In this card game, players develop civilizations by building upon ancient technologies to create more discoveries and advancements. I like the game mechanic of using cards as currency, so the player has to decide which cards to play for their rewards and which to discard to pay for the others.
Players in this complex game are guild masters who run competing mines to gather resources to forge weapons to outfit adventurers who are then sent out on quests. The game has both basic (1 hour) and epic (3 hour) versions. Talk about Lords of Waterdeep on steroids.
This is a cooperative deckbuilding game in which the players have to work together to defend against waves of aliens. I like the concept of the game, and I think it's interesting that players can actually trade cards to help modify each other's decks, but the art is a bit dark for my taste. Also, the game is described as "brutal," which doesn't particularly appeal to me. If it were about $15 cheaper, I might risk it, but as it is I don't think I'd get my money's worth of play out of it.
In this game, players are vendors at the large game convention Internationale Spieltage, also known as Essen after the city in Germany in which it is held. While I like the idea of the game, the art is just terrible.
Players in this game experience what it is like to attend the Essen game convention with wishlists of games to buy. I think this one does a good job of simulating the Essen shopping experience, such as the process of purchasing more games weighing the player down and making him move more and more slowly until the player makes a trip out to the parking lot to dump the games into a car. The problem I see is that, by using actual Spiel 2013 games, the Essen game itself is quickly going to become dated. I'm also not particularly fond of the way the board looks extremely cluttered.