This year’s EGX has just kicked off in London’s ExCeL! Running through this weekend, September 22nd to 25th, the video game convention will see four days full of games, people, panels and more - including appearances throughout the show for the Dicebreaker team! (EGX is hosted by Dicebreaker’s parent company ReedPop.)
It’s not all about the digital world, though. EGX also has a whole Tabletop Zone dedicated to cards, dice and miniatures, offering a stacked library of board games for you to sit down and play with friends - or strangers who might become friends over a round of Pandemic or Arkham Horror.
As well as proven classics and modern favourites, EGX’s Tabletop Zone this year also has a number of brand new and upcoming board games, some of which are even making their first appearances. Some of the games are fresh out for 2022, while others are still playtesting ahead of their full release later this year or in 2023 and beyond - giving you the chance to get a very early look at what’s in store!
To help you get started, we’ve picked out four highlights from this year’s Tabletop Zone worth grabbing a table for. From roll-and-write joys and sci-fi horror to the board game adaptation of a beloved indie video game, you won’t want to miss your chance to play these.
Based on the acclaimed video game Wilmot’s Warehouse, Wilmot! brings the indie darling’s surprisingly challenging puzzle of box organisation and retrieval to a co-operative party board game.
Players must organise a stack of items - represented by item cards with deliberately vague artwork - in their warehouse, trying to arrange the tiles in a way that makes remembering where you put everything easy.
That’s important, because the second half of the game sees all the tiles flipped facedown. Customers will demand specific items, and it’s up to the players to race against the clock to deliver the right items to the right people on time.
The co-op game will be playtesting at EGX this weekend in 45-minute to hour-long sessions, ahead of its planned release in the future. If it’s anything like the video game, players will be in for a real treat.
What’s worse than you and your friends being chased by a terrifying alien monster? Knowing that only one of you can make it out alive - and no-one is really your friend.
Tense sci-fi board game Shaft puts three to six players in this exact situation, as their crew of space prospectors flee a deadly creature.
The players will need to work together to avoid everyone ending up as dinner, but allegiance only goes so far. Only one player will ultimately be able to survive, leading to plenty of suspicion about when your companions will eventually betray you - and whether you should betray them first.
The uneasy mix of cooperation and competition goes to a head as each player places cards from their hand facedown, openly chatting about what they plan to do. That might not be the truth, though, as revealed when all of the cards are flipped face-up and resolved.
Expect shocks, drama and a true test of your friendships. All for one, indeed.
Despite being the first release from newfounded studio Postmark Games, Voyages comes with plenty of credit to its name.
Both the game and Postmark were created by designers Matthew Dunstan and Rory Muldoon, who between them have credits on games including chunky strategy game Chocolate Factory, striking fishing gem Skora and mythical card game Elysium - nominated for the prestigious Kennerspiel des Jahres award.
Voyages establishes Postmark’s focus on eco-friendly and affordable games that players can print and play at home, offering a compact roll-and-write game that requires little more than a sheet of paper, some dice and a pencil.
Despite the minimal components, Voyages packs in plenty of gameplay and theme, as players take to the seas as the captain of a ship charting the oceans in search of fame and fortune. Players will roll to determine their ship’s direction and distance on the gorgeously-illustrated map, as well as assigning their crew to various duties. On their journey, they may run into traders, marauders and supernatural monsters from the Dread.
Don’t let Voyages’ modest appearance, beginner-friendly rules and short playtime fool you: this is a game that offers an epic odyssey on a single sheet of paper. What’s more, up to 100 people can play at once - or just you by yourself, if you’re looking for a fun way to pass 20 minutes.
Voyages’ first map will be available to grab from Postmark’s stand in the Tabletop Zone. Sail by - but don’t be surprised if you stay much longer than you expect.
Another roll-and-write gem from Dunstan and Muldoon, Aquamarine goes below the waves as players become divers looking to explore the deep blue.
The ocean floors may be rich with creatures and coral to see, but the divers will need to manage their oxygen supply carefully to avoid running out of air. Players are able to choose between the results on two dice to choose where they move on the gridded map - with higher results costing more oxygen but potentially offering greater rewards.
Get your timing right, and your diver will be able to delve into underwater caves and scan the seabed for fish, colourful coral, flags and other creatures - all of which grant points towards victory. Watch out for jellyfish, though!
Using just a sheet of paper and two dice (plus something to write with), Aquamarine conjures up an entire underworld world to sink into. Dive in by yourself or with friends - you won’t regret it.