The Tokyo Game Market is the biggest analog game convention in Japan. All the top publishers in Asia schedule their new game releases to coincide with the Spring and Fall game markets and there is no surprise there, with nearly 25,000 attendees, it is an excellent chance to get your new game noticed.

  • Dates: November 23rd and 24th
  • Location: Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan

While some of these games are solid candidates for international release (eventually) those of you unable to attend will need to check with the publishers to see if you can snag copies via another means.

Without further ado, here are my top 15 most anticipated games of the Tokyo Game Market in Fall 2019 (in no particular order).


Orchard Ocean

  • Players: 3-4
  • Time: 60-90 Minutes
  • Publisher: Analog Lunchbox
  • Designer: Masaki Suga
  • Mechanics: Tile Placement
  • English Rules Available: Yes

Analog Lunchbox is one of the most prolific publishers in Japan. They create chunky mid-weight euro games with a very sleek Japanese graphic design. They are probably most well known for Airship City, but all of their games are consistently well-received.

Orchard Ocean looks like it could be a good follow up to Airship City and their most recent hit Dazzling Diceline. In Orchard Ocean you take on the role of farmers attempting to grow fruit on man-made islands floating atop the sea.


Geometric Art

  • Players: 3-5
  • Time: 10-30 Minutes
  • Publisher: Emperor S4
  • Designer: Eros Lin, Hsu Won Hau, Romain Caterdjian
  • Mechanics: Roll & Draw
  • English Rules Available: Yes

EmperorS4 is arguably the most well-known international publisher on this list, but this game takes a step away from their typical small strategy game formula. Geometric Art is a party game that continues the roll and write craze but with a new twist.

Players are prompted to draw a specific item from a theme card using nothing but symbols and shapes as determined by the die roll. Meanwhile a guesser will be trying to figure out the title of your piece based on how your geometric artwork comes together.


Remember Our Trip

  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Publisher: Saashi & Saashi
  • Designer: Daryl Chow, Saashi
  • Mechanics: Drafting
  • English Rules Available: Yes

Saashi & Saashi is my favorite Japanese Publisher. They have produced truly great games in Coffee Roaster and Let’s Make a Bus Route and a number of small box games that are full of charm.

They are back with another design, this one is about trying to recreate the map of a recently visited city (Kyoto or Singapore) by piecing together fragments of the memories from your trip.

This game once again features the delightful art of Takako Takarai and I have no doubts that the gameplay will be delightful as well.


Kingdom of Middag

  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 45-60 Minutes
  • Publisher: TwoPlus Games
  • Designer: Jog Kung
  • Mechanics: Worker Placement
  • English Rules Available: Yes

This is a worker placement game where you take on the role of a Taiwanese aborigines tribe leader in the 17th century. The game will have players sending their tribe members to hunt, improve their hunting tools, and establishing inter-tribal trading.

The game seems like it is a solid entry into the light to medium-weight category of worker placement games.


Formosa Tea

This is a stunning worker placement game where players take on the role of tea harvesters in Taiwan. Players will attempt to harvest the best leaves, optimize their technique and production quality. My wife and I had a chance to view a prototype copy and receive a short explanation of the game from Soso Games earlier this year and it has been on the top of our wishlist ever since.


Philadelphia

  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 30-60 Minutes
  • Publisher: Rikusa Games
  • Designer: Yuichi Ebina
  • Mechanics: Set Collection and Hand Management
  • English Rules Available: Unknown

Being a Philadelphia native, I was immediately drawn to this one. This game has players taking on the role of advertising agents attempting to advance their agency by creating an attractive and diverse portfolio of advertisements.

The art in the game is very colorful and it looks like a very pleasant experience. The iconography on the cards seems clear and will hopefully make up for the potential lack of English.


Land

  • Publisher: Head Quarter Game Simulation Club
  • English Rules Available: Unknown

There is very little information on this game as of yet, other than thematic. You compete with players as a lord in the setting of medieval Europe.

What we do know is, this game is designed by a gaming club at Keio University that has published three quality works in a row: Improvement of the Polis, Marche de France, and Singularity. That alone makes this game worth the anticipation despite having very little information about it.


