Top 5 Games from the UK Games Expo | Board Games | Zatu Games UK

    Zed has hand-picked an exciting and varied selection of games in his subscription box. Expect to receive some of the best games as well as a few surprises!

    Subscribe Now »

    Looking for the latest new releases? Then this is the subscription for you, each month you’ll receive an amazing box full of just the newest & biggest games!

    Subscribe Now »

    Our two new Mystery Box offerings will help you pick up some of the latest top of the range games and exclusive goodies, but at a much lower price!

    Order Now »

    Menu

    Buy 3, get 3% off - use code BOARD3 · Buy 5, get 5% off - use code BOARD5

    Top 5 Games from the UK Games Expo

    UK Games Expo - Detective A Modern Crime Board Game

    The UK Games Expo was a triumph as always - okay, every convention has flaws, but they're small gripes or just things I've grown accustomed to. We all know the Bring and Buy is a queue nightmare at the wrong times. We all know the Games Library could use a bit of an update.

    One thing is for sure though, we love checking out all of the games at the convention be they the new hotness or previous releases that we never got round to seeing before. From my personal experience, here's my Top 5 recommendations from the UK Games Expo to look out for - (caveat: must be unreleased games).

    5. Chronicles of Crime (Lucky Duck Games)

    Much along the same vein as another game we'll get on to later, this is a co-operative experience where you play detectives trying to solve a case. The weird gimmick here is that all the evidence, characters, locations etc have a QR code printed on them that you scan with your mobile device via an app. Doing so at specific times allows you to have conversations with people, inspect clues in the lab and much more.

    In addition you can view a crime scene either as a 360 degree panorama or in VR mode with these . . . slightly fiddly goggles, but hey it's neat.

    The case we did was challenging and you really have time against you. My nitpicks however are that the app in its current state does need a few bugs ironed out and I didn't like the VR much as it was easy to miss out key clues without even realising, and if you do that you're off on a tangent for a while before you recover. There's a nice over-arching plot though that spreads over multiple cases and it manages to set the theme nicely despite having to constantly scan stuff.

    With a few improvements here and there this has good potential and is worth a look if you want a deduction co-op within a reasonable time length.

    4. Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr (HUB Games)

    This definitely takes the prize for the weirdest themed game I saw at the Expo, but that goes a long way to helping it make this list. This is a unique co-op campaign game where you have to take care of a patient called Billy. You'll play through 10 scenarios (I only did one), each of which offers new challenges and story moments for this grand tale being told about Billy and his life.

    In the first scenario, you're trying to keep him alive while getting Billy to talk about his past memories so we can find out more about him and his next of kin. But he's not always willing to talk and his memory is hazy. So you have to obtain cards for partial memories and then match them up to clear memories. It's a card play system at the end of the day, but it works well to the theme.

    The co-op aspect is a little thin though, to the point where this could simply be a solo game where you control multiple meeples. But hey, I like solo games so if that's the case, I'm cool with that. The story has peaked my interest and I welcome innovation in board game design, which I feel we're lacking in these years - I'll check this one out on release.

    3. Dice Hospital (Alley Cat Games)

    This is a slight cheat as I've played it before this Expo, but it's still in its final production stages. Dice Hospital is a neat and thinky dice allocation game where you manage a hospital with constant patients needing attention. Their health will decrease if not treated and your goal is to save as many as possible and try not to let anyone die.

    Besides the cool aesthetics, there's a lot of depth for combo building in this game. You build extra wards in your hospital and hire additional staff, all of which give you benefits in treating specific colours of dice (the colours represent different types of health issues). You want an efficient engine, but also have to adapt to what patients get brought in, because they'll be different each round and turn order may impact whether you get to pick the ambulance or upgrade that you want.

    It's a solid game that I actually backed on Kickstarter - definitely worth looking into if you want something that is a big step up from gateway levels.

    2. Reef (Plan B Games / Next Move Games)

    This new publishing branch of Plan B Games is focusing on titles with very simple rules, but with a good level of depth, so basically what they were doing before, so why the change, I digress! Reef is the first in that line (all the games will also be four letters long) from Emerson Matsuuchi, best known for the Century series.

    Reef, in terms of rules, is childishly simple - you either draw a card from a selection or you play a card to both place reef parts on your board and score for various arrangements. That's pretty much it. Keep on going until one pile of reef blocks runs out and then check who wins. It sounds dull for being so simple, but this is incredibly elegant and has that little bit of tactical depth as you adapt your board to what cards are available to set yourself up for big points or deny other players the cards you know they want.

    It was only in partial design form so we had giant coloured cubes whereas the final design should be different reef segments. But it was so colourful on the table and pops to any passers by. Definitely worth checking out on release as Reef has great potential to be a gateway classic.

