Being excited about SPIEL Essen

Board games

When writing this blog post, I tried to remember the correct term for “Gesellschaftsspiel” in English, but as Wikipedia tells me, there apparently is no equivalent other than “board game” which doesn’t really fit. “Gesellschaft” basically means society, community, company, party. The term “Gesellschaftsspiel” means it’s a game that you play with or against others. It includes card games, dice games, board games, games that don’t require either of these things like pictionary etc. – I always think that “board game” is too limited in meaning. But when I talk about games in a blog about PC games, it would get very confusing! So, I’ll be using board games here to talk about Gesellschaftsspiele.

I’ve been a board game geek even before I became a gamer. And this says something as I became a gamer once my older brother brought home the Commodore 64 which I got to buy off of him once he switched to the Amiga. I was about 7 or 8 years old or so.

But the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree here. My mum owned the Atari 2600 and also loved playing board games with us! I didn’t actually get to play on that console until much later (and often sneakily as I wasn’t allowed to just use it, but I was careful, knew how to attach everything and never broke anything!). But board games were part of my early childhood already. Since my brother is almost six years older than me, we regularly played games that were suggested for a higher age than I was, but I’d usually team up with an adult or got some custom rules to join.

And when my family went on vacation with others, there were always game nights. No matter where we were (be it a warm country like Italy or snowy Bavaria), the evenings were spent playing card games or Yahtzee, at least (easy to carry with you in your luggage).

Board games

Fortunately for me, bookahnerk is just as much a board game geek as I am! We are constantly growing our collection and yes, there is also a pile of shame with games we buy and then never get around to playing. But it’s much smaller than the one on Steam. The picture on the left shows a few of the games we own. The image on top of this blog posts shows yet another stash of games. But we have more than that, of course.

I’ve been wanting to rearrange how we store our board games since we’ve moved here, because as it is right now, we open several parts of the shelves and you need to walk around the table to actually take a look at all of them. I’d love to have them all in one shelf only. It’s got to be a different one, of course. Probably the wide shelf we have in our guest room.

Lately, I’ve really fallen in love with cooperative games. One of my favourite ones is Mysterium. Especially now that Samhain is approaching, I really get the urge to play it again. A close second is Pandemic. I’ve gotten the Legacy version for my birthday and we’re hopefully going to start playing that soon.

The reason for this rant is that there’s the SPIEL Essen starting today. It’s a German convention for games (Gesellschaftsspiele, not PC games). Unfortunately, we live too far away to go there. But thanks to Twitch, we may be able to still watch a few new games announced or introduced! So I’m sitting here, thankfully still working at home (on my dissertation) and just need to figure out which channel may stream from the convention!

Promo picture Obscurio

One game that I am definitely interested in is Obscurio. It seems very similar to Mysterium at first glance, but there are enough differences to warrant a purchase (as if I really needed a reason…). It has a traitor mechanic, though, and I am not too sure I like that. So I’d love to see more reviews and opinions on how it works first.

Maybe it is good that we can’t go to the convention, after all. I saw a tweet about how you can rent storage space and go there again throughout the day to refill it with the games you bought, so you don’t have to carry them around all day. At least, Steam games don’t take up any physical space!