Tyrannosaurus’s Holiday

  • Players: 2-8
  • Time: 15-20 Minutes
  • Publisher: Blue Magpie Games
  • Designer: Yu Wang
  • Mechanics: Roll & Write
  • English Rules Available: Yes

This is a game where you take on the role of a cat named Tyrannosaurus and friends, and get into a boat load of shenanigans while their owners are off at work. Yes, it is as adorable as it sounds.

This game looks like silly fun, but does have an interesting twist on the roll & write that has a hidden dice that introduces a nice bit of player interaction. Plus, did I mention that this game is adorable?


Porte Saint Denis

  • Players: 4
  • Time: 60-90 Minutes
  • Publisher: Daisuke Ishiodori
  • Designer: Rikachi
  • Mechanics: Worker Placement
  • English Rules Available: Unknown

This is another mid-weight worker placement game on the list. This one is about building up the city and walls of Paris. It has a few interesting twists on the mechanic including stronger actions being made available later in the round and workers remaining stranded at sites until they completely fill up. The artwork is minimalist and intriguing and the graphic design looks good as well.


Fafnir

  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 20 Minutes
  • Publisher: Oink Games
  • Designer: Jun Sasaki
  • Mechanics Auction
  • English Rules Available: Yes

Oink games and Jun Sasaki are the best small-box game producers in Japan. They have found a number of their games reach international acclaim including Deep Sea Adventure, Fake Artist Goes to New York, and Insider. This game looks simple, colorful and should fit into their line of games perfectly.


Immunitas

  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 25-50 Minutes
  • Designer and Publisher: BioGamesLab
  • Mechanics Deck Building
  • English Rules Available: Work in Progress

This game is designed and published by BioGamesLab which is comprised of three  Tokyo University Biology and Medical students.

The goal of their design is to have positive effects for gaming and for learning and this game seems to really emphasize both parts of their agenda. This game has players becoming the main coordinators of the immune system competing to rid the body of invading pathogens.


Vulcanus

  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 60-80 Minutes
  • Publisher: I was Game
  • Designer: Masato Uesugi
  • Mechanic 1 Vs Many
  • English Rules Available: Unknown

The designer of this game Masato Uesugi has design one of the best drafting games out there in Paper Tales, so this one definitely has caught my attention. This game is an asymmetric 1 vs. all game in which up to 3 humans are playing against 1 lava-erupting monster who has emerged from the crater at the peak of Mount Fuji. This will definitely be one of the hottest games at the market this Fall.


Billionaire Sergeant

  • Players: 4-6
  • Time: 35 Minutes
  • Publisher: Headblown Studios
  • Designer: Headblown Studios
  • Mechanic: Social Deduction
  • English Rules Available: Yes

Billionaire Sergeant is a social deduction game set in Hong Kong in the 1960s-1970s. You are part of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force when you learn there are some dirty officers among you. This seems to be a more complex social deduction game than games like the Resistance, and that may or may not be a good thing for your group. I personally hope the complexity helps me to enjoy it a bit more as I usually am not so fond of the social deduction genre as a whole. The main thing that keeps drawing me back to this game is the astounding artwork of Roxy Dai.


Planet Plant

  • Players: 3-5
  • Time: 90 Minutes
  • Publisher: Surume Days
  • Designer: Chikaru
  • Mechanic: Economic Engine Building
  • English Rules Available: Unknown

Surume Days made a big splash with their game Eye My Favorite Things which was a trick-taking party game about knowing people’s favorite things. This game is a complete reversal from that.

This is a medium weight economic game in which you are buying, growing, and selling plants on a set of foreign planets. This game utilizes unique card abilities to create an engine that will hopefully provide you great profits for your plants.


SUGOIGP

  • Players: 2-4
  • Time: 30-40 Minutes
  • Publisher: Studio Turbine
  • Desinger: Studio Turbine
  • Mechanic: Racing
  • English Rules Available: Unknown

Sugoi in nihongo (the Japanese language) means amazing and it is an extremely common word, in fact, here in Tokyo, I randomly overhear this word used at least a few times everyday. In the case of SUGOIGP, it actually stands for Super Ultra Great Overd Incredible Grand Prix. This is a racing game that has a really neat graphic design quality. You choose a driver who is on a transparent board and overlay them on top of a car board giving you a unique driver/car combination to your opponents. Sugoi desu yo!

This concludes my top 15 most anticipated releases of the Fall 2019 Tokyo Game Market. It seems like another great set of releases and I hope you have found some games that pique your interest. Please comment and let me know if there are any games that I missed.