spielbox September 2009

spielbox 5/2009 cover Last Friday issue 5/2009 arrived, with a reader survey. Respondents enter a draw of free tickets and accommodation for Spiel 2010! Fingers crossed... The online web form allows to add our own comments, so I took the opportunity to tell the publishers that what I like most about the magazine are the historical articles, the interviews and the reports, not the game reviews. There is no review that can replace the plurality of opinions on BoardGameGeek and the spielbox reviews are actually 80% rule summary and 20% opinion. Not very helpful. Moreover, certain reviewers have a rather convoluted way of writing (to add on top of the convoluted sentence structure in German), which means I can sometimes hardly parse their sentences, let alone understand how the game works. I doubt a 25 year old magazine will change their structure, but I wish they reduce the number of pages dedicated to reviews and increase those with the kind of articles I can't get anywhere else. One of the survey questions was whether we felt the reviews were too detailed, so there's hope...

Moving on to the issue's contents, it is as follows, with underlined games receiving great reviews:

  • News:
    • the top 10 games voted for the German Game Award: Dominion wins, with Diamonds Club getting the Essen Feather for best rulebook and Burg der 1000 Spiegel getting the children game award
    • "Count Ludo", the German award for game graphics, will be awarded for the first time at the Leipzig modell-hobby-spiel Fair
  • Long reviews: Via Romana, Small World, Dice Town, Islas Canarias, Duell der Baumeister, Spartacus, Professor Pünschge, Automobile, Powerboats, Duck Dealer
  • Short reviews: Strozzi, Viamala, Monuments
  • Children’s games: Einfach klasse in Deutsch, Tintenklecks, Rechtschreiben, 6 nimmt! Junior, Schaun das Schaf - Köttel-Alarm!
  • Reports:
    • Tom Felber plays around the world: the game café and publishing landscape in South Korea, with lots of plastic hammers and a visit to Tom Vasel
    • a concert where music pieces were inspired by games
    • interview with GameHeads, the authors and publishers of Bushido
  • Edition spielbox 88: Space Drifters, a game for 2-6 players by Christof Tisch
  • History:
    • oldie: Automania
    • the publisher Edition Perlhuhn and its founder Reinhold Wittig (part 1)
    • the roots of: ...aber bitte mit Sahne
    • for collectors: the games of the metallurgic company Meto
    • abstract games: games where pieces are pushed, incl. Abalone, Akiba, Over Board, Oshi, Siam

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