In a month's time, the world's largest trade fair for board games begins in Essen with the International Games Days. SPIEL'17 will take place from October 26th to 29th, 2017 in the European Green Capital to inspire trade visitors, press representatives and game fans from all over the world. Around 175.000 board players are expected on the days of the fair, who are not only allowed to look at innovations and trends from the games and toy industry, but also to try out and buy them.

We have summarized the most important trends and information about SPIEL'17 in Essen. 


General information about SPIEL'17 in Essen

When SPIEL'17 opens its doors to the public on October 26, 2017, more than 170.000 board game fans will flock to the hall of Messe Essen on the four days of the fair. The positive development of the toy industry continues this year. 1.200 new products are waiting to be tested and bought by game enthusiasts from all over the world. Around 1.100 exhibitors from 51 countries present their ideas and products to the public. With a total of 72.000 square meters, the exhibition space at SPIEL'17 has grown by almost 9 percent compared to the previous year. New this year is the entire area of ​​exhibition hall 8. The entire area Hall plan can be found by visitors on the Friedhelm Merz Verlag website.

For a long time, board games are no longer marginal phenomena in the gaming world, but fixed values ​​that contribute to the deceleration of society. Even if individual hybrid board games, such as Interaction from rudy Games or Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition von Asmodee, combining digital technologies with board game mechanics, the departure from pure digital entertainment concepts is also noticeable among young players. Legacy mechanics, one-time games or story-packed evening entertainment: publishers and authors impress and inspire game fans with their interpretations of modern game ideas. 

The organizers have recognized that an increase in the exhibition area and a wider range of exhibitors means increased logistical effort for the flow of products and visitors. As last year, buyers of board and parlor games can easily send their achievements worldwide using the packaging and shipping service. In order to expand the range, the stand space of the shipping service for SPIEL'17 was doubled and more staff were hired.

The organizers from Friedhelm Merz Verlag also keep an eye on the general traffic situation. In order to transport visitors more comfortably and faster to the halls of Messe Essen, Essener Verkehrs AG is providing twice as many underground trains on all four days of the fair as in the previous year. At least at Essen Central Station, that should ensure noticeably less crowding and thus more relaxation. The parking lot situation in recent years has been a major point of criticism for many visitors arriving by car. Significantly more parking spaces are available for SPIEL'17, so an improvement can be expected for this area as well. On Saturday and Sunday, in addition to car parks P1, P2, P3, P5 and P9, car park P11 will also be open to visitors. An additional 10 parking spaces are also available in car park P5.000. There with the special service of buying admission tickets including shuttle bus transport to the exhibition entrance. 

If you are looking for accommodation at short notice or want recommendations on gastronomy or sightseeing in the Ruhr metropolis of Essen, the helpful board game community should use the social networks Twitter or Facebook ask for advice.

We are happy to help you with any questions you may have.

Our is also helpful for first-time visitors Survival guide for SPIEL'16 from the previous year.

The waiting times and overcrowding in the cloakrooms also caused criticism. The opening of a third entrance via the Galeria should ensure faster entry into the halls. Board game fans should be particularly pleased with the provision of 900 additional cloakroom spaces in the Galeria area. 

The organizers have put a lot of thought into the SPIEL'17 in Essen for the benefit of the visitors. Everything seems to be better planned and prepared, so that the International Game Days with Comic Action 2017 can break visitor records again.

Spiel'17 trends: the hottest new releases

Escape games have been all the rage over the past year. The success of such game concepts was confirmed by the choice of Kennerspiel des Jahres 2017. The award went to the authors Brand and KOSMOS Verlag for the first round of the EXIT game series. The continued trend at SPIEL'17 shows that escape games were not a flash in the pan. Escape room and EXIT games will once again be found among the board games on display this year. Noris Spiele attracts fans with a completely new gaming experience and combines proven game mechanics with the use of virtual reality technology.

Preview of SPIEL'17 in Essen: trends, tips and information

In the ESCAPE-Room branches Submarine as well as Behind enemy lines Fans can immerse themselves in the game scenarios using a smartphone app and the VR glasses included with the game. Within the virtual 360-degree environment, users can freely explore the game worlds by turning their heads and nodding movements.

The KOSMOS publishing house, on the other hand, relies on the expansion of the successful EXIT series. With the new releases of the current game year, the target group of the EXIT games is enlarged. The trilogy EXIT - The three ??? appeals to explorers and puzzle fans from the age of 10. EXIT - The dead man on the Orient Express on the other hand, is intended for professional players and entices with an exciting setting. the new offshoot* from the EXIT series will be released on October 16, 2017, shortly before the start of the trade fair.

