Essen Spiel 2022: The aftermath – reviews incoming

It was a very different Essen Spiel 2022 for me this year. I didn’t pitch any games or have a single meeting. I worked a couple of short shifts on the Surprised Stare booth (which was fun) and went in not really looking forward to a particular game. And it was all going swimmingly until I got ill on Saturday. I thought it was con crud but no, it was COVID. I’m clear now, but still feel terrible. But at least I got three good days at the show.

Generally, it felt as if Essen was back to normal. The numbers seemed a little down, but that may have been helped by my relaxed attitude. It’s a very different show when when you’re trying to rush between meetings and there are thousands of browsers in your way. The look and feel of the show were completely back, though. Everything in its place.

I had a pretty bad hit rate on the 13 games I’d earmarked in my Essen Spiel 2022 games preview. Four came home with me, including both ‘must haves’. I guess you could say that’s perfect, seeing as I said I was only coming home with five games. But we all know that was never going to happen. I was good, I swear. I only came home with 10, spending a grand total of 60 euros in the process.

The tale of my Essen Spiel 2022 list

I grabbed my must-haves, Starship Captains and 1998 ISS, on Thursday, along with two-player target The Two Heirs. Of the other two I’d looked at, Laniakea was a little too basic and uninvolving after playing a bit of a game of it at their booth. While I decided Sarah probably wouldn’t enjoy Violet and the Grumpy Niss, I did hear good things about it from people who picked it up. Worth checking out for two-player trick-takers.

Of the cheaper games, a miscommunication meant I missed out on Moesteiro – I’m still hopeful of getting hold of a copy. And I’ve been promised Overbooking post-show. We played Maui at the show and while it was fine, again it just didn’t stand out. It’s a nice, light family game but there’s nothing there for gamers.

I picked up Pessoa, but they’d run out of Findorff by the time I got to the 2fSpiel stand. And Tribes of the Wind will be out in the UK in June with a release at UK Games Expo, so I’ll follow that up then. It was on sale, but I’m happy to wait. Pilgrim didn’t make it, I’m following up on Sabika, and I passed on Revive and Discordia. I had both on the back burner, but had enough games in my suitcase before I got back to them. I’m looking forward to hearing more about both, though.

My extra pickups from Essen Spiel 2022

Any regulars here will know I love me a bit of Stefan Feld, and I was lucky that Armageddon publisher Queen is working closely with him right now. I managed to pick up review copies of his new offering Marakesh, alongside the reprint of one of my faves Macao, now rebranded and updated as Amsterdam. NSV tends to be generous with the press, and this year was no different, with a copy of the little card game Triggs falling into my lap.

I grabbed Fantasy Pub from Looping Games (1998 ISS), which is a reprint of a light game that looks nice. I had a compelling pitch from the designer of Space Expatriot, which looks to have some Race for the Galaxy elements to it (sold!). And rounded things off with the 2019 release Electropolis, which we played in the halls and I instantly fell in love with.

You can expect reviews of all these in the coming months – bookmark this page if you’re interested, and I’ll link them below as I do them. And add anything that comes in late. And as always, do feel free to ask anything you like about anything Essen-related.

Essen Spiel 2022 reviews

Essen Spiel 2022 reviews incoming

  • 1998 ISS
  • Amsterdam
  • Electropolis
  • Fantasy Pub
  • Marakesh
  • Pessoa
  • Space Expatriate
  • Starship Captains
  • Two Heirs

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