• Leon Scheuber

Top 9 most anticipated games of TGM Spring 2020

Aktualisiert: 24. Apr 2020

Tokyo Game Market Spring 2020 was scheduled for April 25th and 26th at Tokyo Big Sight. However, Game Market was cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic.

That means this weekend there will be no long lines at the entrance to Tokyo Big Sight. No running to get one of the limited copies when the halls open. And no surprises at every step through the halls when discovering games you have never heard of before.

But there will be still the opportunity to buy many of the games that would have been available at TGM, from the comfy desk at home.

Arclight has set up an online store on which publishers and designers can sell their games that they would have brought to Game Market and it is my understanding that Arclight does not take a fee for that service.

The games are already online but the selling will start on the 25th (or 24th), the day Game Market would have taken place. Please note that the shop only ships to Japan, so you would need a forwarder like Tenso.

In this list I present to you the games I am most interested in that would have been released at Game Market.

Without further ado, here are the games.

1 . グッズメイカー - Goods Maker

Publisher: Studio GG

Designer: Shun & Aya

Players: 2-4

Age: 12+

Time: 30 minutes

English rules: None yet.

BGG Link

Price: 1980 Yen

Where to buy: EC Shop

Reason I'm interested: Designer pedigree

While the English rules are not yet uploaded, if you take a look at the website you can get a pretty good overview of the game rules.

The design idea here is to put a big Euro resource conversion game into just a few cards. And while this idea is not the most innovative in the world I am curious because the last time Studio GG tried to shrink a big game into a smaller game (by putting all of Magic: The Gathering in Terrible Monster's 16 cards) I fell in love immediately when I played it. So much so that we licensed the game back when I was working at Sweet Lemon Publishing.

Anyways, Goods Maker seems like good solid fun and I am looking forward to trying it out.

2. 轟の迷宮 - Howling Labyrinth

Publisher: A Gamer's Studio (とあるゲーマー工房)

Designer: AMay (エイメー)

Players: 2

Age: 10+

Time: 15-60 minutes

English rules: Yes

BGG Link

Price: ?

Where to buy: It is unfortunately not ready for TGM. May 15th probably on Booth.

Reason I am interested: Designer pedigree

This game is by the same designer/publisher who made Minimal Creation which quickly became one of my favourite 2-player abstract games. Howling Labyrinth is an 2-player abstract game too and I think it is great that the designer came up with themes for both games.

In Howling Labyrinth each player is playing a wizard who tries to shoot the beast of the other player. Every turn.

Because at the end of the turn the wizard will shoot in 4 directions and if they aren't hitting this is a game over.

In order to hit, the wizard can build reflecting walls and can move. Sounds pretty puzzley and consequently the game time is 15-60 minutes.

3. おばけはおまえだ - You are the Ghost!


Designer: Takashi Hamada

Players: 3-6

Age: 10+

Time: 15-30 minutes

English rules: YES

Price: 1,180 Yen (until April 27th)

Where to buy: Publisher's website

Reason I'm interested: Game idea

Takashi Hamada and GIFT10INDUSTRY have been experimenting a lot with mixing digital elements into tabletop games. This one uses the digital element in a great way which has not been used before: giving sound clues to each player.

The game could be described as Fake Artist goes to New York or Spyfall, but with sound. Every player will hear a sound through ear phones and has to take a card from the middle and explain why they took the card and how it is connected to the sound they were hearing. Then, they pass the smart phone to the next player. One player however will not hear a sound, the ghost player. While describing the connection to the cards the players want to be vague because the Ghost will win if they know what the sound was but the other players will win if they know who the ghost was.

4. パクモグ (Pakmog)

Publisher: HAHA

Players: 3-7

Age: 5+

Time: 15 minutes

English rules: Don't know, but English text is on the cards.

