spielbox is the oldest German game magazine, published since 1981. It appeared four times a year, but since 1985 it is published six times a year. From 2009 on, it will appear seven times a year in order to better cope with the avalanche of games to be reviewed.
The contents is made of a nice variety of articles, whereas other magazines, like WIN, are almost exclusively made of reviews. What follows is my own classification of spielbox's articles.
- Long reviews make the bulk of each issue. Most games reviewed also get a score from 1 (worst) to 10 (best) from one or more reviewers. The list of games that got scores since 1989 is here.
- Short reviews have only a qualitative score (‘super’, ‘quite OK’, or ‘oh well…’).
- Children’s games only get short reviews, without any scoring.
- News include any noteworthy information about the German or international gaming landscape.
- History articles usually describe older games, including collector items, but they may also describe the development or the roots of recent games.
- Profiles are articles about (or interviews with) game authors and publishers.
- Edition spielbox is a centrefold, original game.
- Variants show how to improve known games.
I especially like the profile and history articles, as they provide a richer perspective on game design than reviews, which focus on current games and on the player's perspective.
One of my forthcoming New Year resolutions is to start subscribing to spielbox, as a way to force myself to regularly read some German again (nice excuse, nicht wahr? 😊 ). In future posts I will describe the contents of both the new and the back issues I already have, as a way to note down where each personal profile or game was described, if I want to find it later. I hope other readers of spielbox find this service useful too.