What’s New at Origins ’19

The Origins Game Fair kicks off Wednesday the 12th and runs through Sunday the 16th in Columbus, Ohio.  What’s the big deal?  Origins is the second largest gaming convention in the US and home to the Origin Awards, given by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design for outstanding work in the game industry during the previous year.  While Origins is run by the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), unlike the GAMA Trade Show (GTS), Origins is open to the public and a great place to see brand new games or try out games that will be released in the near future. 

Among the games being demoed this year is Wings of Glory: Tripods & Triplanes from Ares Games.  This is exactly what it says it is on the tin: a stand-alone game where aces of World War 1 aerial combat put aside their differences to battle the Martian tripod invaders of H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds.  We’ll also get our first peeks at MegaCity: Oceania from HUB Games.  In this game, you construct towers by stacking little plastic bits while other players take their turns.  On your turn, you’ll collect tiles and pieces to build with, as well as contracts for different sorts of buildings.  Collect bonus points for having the tallest building or crafting a building from all of one piece. 

Of course, there will also be new games for sale at Origins.  We got to play Bézier Games’ Cabo – Second Edition at the GTS in March.  In this game, you’re trying to minimize the score in your hand.  The challenge comes from not being able to automatically see what’s in your hand!  You’ll play cards to peek at your own hand, spy on your opponents’ hands, and swap cards, all in an attempt to shed your high-value cards. 

In Breaking Games’ We’re Doomed! the world is coming to an end.  Four to ten players race to build a starship to escape the Earth in time, only there won’t be enough seats for everyone.  Who gets a seat and who gets left behind?  You’ll be producing (or stealing) Resource tokens to build the ship and Influence tokens to secure your seat.  Then you’ll bid with your Resource tokens to help build the ship in hopes of going first next round.  But before you do that, you’ll draw an Even Card which could reveal a challenge towards completion of the ship or change the rules of the game.

Calliope Games will have three new games for sale at Origins that we got sneak-peeks of at GenCon last year, including my favorite of the three, Ship Shape.  The spy game I mentioned in our GenCon coverage is SpyMaster, which combines an I-split-you-choose card mechanic  with worker-placement.  In Everyone Loves a Parade, you’ll roll special dice and play cards to build the best float of the parade by combining flowers, balloons, and flags.  The dice tell you the combos the crowd wants to see, and you’ll spend your resources to create a float as close as you can to the demands of the crowd. 

Capstone Games’ Pipeline is a tile-placement route-building game that has you crafting pipelines in order to transform crude into refined petroleum products for sale, after which you’ll sell it for game-winning cash.  CMON will have their Wacky Races game for sale.  You’ll race across the board as one of the iconic Wacky Races cartoon teams while Dasterdly and Muttley race ahead to lay traps for the player who’s in the lead.  Dire Wolf Digital’s Game of Thrones: Oathbreaker game will also be available.  Fireside Games will be selling their My First Castle Panic, a version of their hit game for players four-years-old and up.  HABA’s Snail Sprint and Unicorn Glitterluck Cloud Stacking games will also be for sale. 

Among the most anticipated games will the Fantasy Flight’s Journey’s in Middle-earth, a cooperative deck-building adventure game where the board is built as you play.  You can play solo or with up to four friends and individual games can be chained together to create an ongoing campaign of adventures.

In short, there’s a lot of really fun gaming goodness being revealed at Origins this year.  Keep your eyes on this space to learn more and be sure to ask the fine folks at your local Dragon’s Lair Comics and Fantasy® about the new offerings that catch your fancy.