Essen 2015 – Internationale Spieltage SPIEL

Another Essen fair has come and gone, and as always we’ve had a blast. Loads of great new games to try, tons of familiar and new people to meet. But after those four days, I’m pretty much ready for hibernation. I can only imagine how much more knackered all those people working at the booths must be. Thanks to all of you, we had a great time! With the fair now finished, our regular program of news and reviews will resume tomorrow. Or the day after, if I sleep through the Monday.

For a detailed report of our misadventures, you can check Facebook this time. I know, not everyone is a fan of Facebook, but you can see everything without being registered there. You don’t have to sell your soul.

Essen 2015: Day 1
Essen 2015: Day 1

First day of Essen 2015. Woohoo! After our rather disastrous attempts at parking there – all the parking close to the Messe Essen where full – we expected the worst: halls full of people, no chance to sit for a game. Well, the halls were full, but it was quite possible to sit and play in many booths. Like you’d expect, we made liberal use of that.

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Essen 2015: Day 2
Essen 2015: Day 2

It’s day 2 of the Essen fair and let me tell you one thing: I’m so ridiculously happy I don’t have to take all those games home on a plane. There would be just no way. Anyway, today we spent a lot of time looking at IELLO’s new games and learning about the coming dungeon crawler Perdition’s Mouth with two of its designers, Timo Multamäki and Thomas Klausner. Those two events are where the majority of today’s photos comes from.

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Essen 2015: Day 3
Essen 2015: Day 3

We weren’t sure before, because visitor numbers on Thursday and Friday vary quite a bit, but Saturday made it clear: there was more space in Essen this year. I don’t think there were fewer people in total, but somehow there was a better flow of people through the halls. It’s still an ocean of people, but it keeps moving.
Our guess is that some shuffling of booth space played a big part in this, there seems to be a better mix of large booths and small booths in each hall instead of putting all the big publishers in one corner and creating the dreaded corridors of tiny booths in another.

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Essen 2015: Day 4
Essen 2015: Day 4

Today was intended to be our errand day in Essen: get there, talk to the people we didn’t meet before and apologize for how little time we had, pick up some more games. It didn’t turn out quite that way and we had time to play a little. Lucky us, because the game we tried – Magnates by Phalanx – was really good. Nevertheless, the day was short, so there’s not so much to say.