The second day in Essen (see here for yesterday’s post, but most information is in the Flickr album) and we managed to play an unexpectedly large number of games. I’m not sure, but it seems like the fair is a bit emptier than it was Thursday and Friday last year. It’s still uncomfortably crowded, but there is less being trampled to death and I haven’t been run over by anyone with a hand cart full of games yet. Last year it didn’t take 10 minutes after we arrived before that happened. It seems easier to find a table to play as well, more than once today we tried a game on impulse, simply because there was a table there. We didn’t regret any of those, by the way.
But I don’t want to see anyone quoting me as “OMG Essen is dying”, because, at the same time, publishers are running out of games everywhere. And I’m not talking about small publishers, either. The Asmodee booth didn’t have more German copies of 7 Wonders: Babel yesterday evening, after only one day open to the public, and I’d be surprised if English was available after today. Czech Games Edition ran out of copies of their new release Alchemists (although some more may be available tomorrow, so go and try your luck). And looking at the emptying shelves in many other booths, there are more games that you might not find tomorrow.
Putting those two things together, I’m very curious to see the actual visitor numbers after the weekend. For more details about our Essen adventures, hop over to our Flickr album, you’ll find details about most games we tried and some games we didn’t try there.