    Credit: Next Move Games / Plan B Games

    1. Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game (Portal Games)

    At the UK Games Expo, this was the highlight of the week, hands down, no competition. Detective has been in the works from Ignacy Trzewiczek at Portal Games for some time now and at this rate, it's looking to be a solid hit.

    Detective has you playing a team of detectives trying to solve a case co-operatively. You'll be given a brief, some cards with plenty of background text on them and a board that simply tracks your location and time of day. You have a set amount of time to gather your clues and information before you attempt to solve the case by way of multi-choice questions.

    The cool extra gimmick here is that you have access to a desktop website that functions as your database. Cards will give you prompts that you can type in on the site and bring up really detailed profiles on, be it locations or finger print scans or personnel files. It's being finalised, but in its current state it worked pretty smoothly.

    Each case is around a two or three hour affair and I don't usually like games that are too long unless they can engage me 100%. Detective did exactly that - I'm excited for this one.

    Excellent
    08000075444
    Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
    Zatu Games is rated 4.89 based on 11727
    Reviews

    I love using Zatu, I'm a beginner in the star wars x-wing and Armada world and Zatu are a great company for selling and promoting table top games. Great service and a great price.

    I love using Zatu, I'm a beginner in the star wars x-wing and Armada world and Zatu are a great company for selling and promoting table top games. Great service and a great price.

    Great service and competitive prices. Staff are very helpful and understanding.

    Great service and competitive prices. Staff are very helpful and understanding.

    I bought this for a Christmas present, we already have it at home and spend many happy hours playing it. It is suitable for all ages . My six grandchildren's ages range from 5 to 17 and we have all played it together. Very fast service, I would definitely use the company again. X

    I bought this for a Christmas present, we already have it at home and spend many happy hours playing it. It is suitable for all ages . My six grandchildren's ages range from 5 to 17 and we have all played it together. Very fast service, I would definitely use the company again. X

    Perfect quality, very speedy delivery and perhaps the best prices I have seen. And to top it all off an absolutely amazing range of products, from classics to niche games. Would recommend to anyone!

    Perfect quality, very speedy delivery and perhaps the best prices I have seen. And to top it all off an absolutely amazing range of products, from classics to niche games. Would recommend to anyone!

    The games arrived within specified time and were as described. Have used Zatu before and we've always had a positive experience.

    The games arrived within specified time and were as described. Have used Zatu before and we've always had a positive experience.

    One of the top 3 go to places for all my Boardgaming needs. Great prices, discounts, deals, fast deliveries, stock availability, etc. Occasionally some items may be listed at an unusually high price ie- higher than RRP = these are generally rare and obvious mistakes given the clear and overall discounted prices of games listed by Zatu, but these are also typically corrected in time by Zatu themselves or if you send them a quick email highlighting the item and it's attributed high price.

    One of the top 3 go to places for all my Boardgaming needs. Great prices, discounts, deals, fast deliveries, stock availability, etc. Occasionally some items may be listed at an unusually high price ie- higher than RRP = these are generally rare and obvious mistakes given the clear and overall discounted prices of games listed by Zatu, but these are also typically corrected in time by Zatu themselves or if you send them a quick email highlighting the item and it's attributed high price.

    A great puzzle and, consisting of 2000 pieces, it has taken a while for my wife and I to complete. We're nearly there, here's hoping there isn't one piece missing.

    A great puzzle and, consisting of 2000 pieces, it has taken a while for my wife and I to complete. We're nearly there, here's hoping there isn't one piece missing.

    I'd had my eye on Scythe for a couple of weeks and decided to buy it as birthday present to myself. Zatu was the preferred option for price and speed of delivery (compared to another online delivery service) and it duly arrived intact and perfect within the timeframe advertised. I would recommend Zatu to anyone for hobby games.

    I'd had my eye on Scythe for a couple of weeks and decided to buy it as birthday present to myself. Zatu was the preferred option for price and speed of delivery (compared to another online delivery service) and it duly arrived intact and perfect within the timeframe advertised. I would recommend Zatu to anyone for hobby games.

    Had my eye on Scythe for a couple of weeks and finally decided to buy it as a birthday present to myself. Zatu was the best option on price (compared to another online delivery service) and duly arrived intact and in perfect condition within the time frame advertised. I would highly recommend Zatu to anyone.

    Had my eye on Scythe for a couple of weeks and finally decided to buy it as a birthday present to myself. Zatu was the best option on price (compared to another online delivery service) and duly arrived intact and in perfect condition within the time frame advertised. I would highly recommend Zatu to anyone.

    Really good prices and deliveries have always been on time. I love that the games all have reviews and recommendations, really helps you to decide which one to buy next!

    Really good prices and deliveries have always been on time. I love that the games all have reviews and recommendations, really helps you to decide which one to buy next!

    Read All Reviews