The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire combines cool miniatures, smooth gameplay, and neat design for a perfect storm of a game. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

5 hot new board games we played at Origins Game Fair 

Every year, tabletop nerds of all backgrounds travel from all over the world to Columbus for Origins Game Fair.

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Presented by The Game Manufacturing Association (GAMA), Origins is a symposium for people to try out games that were released over the previous year or will be debuting soon. joined the other 17,000 people at Origins 2017 to check out tons of new games. Here are some of our faves.  

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A promotional photograph from Origins shows the excited crowd in the Exhibitor Hall. PHOTO / Jacob Sigafoos, Official Origins Photographer

Century: Spice Road  

In this simple card game, you get to take on the role of a caravan leader trading spices. Players take turns drawing cards from the common “market” area. These cards allow them to draw “spices” (wooden cubes) from the supply or trade spices they have for others they need. The players can also draw victory point cards which let them trade spices for points that will be scored at the end of the game. And that’s it! The combination of simple, elegant design, quick playtime, and stunning art mean this game it sure to be a hit. In fact, Plan B Games, the company that makes Century: Spice Road brought 300 copies with them to Origins, and were completely sold out only a few days into the convention.  

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The theme was so well executed, we could practically smell the camels in the caravan travelling the Silk Road in Century: Spice Road. PHOTO / David Obenour

The Godfather: Corleone's Empire  

This game, which is scheduled for release next month, is certain to be an absolute smash. Based on the beloved film series, The Godfather: Corleone's Empire is a delightfully dark little worker placement number that comes with beautifully-sculpted plastic miniatures. Players will shake down businesses in New York City for money, drugs, and guns. Murder and intrigue is ensured as players battle for influence. This game is guaranteed to be a hit for many reasons, not the least of which that it was created by Eric Lang, one of game design’s current prodigal sons.  

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Lisboa is an absolutely beautiful European-style board game in which players must rebuild the capital city of Portugal after it was destroyed by a 1755 earthquake. Players will remove rubble from the city, interact with nobles, and build new buildings along a grid system to create the modern-day city of Lisbon. If you want to win this game, you will have to trade with the builder, the marquis, and the king, while exporting goods on ships and making deals with the clergy. Lisboa, like all of designer Vital Lacerda’s titles, has a lot of moving parts that can be used together as paths to victory. This one will definitely require a few play-throughs to perfect strategy. 

In the incredible historical game Lisboa, players will manipulate various factors in pursuit of the winning strategy. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

EXIT: The Game  

Have you ever wanted to recreate all the challenge offered by an escape room adventure, without leaving the house or actually being imprisoned? If so, the EXIT: The Game series is for you. These three budget-priced titles will have you teaming up with your friends to solve puzzles using clues and logic. The series was on fire at Origins. The company who makes it, Thames & Kosmos, only had 50 copies of each title to sell each day during the convention. Every day, they sold out only minutes after the hall opened.  

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Get all the anxious intensity of Escape the Room without spending the money or interacting with strangers with EXIT: The Game from Thames & Kosmos. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin

Flip Ships  

Flip Ships is all the fun of Space Invaders in analog form. In this dexterity game, players work cooperatively to take out an oncoming assault of alien ships. To do so, they must take turns flicking their own ships off of a wooden launchpad in hopes of landing on one of the advancing enemies. Any enemy ships remaining at the end of the round will move forward to attack. This addictive little game is great for families, because it combines light strategy with cardboard ships that really fly through the air! 

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READY. AIM. FLIP! Flip Ships provides hours of fun for the whole family as you protect the planet from an onslaught of aliens by flipping your ships at the oncoming horde. PHOTO / Josher Lumpkin