raymond;;dumeeple;;spiel;;spellenfestival;;ankama;;brewer;;board Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee


By Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee on October 15, 2018

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls; Spiel Essen is nearly upon us! In the meantime, we will keep you informed about the adventures of our very own board gaming specialist: Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee as he prepares for this feast!

In his previous special, this game-crazed cardboard-adoring reporter already talked about two publishers he visited during Spellenfestival 2018. In this new report, he will introduce you to another two awesome board game developers he met on his journey to Spiel 2018. First up is the Belgium-based Game Brewer. For the second part of this Special, Raymond will travel even more south, to the French Fantasy Worlds creators Ankama, which a fellow Instagrammer told him to check out, so he did!

Brewing games is what they do in the Belgian city of Turnhout, more specifically at the headquarters of the local young publishing company called Game Brewer. You may know them from their first Kickstarter campaign, in which they presented a game called Pixie Queen. What Game Brewer brings to this year's Spiel Essen is quite the lineup, I must say. I'll start off with the game I sadly missed playing on Spellenfestival, because all the demo tables were occupied all the time, Gugong.

Of course, while I was wandering around with my camera, a member of their demo team asked if I was interested in their games. RafaŽl, as the guy was called, was nice enough to explain the mechanics of the game to me. And, while were sitting down at a table where a game called Gentes was being showcased, he also explained that one. Gentes is originally a game by a company called Spielwork and is now relaunched by Game Brewer and Tasty Mistrel Games. Let's see what these games have to offer, shall we?

Gugong takes you back to a China under the reign of the Ming Dynasty. It was a time of mismanagement and corruption. In an attempt to eradicate said corruption, it became officially prohibited and punishable by death. From that point on, the highest officials of China pretended to uphold the ban on corruption, but instead of taking money like they used to, a trade of gifts became the new widespread custom. And it is this new customs system is the basis for this game. You take the role of a powerful Chinese family and try to bribe your way in to the Forbidden City. Your main target is to get an audience with the emperor. Are you wily enough to schmooze your way to the top? Put on your kimono and your best fake smile and find out!

After thoroughly trying to upset the balance in feudal China, we travel even further back in time, to the first millennium BC to be exact, for a game of Gentes. In this game, players take the role of the leader of an ancient civilizations in an attempt to make their tribe flourish into a thriving society. They do this by building impressive monuments and colonizing new cities. The game has an interesting time mechanism, which is perfectly explained on the Game Brewer website. Overall, I must say that it is a very civilization-building game which plays pretty fast and doesn't take that long per game. So it's an ideal game, even if you don't have all afternoon!

When you go to Spiel Essen and visit the Game Brewer booth, you will also have the possibility to try out another brand new release; a game which I am really looking forward to try, called Festo! (yes, exclamation mark included!) They will also be bringing the card game Architectura to the Dutch market. Put all this awesomeness together with their earlier games, and you have plenty reasons to visit Game Brewer and play their games at Spiel Essen!

You can find Game Brewer at Booth 4-D109. They offer a wide variety of games and some pretty sweet Essen Deals!

Ankama Boardgames is a company from France and publishes a lot more than just board games! They also bring video games, apps, animations series, books and comics to the proverbial table. Practically everything they produce, they do so in their Manga style. Every bit of product is unique, but it is also all interconnected. Their most familiar board game is probably Krosmaster Arena, along with all its expansions. I, on the other hand, know them from their very successful Kickstarter campaign of a game called Monster Slaughter. They're bringing two brand new games to this year's edition of Spiel Essen: Tales of Glory and Trool Park.

Tales of Glory is a tile placing game. You play as a hero during ten years of his or her life and you need to proof what you are worthy of the title. Each turn represents a year in the hero's life and each choice of quest count as an addition to that hero's "Path of Life". Everything you do centers around gaining glory. At the end of the game, the player who managed to gather the most glory wins and becomes the greatest legend man has ever seen!

In the recently released Trool Park, players manage their own theme park and try to attract the most guests by becoming the most fun, tasty or scary park of all. At the end of each turn an inspector will visit the park and judge your park. Good reviews will bring more people to your park which is really important! Because, at the end of the game, the player who attracted the most visitors wins the game. Manage your park just right and you'll see the visitors come in by the busload! Which, incidentally, is never bad for business, wouldn't you agree?

As I mentioned earlier, I know Ankama Boardgames from their Kickstarter campaign for Monster Slaughter. After that, I started looking at what else they are doing and I just fell in love with their Manga style. I am really looking forward to what they are going to bring to Spiel! To name a few things; all of the above games are playable: Monster Slaughter, Tales of Glory and Trool Park. For Krosmaster Arena, they are even bringing a whole new season called "The Brotherhood of the Forgotten" and a demo of Krosmaster Blast, which will be launched on Kickstarter right after Spiel ends.

Finally, here's a little secret for you that not a lot of people might know of. At Spiel 2018, Ankama Boardgames will even have a couple of upcoming games to present to players who visit their booth. And here comes the kicker; these games will not be released until next year!!! How cool is it to get a sneak preview of awesome upcoming titles, right?!

Make sure to check out Ankama Boardgames and their games at Booth 2-B116. Especially if you like Manga style games which, if you're totally honest, you know you do! Don't miss your chance to see next year's releases!

Game Brewer website
Ankama Boardgames website