The Internationale Spieltage SPIEL 2010 games trade fair in Essen, Germany, has just come to a close. Let’s have a look at just a few of the hot new games on the way.

Mansions of MadnessFor all you Cthulhu fans out there—and I definitely count myself one of them—Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight Games will be on your ‘must-buy’ list. Designed by Corey Konieczka, who was responsible for Runewars, Battlestar Galactica, and Starcraft among others, this Arkham Horror-esque adventure game puts the emphasis on plot threads and story while players, as brave investigators, explore the manors, crypts, schools, monasteries, and derelict buildings near Arkham, Massachusetts. It comes with investigator and monster miniatures, and a shed-load of cards, tokens and tiles. Great stuff!

We’ve already introduced you to Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game in a recent article, and we’ll be talking more about this impressive looking civilization boardgame very soon. In the meantime, check out the video.

Earth Reborn is the new game from Christophe Boelinger, maker of the very popular range of Dungeon Twister games. It’s a detailed game of tactical combat in a post-apocalyptic world, with a system driven by Command points and scenarios. The game comes with some very impressive miniatures. Earth Reborn is coming soon from Z-Man Games.

Merchants & MaraudersAlso from Z-Man Games, who has been churning the games out at a great rate of late, is the much anticipated pirate game Merchants & Marauders. Gamers have been looking for the definitive pirate game for a while now after the disappointingly complicated Blackbeard remake. Players seek glory on the high seas of the Caribbean, plundering merchants, completing missions, buying better ships, selling cargo, and of course stashing gold at their home port. The plastic ships look great, too. Cutlasses crossed for this one!

Cadwallon: City of Thieves should be available very soon now. This game was one going to be released by Dust Games until they and Fantasy Flight Games did a deal to release this and the new miniatures system Dust Tactics under the FFG banner. It looks like a relatively easy, fun game of thievery and burgulary in a district of Cadwallon, a fantasy city originally invented by Rackham for their Confrontation games. Fantastic art and wonderfully detailed miniatures are a feature.

Survive: Escape From Atlantis is a re-release by a new company called Stronghold Games. There have been many versions of this game over the years by some major manufacturers; in fact it has sold almost 1.5 million copies worldwide! For those of you who have yet to enjoy it, you try to evacuate your pieces from an island in the centre of the board that is sinking and breaking up. Your evacuees can swim or use boats, but beware the whales, sharks and sea serpents!

Alien FrontiersAlien Frontiers is a game of resource management and planetary development for two to four players. Those of you who enjoy Kingsburg will feel comfortable with the dice placement system used in this Euro/Ameritrash hybrid. Cleverly, the game was funded by players through, a site that allows creators to scare up funding for their projects. The game has had some great feedback and reviews.

Of course there are a lot more goodies: The Resistance, a Werewolf-like social game for 5-10 players; King of Tokyo, a giant monster smackdown game by Richard Garfield (of Magic: The Gathering fame); 7 Wonders, another highly-anticipated Civ-light game; and just too many others to mention!