Origins 2019 Review
It’s been a couple weeks since Origins 2019 wrapped up in Columbus, Ohio. For those not in the know, Origins is one of the largest gaming conventions in the country. This year attendance broke 20,000 people for the first time! There were hundreds of companies bringing out a couple hundred new games in one fell swoop. I managed to play 35 games that were new to me in just five days. Here are some brief thoughts on just a few of those games.
Fire In the Library
The MVP for the convention for me. This push-your-luck game about trying to save books from a burning library has amazing art and simple yet compelling game play. Plus it plays well from 1-6 players, which is rare for any game. I highly recommend this game.
Museum is a set collection game about building the best collection of ancient artifacts. Museum sports wonderful art by Vincent Dutrait. Plus there are already several expansions that give the game a huge amount of replay value. I do think the end game museum placement is a little clunky, but everything up to that point is smoother than silk.
Arraial is about trying to throw the most awesome party possible! It uses polyominoes and a unique rondel system to give an interesting twist on well worn “Tetris” style placement and set collection mechanics.
Probably the prettiest game I played at Origins. This game with 3D trees and leaf meeples is about trying to grow in the spots where the most hikers will see you in the spring, and then have your leaves fall off in the best places to get ground cover in the fall. I actually think I may enjoy this more than the reigning pretty tree game - Photosynthesis.
Century: New World
The biggest new release was the third game in the Century trilogy. This one is a worker placement game with lots of choices and lots of speed. This is rivaling Century: Spice Road as my favorite in the trilogy. I’m looking forward to trying the variant that combines all three games into a single experience soon.
The Table is Lava
Every few years, R&R Games can be counted on to bring out an absolutely hilarious dexterity game. This year’s entry is a survival game that involved throwing cards onto the table. It’s crazy fun.
I love flicking games (Crokinole, Caveman Curling, Catacombs). This game plays a bit like Zoo Ball from Osprey Games, but has a little bit more strategy to it. Great game for kids.
Fire is threatening your tower. You are a park ranger. What are you supposed to do? That’s right, do everything you can to make the fire burn down the other players’ fire towers! I love the fact it’s a competitive game because so many other games with similar themes end up being cooperative. Plus this has awesome little fire tokens.
Tournament of Towers
A cooperative dexterity game with all sorts of strangely shaped pieces. Not much more to say about this one. It’s just fun with great table presence.
You are a female gladiator trying to ascend to the throne in this solitaire game. This game merges story and gameplay in ways I haven’t seen before. Throw in real-time die rolling and modular gameplay and you have an experience that may make you rethink what solo gaming can be.
There’s a short list of just some of the great games I had a chance to look at during Origins 2019. We’re just a couple months from GenCon…I can’t wait to see what we get there.