Steffen Spiele; 1-2; 10-20
Perhaps a puzzle as much as a game. Sixteen unique pieces colored in black and white combine to form a square – or not. The only rule is that white must be placed against white and black against black. With two players, each takes eight pieces and tries to obstruct the opponent so that there is place to play. [more]

Francesco Rotta; Jactalea; 2; 5
The board is constructed by the players using eight four-hex tiles. Then each player places a tall stack of disks on one of the border hexes. Then, in turn, each player chooses some number of disks to take off the top and moves them as far away as they can go in a straight line without obstructions. A player wins when the opponent is unable to make a move. With this edition Jactalea switches from leather to wood. [more]

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