The first day of Essen is already over, and while we did see a lot of games and met some people, I don’t know yet how we’ll manage to see half the things I want to in only four days. The world’s largest game fair is slightly larger than last year, with half of hall 4 added to the three halls in use then. That’s where we spent part of our day today. Hall 4 is the corner for small, new publishers, so there is some weird stuff to see there, but also some games that are worth a look. The rest of the day we wandered hall 2, home of LARP and roleplay with boardgames carefully mixed in. While that is technically two out of four halls done, one and three are the ones where most boardgame publishers are to be found, and they are large halls.
First impressions of the fair: there are less cosplayers, which is sad. I like to see a good cosplay. But maybe there’ll be more tomorrow. Also, while the halls were full, they didn’t seem as full as last year. But again, it’s only Thursday. There are obviously a ton of new games, and from what we saw today, survival horror is the theme of the year, in all variations from cooperative to bloody, gory and decidedly not cooperative. Also, more booths are presenting Kickstarter previews before the crowdfunding projects start. If anyone needed more proof that Kickstarter, Spieleschmiede, Startnext and all the others are an important part of boardgame publishing now, that should be it. And the prototypes we saw today had a very high quality, too.
For details, please click through our Flickr album where you’ll find all the details of todays adventures.