• Leon Scheuber

Tokyo Game Market Autumn 2020 anticipation list

Aktualisiert: 9. Nov 2020

Tokyo Game Market Autumn 2020 will take place at Tokyo Big Sight Aomi Halls at November 14-15. After both Osaka Game Market and Tokyo Game Market Spring have been cancelled due to COVID-19, publishers had a lot of time to prepare new games and it really shows.

This Tokyo Game Market Autumn 2020 there will be an abundance of interesting new releases. For the first time people also can follow from a far using Game Market live.

I listed here the 9 games that I bought or going to buy at the upcoming Game Market and a few more I am very interested in.

Department Store Builder

Sato Familie

Players: 2-4

Age: 10+ (with 6+ variant)

Time: 20-40 minutes

Language: English rules online

Reason I'm interested: Designer pedigree

This game has some super simple rules. In your turn you just place a card on your tableau according to rules that are printed on the card (like must be placed in the 3rd floor) and if you did it in the right way you might get to take another card that gives extra points.

The rules sound just as simple as the publisher's previous release Happiest Town which I absolutely loved because it is a game that is easy enough that I can play it with my 5 year old son, but crunchy enough so that it is still interesting for adults. I have the same impression from Department Store Builder.

Crash Octopus


Players: 2-4

Age: 7+

Time: 20-30 min

Language: English rules online

Reason I'm interested: Rules, presentation

Crash Octopus will be released at Game Market following a very successful Kickstarter campaign last month. I backed the Kickstarter so technically I am not going to buy the Game Market version, but I have included it here anyhow.

Crash Octopus is a flicking game with a giant octopus piece in the middle of the play area. Players will use small flags to flick cargo to their boat and if they have a certain number of cargo they win. However, every now and then players can take the octopus action in which they drop a number of dice on the octopus and try to knock down cargo and the boats of the other players.

As expected from itten by now the components are just a joy to look at and the gameplay seems to be fun with all groups from family to gamer. Very excited about this one.

Cat in the box


Players: 3-4

Age: 10+

Time: 30-45 minutes

Language: English rules will be online

Reason I'm interested: Rules

This is a must-follow trick taking game with a unique twist in that there are cards with numbers 1-8 with 4 copies each, but the cards have no suit. The suit/color will be declared when the player plays the card. This can lead to paradoxes and these are rarely good.

Sheep & Garden

Studio GG

Players: 1-4

Age: 8+

Time: 15-30 min

Language: English rules will be online

Reason I'm interested: Studio GG, artwork, rules

I am always interested in what Studio GG comes up with as they put out many great games: Terrible Monster, King of Frontier, Little Town Builders and Goods Makers were all great games so I am looking forward to all their titles.

Sheep and Garden is a tile laying game in which all players build a communal space and looks quite simple from the outside. The catch is that players have both 1 secret objective and shared objectives with their neighbors. There is also a solo mode, which is a nice addition.

Idle Hands


Players: 3-4

Age: 8+

Time: 20-30 min

Language: English rules will be online

Reason I'm interested: Designer's pedigree

This is another trick taker from another favourite publisher, this time from Fukuroudou, who made cooperative tricktakers before they were cool.

Idle Hands is a follow-suit game with the added twist that players have task cards face up in front of them that they have to play in each trick. Those cards then determine the led suit of the trick.

ダイダラ (Daidara)

Hanami Gorilla

Players: 1-4

Age: 7+

Time: 20-40 min

Language: Japanese only

Reason I'm interested: Artwork

There is a video explaining the rules in Japanese and I watched most of it but it is still unclear to me how to play this cooperative tile laying game. What got me hooked is the cover artwork which reminds me a bit of Shadow of the Collosus

箱庭キングス - Hakoniwa Kings


Players: 3-4

Age: 10+

Time: 15-30

Language: Japanese only

Reason I'm interested: Artwork

Another game I don't know a lot about but drew me in because of its artwork is Hakoniwa Kings. This seems to be a worker placement card game and a quick one on top in which every player draft their starting hand and then try to build a certain amount of structures from their hand cards.

Hey Yo

Oink Games

Players: 2-10

Age: 8+

Time: 15 min

Language: Probably English in the box

Reason I'm interested: Oink, game idea

This game is a remake of Five Lines which the designer selfpublished in 2019 and a copy of that version is right now on a boat and should reach me very soon. I am going to but Hey Yo anyhow for two reasons. 1. I am a Oink addict and will pretty much buy anything they put out (even though the last few games have been a bit of hit and miss with me, but it is always a great lesson in graphic design) and 2. The new version introduces a small machine that will make the beat and I am a sucker for gimmicks.

Because Hey Yo is a cooperative rhythm game in which players have to play cards according to the beat. In Five Lines players had to provide the music by themselves but in Hey Yo there is a machine that does that makes the beat.

タビネズミ開拓記 - Lemmings' Frontier


Players: 3-4

Age: 12+

Time: 45-60 min

Language: Japanese only

Reason I'm interested: Artwork

This looks lovely. Players will take the role of a bunch of lemmings fighting their way through a fantasy world with monsters and flying humpback whales all the way building up their base.

This is a cooperative game and information is quite scarce. It seems to have a kind of hand management system in that players have to play cards cooperatively to beat a certain score of an obstacle. If they beat it they would get resources with which they can build new items and whatnot to beat bigger foes.

Then there are a few titles that I am very much interested in but have not yet decided to buy them yet.

ゾンビデル (Zombidel)

This looks like a fun zombie-themed party trick taking game in which you build panoramas with your cards. Just look at the one below!

詠天記 (Eetenki: The Queen Himiko Chronicles)

This was on Kickstarter a while ago and did not fund but it will come back! Fellow JPgame hipsters Lorna and Mandy both raved about this game and I will give it another look when it comes back to Kickstarter shortly.

§egment trix

This looks quite fascinating because it is a trick taking game in which you can change the numbers on your cards using tiles.


Shout out to James Nathan and his excellent TGM autumn 2020 anticipation post which put this game on my list. Absolutely love love love Tagiron and YOMEN and curious about everthing the designer puts out.


Because of this game I learned that there are flying squirrels at Takao-san near Tokyo and now I want to travel to Japan again but since this is very difficult right now the next best thing would be playing this game which looks awesome.

Of course this list is just a very small selection of the hundreds of games that will be released at the Game Market. For a bigger sampling take also a look at the BGG preview list.

If you are interested in buying some of the games here your best bet would be either looking at or asking the publisher at Twitter. Many will ship outside Japan if you ask them. After the Game Market it should be possible to buy most of the games at, Suruga-ya and other online shops.

Here is hoping that soon the Corona crisis will be over and we can finally travel again. I would love to go to the next Tokyo Game Market in spring and then see the flying squirrels at Takao-san.

Until next time,


Photos were taken from the publishers websites.

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