As I mentioned earlier, there were a lot of games at this year’s show – according to the organizers, over 800 new games on offer this year. From my perspective, there were a lot of very good games – so many that I could not even see them all, much less attempt to bring them all home. It will be harder than previous years to try to do this recap on the flight home because my usual mnemonic of mentally walking through the halls simply won’t work. First off, all of the booths were pretty much concentrated in only two halls, and even by Saturday afternoon, I still was a bit lost when navigating around the new floorplan. I’m not even sure that I could mentally get around at this point. Hopefully by the end of Essen 2014, I’ll be more comfortable! That is, of course, that they don’t re-organize the booth locations!
So, I think I will go to my list on my computer (which is not filled in and is NOT the one that I lost), and go through the publishers alphabetically…
2F was crowded as always… There are always people waiting to playtest Herr Friese’s games, and this year, the added draw of getting candy after the playtest seems to keep things hopping. For me, though, the highlight of the stand was the Folders. I have already spent an hour or so playing around with them on the plane. I have copies of Funf Gurken and Wucherer in my bag, but I haven’t had a chance to play them yet. I have played a proto of Futterneid, but have not played the published version – FF told me though that there weren’t too many changes from the version that I played. FInally, the new set of PG boards is in a box being mailed to me, so I will get to that in the next few weeks
Abacus had the new deluxe Hanabi set. It comes in a nice wooden box, and the tiles feel good in your hand. I did have some concern because it looked like the tiles in the demo room were getting scuff marks on their back – which would provide some information to game players – but these marks easily wiped off with a cloth, so I am not concerned by this. My brother got a set, and it looks good. The only downside was that tiles do not fit back in the box in the included bag – you have to arrange them nicely again to get the lid to close.
Adlung – this is another booth that I simply didn’t have time for.
AEG – The big games for me here were Canalis and Cheaty Mages. There was some issue with shipping or customs for Cheaty Mages and it was not available at the start of the show, but it showed up by late Friday night, so all is well. I really liked the original Japanese version of Cheaty Mages, and the new edition actually has a few rule changes that were suggested by the designer – so I’m looking forward to seeing how those changes affect game play. I also am excited that they are continuing their Big in Japan line with plans for Sail to India for 2014.
Amigo – Amigo continues on with its focus on family games. My brother and I tried Speed Cups which is a rapid fire dexterity-ish game where you have to stack 5 plastic cups as fast as possible to match a card flipped up on the table. It also has a Halli Galli style bell which is loud! Galapagos and Flash 10 are the games that interested me most (for my family) – though I still will need to work out a translation for Galapagos… I am hoping that one of my friends over at Amigo will come through for me (hint, hint)\