Report from Essen SPIEL 2022, Day 1

Thursday report

First thing this morning, went to the asmodee store, as some of my friends wanted to get a copy of splendor duel. This is reportedly in short supply, so this was very high on the initial to-do list. While they were standing in line to buy the game, I noticed that both Carcassonne and Splendor have new cover artwork.


While wandering around in the setup time, it also feels like many booths are still busy with the actual setting up. The number of tasks that were accomplished today before 10am felt lower than usual. I was hoping to pick up the new Flamme Rouge Grand Tour, but based on the signage, it will not be ready until next year…

Another trend I have noticed today is that there are all sorts of problems with credit card machines. While it is a very nice change that many vendors are allowing cashless transactions, it appears connectivity here in the exhibit hall is somewhat problematic. In the opening hour of setup, I have had no less than three credit card machines I’ve had to wait for as they have had to reboot or initially connect with

One thing that looks to be a hit at the show is Cat in the Box, Deluxe Edition. It was for sale at a number of different places, and pretty much seemed to be sold out by 11am everywhere. The Bezier stand thought they would be selling it all four days per their chart here – but as you can see – there aren’t any more to be sold..Finally it’s time to go and learn about some games. At the Taiwan board game design Booth I did get a demo of Saladmaster which is a variant of top trumps. You get a category to score, and then each player picks a card which hopefully scores for the category.

Got a chance to check out the Asmodee lounge. Great hospitality, and all of their games are available to be examined. Of note there is an English language version of Stupor from repos games. However you will not be able to find this back in the US because the Harry Potter license in the US did not go to asmodee


After lunch, time for a few meetings…

At Lucky Duck, got some great demos of Flamecraft and Tidal Blades – both of which are snugly packed in my luggage to go home. Also learned of a super interesting game called OROS, set be released in the near future – which has both worker placement as well as tile laying/tile sliding as mechanisms. Can’t wait to give that one a try as well…

PXL_20221006_124802355 (1)

Then, at Game Brewer, finally got a chance to see the new Palaces of Carrara firsthand, and while it does look similar to the older version, apparently the designers wanted to improve the end game and the scoring – so there are a few new bits as well as a completely different sort of bonus scoring.



They also have Oak at SPIEL, a neat game with awesome 2-part figures…


Went to Pegasus to get some demos, and saw Caldera Park – a more gamer-y game in the vein of Savannah Park. I am really excitied to try this one out.


Finally had a nice chat with the people at Mojito – a company which is trying to bring back some of the classic games into the market. They had Cleopatra here, as well as signs for Pueblo and Mystery of the Abbey. I’m looking forward to seeing the new versions.

On the way out, made my usual stop at the Cundco booth to pick up some Carcassone expansions as well as the yearly SPIEL promo tile. I was also excited to get some of the special Ukraine tiles; and I think Hans im Gluck is doing a great thing by donating 150% of the sales of the Ukraine tiles to relief efforts.

And… the rest of the day was spent packing and nesting games.

Here is the Thursday Haul.


Hopefully I finish this project by bedtime. As it stands, no more time for writing!

Until you next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
This entry was posted in Convention Report, Essen 2022. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Report from Essen SPIEL 2022, Day 1

  1. Jacob says:

    I hope to read some mini-reviews or first impressions of all of those games you acquired.

Leave a Reply