spielbox November 2010

spielbox 6/2010 coverAfter complaining that the last issue had almost no articles besides reviews, they're back. The non-reviews are still not enough to change my overall opinion about the magazine, but this issue is certainly more to my liking than the previous one.

It's also clear spielbox is covering more games that are not available in German, maybe because of the magazine's English edition.

I couldn't help noting that two of the games in this issue (Rattus and The Plague) are about an uncommon theme, The Black Plague, but I won't take it as a signal that it will become popular 😉

Another curious coincidence: a review on a game I just played two days ago, Ascension. The reviewer notes that the game lacks depth and that its fantasy theme is completely irrelevant, but praises the rulebook and the game's simplicity, giving it a score of 7/10. I wholeheartedly agree with everything, except that it deserves such a high score.

The editor-in-chief comments on the German Game Award results, writing that the top 10 voted games make for one of the most uniform lists ever, with most games being of the VP-gathering kind, with similar mechanics; cooperative, communication or dexterity games are absent. The magazine presents the 2010 and 2009 lists side by side and it's plain to see that last year was far more interesting, with games as diverse as Dominion, Le Havre, Pandemic and Small World. He also notes that the winner (Fresco) beat the second placed (Vasco da Gama) by the narrowest margin ever in the award's history. Darn! Well, at least I did my bit by voting for VdG and Macao, which also made the top 10.

The issue's contents is as follows, with underlined games getting high scoring reviews.

  • News:
    • the German Game Award results
    • the world's largest Puzzle: 32,256 pieces and 17kg heavy!
  • Long reviewsThe Mines of Zavandor, Jerusalem, Vor den Toren von Loyang, Rattus, Cyclades, Frag Gold Edition, Shipyard, Snapshot, Catacombs, Horus Heresy, Settlers of America, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer
  • Short reviews: Dominion:The Alchemists, Wobble, Hotel Checkout, Caminos, Haflinger & Co.
  • Children’s games: MauseSause, Pirate Plank, Die Alphas, Wortwal, Kim & Tim, Einfach klasse in Mathematik
  • Profiles:
    • Claus Stephan: a graphic designer explains how he developed the art concept for Loch Ness
    • Inka and Markus Brand, a game designer couple (Guatemala Café, A Castle for all Seasons, etc.)
  • Reports:
    • the opinions of players, authors and publishers on environmentally friendly games
    • the Wizard world cup final in Castle Frankenstein
  • Edition spielbox:
    • The Plague, a Carcassonne expansion
    • 'Revolution', a special card for Wizard Extreme
  • History:
    • oldie: Crokinole
    • word games: Scrabble, Typ Dom, Boggle, Runes/Buzzle, etc.
    • an overview of several Carcassonne expansions (part 2)
    • the roots of Martin Wallace's London
    • for collectors: the games of publisher Bütehorn (late 70s and early 80s)

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