Price: 2200 Yen

Where to buy: EC Shop

Reason I am interested: Game idea

This is is speed action game like Ghost Blitz or Spot It, but very different from those games. Here, the big square cards are placed randomly in the middle and one player draws a smaller cards and then mimes to eat the food item depicted on the card. The other players slap the corresponding card as soon as they guessed it. There is even cutlery to help with the miming. I love it.

5. Durian

Publisher: Oink Games

Designer: Masato Uesugi

Players: 2-7

Age: 7+

Time: 20 minutes

English rules: Included

Price: 2200 yen

Where to buy: Oink webshop

Reason I'm interested: Oink

To be honest I read the description and am still not sure what is going on in the game. It seems like that you can see all the cards from the other players but not your own. And if something happens you get to ring the bell and then the gorilla store manager is coming to judge you?

Anyways, it is by Masato Uesugi who designed Welcome to the Dungeon and Paper Tales and it is an Oink game. While I do not think all Oink games are great games, I always enjoy them because of the presentation and judging from the pictures here it looks like a lot of fun.

6. Ninja Catfoot and the Covert Action

Publisher: Oink Games

Designer: Jun Sasaki

Players: 1-4

Age: 7+

Time: 20 minutes

English rules: Included

Price: 2750 Yen

Where to buy: Several board game stores and cafes

Reason I'm interested: Oink

Another Oink game and another game with an app. In this game every player is strapping their smartphones to their wrists and the app is tracking the movement of the hand. Goal is to move steady but not too fast and retrieve the tokens from the middle.

I don't know how many times this will be fun to do but as a first for an Oink game this game includes a solo mode, which makes it perfect for the lockdown.

7. ガニメデ戦記 - The War Chronicles of Ganymede

Publisher: Sato Familie

Designer: Toshiki Sato

Players: 2-3

Age: 10+

Time: 10-15

English rules: Included

BGG link

Price: 1650 Yen

Where to buy: EC Shop

Reason I'm interested: Designer pedigree

I enjoyed previous games by the designer like 8bit Mockup and especially Happiest Town which I have played with my son over 20 times already.

Now The War Chronicles of Ganymede sounds like another hit. Blackjack+Deck Building + Giant Mecha fighting is a combination I wasn't expecting but it sounds very exciting.

There is even a PnP over at BGG to try out the game.

8. 10ターン後に死ぬTシャツ (T-shirt that dies after 10 turns)

Publisher: 反社会人サークル

Players: 2

Age: 13+

Time: 10-30 minutes

English rules: None, JP rules

Price: 2500 yen

Where to buy: EC Shop

Reason I'm interested: Novelty

This game was originally planned to release at Osaka Game Market in March but is now even more current than back then. As the Google Translated description says:

"First time in history? !! The first in the "Battle T-shirt" series to wear and play! Appearing proudly! A virus and patient battle on a T-shirt with a human body (organ) map drawn on it! Before the 10th turn, the virus eats the patient! Patients should get rid of the virus!"

A game about a virus in human organs played on a human body. That is definitely something new. And it comes also with cards, dice and stickers that need to be stickered onto the T-Shirt.

9. ラピストル (Rapistol)

Publisher: 無添加無着色

Players: 3-5

Age: 8+

Time: 20-30 minutes

English rules: None

Price: 2000 yen

Where to buy: EC Shop

Reason I'm interested: By mistake

This is a game I was originally not interested in and I actually bought it by mistake when trying out the shop, but I don't regret it as it seems interesting.

It is a racing game with a push-your-luck bag drawing mechanism.


And this sums up all the games that I am definitely going to buy or already bought. There are a few more titles I am still thinking about if I should pick them up and these are:

Dragon Dash - Tokyo Game Makers (Time Trunk Man, Elemental Trunk Man)

Alluvium - Fudacoma Games (In The Ruin, Couperation)

Return Home - COLON ARC (Hanamikoji, Balloon Challenge)

5x5 Zoo - Okazu Brand (Yokohama, MetroX)

Back to Earth - S.T.E.L.L.A.B.

If you want some more inspiration on which games to import from Japan please also take a look at the preview list on BGG, where are currently over 70 games listed.

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