UK Games Expo 2023!
The UK's largest Hobby Games Convention
We have just returned from our trip to the UK Games Expo 2023 and it was incredible! This year they had 3 halls, an outside area and several rooms of the Hilton hotel. There was over 500 Exhibitors and several new games being released!
From new up and coming board games, miniature games and RPG's to accessories for your games and plenty of old favourites on offer, UK Games Expo certainly had it all.
Games to watch out for...
There were several games up there that are coming to Kickstarter or Gamefound soon, were being launched on the platform this weekend or had just completed. From worker placements to asymmetric mechanics, fantasy to horror and lightweight games to Euro style there were plenty to look at. Here are a few of our favourites:
Cloud Foxes by Paperboat Games The creators of Snapshot are launching their new kickstarter, a tile placement game whereby players take charge of a clan of pirate foxes vying for control of the islands in the cloud city, make the most of the trade routes the humans set up, loot the merchants and fight the opposing fox clans to come out victorious. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paperboatgames/cloud-foxes?ref=discovery
The Fox Experiment by Pandasaurus The new game from Elizabeth Hargrave, designer of Wingspan, takes a deeper look at the Russian experiment into the domestication of Foxes. In this game players will be breeding foxes to refine their genetics in a bid to create the ultimate domesticated fox. Roll dice, create new foxes and score points from contracts and research goals. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pandasaurus/the-fox-experiment
Cults of Bleakpyre by Trolls 'n' Rerolls This is the first game by Trolls 'n' Rerolls and it is already showing a lot of promise! Set in the Dystopian city of Bleakpyre, this game has an essence of Terry Pratchet crossed with that of The Purge. Players control their own eccentric cult, harvesting the souls of nobles and peasants alike in a battle to win the Amulet of Thrayax. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/trollsnrerolls/cults-of-bleakpyre
The Presence by Purple Lantern Games Another first time release game, with huge potential. The presence will be unique in it's gameplay with designer Sam Gullman working hard to ensure the new mechanics work in way's you won't expect them to. Set in the Victorian era, this asymmetric ghost story will have players second guessing whether the presence is working with them or planning their demise. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/purplelantern/the-presence?ref=discovery
Haunticulture by Tinkerbot Games (kickstarter has ended now and the game will be released imminently) From the makers of Ghostel comes the first prequel in this supernatural series. The ghosts are now trying to make something of the garden but being ghosts, they are unable to manipulate the tools and plants themselves. They have therefore garnered help from zombies, werewolves and skeletons alike to get their garden looking perfect and gain Spookie's approval. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/catlab/haunticulture-the-board-game-0/posts
As well as the kickstarters and gamefounds, there were several other games that have already been announced and are coming soon that we think you should watch out for including the hotly anticipated Lorcana (the Disney themed Trading Card Game) and Ticket to Ride Legacy. Both these games look gorgeous and we are very much looking forward to their release later this year.
Most years at the UK Games Expo, there is a clear theme emerging amongst the new up and coming games that will set the precedent for the year ahead. This year however was not as clear cut. Nature games are still very popular and there definitely seemed to be more Asymmetric games coming out but overall, most publishers seem to be sticking with what they know works well and is popular theme and mechanics wise.
There were lots of games being showcased at UKGE that have been released in the last 6 months or so and had lots of people hovering round the stalls keen to get their hands on a copy. A few of the most popular were...
In the Footsteps of Darwin This game has players exploring the world in search of more information to help Charles Darwin write his new book On the Origins of Species.
Earth Create your own island and ecosystem in this fast paced game where everyone is always doing something.
Frosthaven The sequel to the popular Gloomhaven game. Winter has arrived and the party of mercenaries must now help bring back a settlement from the brink of destruction.
Stomp the Plank A pirate affair where you're trying to steal as much loot as you can whilst pinning the blame on the other pirates. If you get caught you'll walk the plank!
Distilled Join the competition to become the master distiller by playing your cards right to create a variety of spirits and build up your distillery.
This year's UK Games Expo was their biggest yet and we fully expect that next year will be even bigger! The atmosphere is buzzing and there are so many demonstrations available of various games as long as you're willing to wait a few minutes for a space to become available! We really enjoyed our day up there and are looking forward to next year's show.