Well-known and still popular are so-called Legacy games. The game concept works with a game environment that changes through constant play and allows players to develop a completely individual gaming experience. At SPIEL'17, new board games based on the successful legacy mechanism will be presented. Asmodee is also sending Pandemic Legacy Season 2 the continuation of the successful series into the race and sends players again into a gloomy future setting around deadly epidemics and the extermination of humanity. The aim is to push back a deadly virus within a set playing time in order to make the earth habitable for humans.

As an alternative, Tierra del Fuego offers board game fans an idea by Jamey Stegmaier: Charterstone. In the course of 12 fixed games, 1 to 6 players, ages 14+, build a village in a non-cooperative rule setting that all players share or subdivide. With the further development of the village environment, players gradually unlock countless action options. Newly created buildings and game elements remain permanently in the game and make the difference Charterstone a completely individual experience. The highlight: After the campaign is over, the title can be played by Jamey Stegmaier, who is also the expert game Scythe can continue to be used as a classic worker placement board game. Optional provides a Recharge pack for fans to play through the campaign one more time. Charterstone will be published in the German version by Feuerland Spiele in December 2017.    

Friedemann Friese is taking a different approach with the new series Fast Forward. Behind the melodious English title of the trilogy, which appears at 2F-Spiele, hides a game concept that is supposed to make a long study of the rules obsolete. Of course, the three titles are the one from the successful game Fabulous juice* Well-known game mechanism: Instead of reading through the rules before starting the game, players gradually discover the ruleset while playing. 

Each card set of the individual titles Fortress, Escape and Furcht consists of 90 cards each. Game games can also be reset to the beginning and restarted at any time. Fast Forward, however, ensures variety, because each title is completely independent and works with its own game idea.

The law of the series

Much of the news and preliminary reports on SPIEL'17 revolve around the expansion of existing game titles or the clever recycling of well-known brands. KOSMOS brings with the board game The foundation of eternity a new title on the market, which is basically the expansion of Ken Follett's Kingsbridge saga.

Preview of SPIEL'17 in Essen: trends, tips and information

New expansions appear for Fabelsaft as well as for various Star Wars board games from Asmodee and Fantasy Flight Games. With all the well-known names, you almost want a little more courage as a board player. Hotly discussed examples are the “new creations” by the successful author Eric M. Lang, the brain behind board games such as Blood Rage, Rising Sun or The Godfather. Each of the titles may in itself be playfully top-class - but at least solid. Compared to one another, all titles, apart from the material battles, lack real innovations. In the long term, it is not enough to simply serve your target groups.

Frequent gamers and board game experts therefore often rely on new releases that appear outside of the already established brands. 

Alternative titles for game fans

Asmodee is getting ready to implement the PC game This War of Mine to reach the hearts of board players. The impressive digital template delighted fans with emotionally charged game moments and momentous decisions. Whether you get something similar from This War of Mine: The Board Game can say, fans will find out at the latest at SPIEL'17 in Essen. The successor to the Terra Mystica game certainly belongs on the list of must-have-played games: Gaia Project. Pott residents and local patriots are looking forward to a board game that is thematically located directly along the Ruhr. The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade comes from Thomas Spitzer and is a new edition of the game Ruhrschifffahrt 1769 - 1890. The anticipation should be great for fans. After all, the original title is already considered a solid board game. 

The board game speaks for fans of dystopian future scenarios Neon Knights 2086 from Board to Death. The “racing game” for 2 to 6 players is all about daring races through a divided metropolis of the future. The gameplay is modern, but the presentation is based on the candy-colored films and series of the 1990s. 

Preview of SPIEL'17 in Essen: trends, tips and information

Instead of having cakes catapulted into your faces, it will be trendy in 2017 to have yourself pointed with the water jet of a toilet - or to avoid the water. Hasbro brings the board game to children ages 4 and up Pee party real thrill from the bathroom to the gaming tables. And because you can have a lot of fun with silly games, many adults should be enthusiastic about such game ideas this year as well. 

The publishing house Pegasus Spiele completes the royal couple and donates the game of the year Kingdomino not just an XXL version, but with Queendomino also a first extension. Skill is on the other hand dr microbe required when small plastic microbes have to be transferred into containers with the help of tweezers and a lot of dexterity.

For fans of the TV series Game of Thrones A visit to SPIEL'17 is particularly worthwhile. The classic board game The settlers of Catan appears for the first time in a special “Westeros variant” with 160 miniatures and matching character cards that originate from the fantasy world of George RR Martin. The first edition is of course limited.

What else you should know about SPIEL'17

Fans can experience shared gaming moments in exhibition hall 7. There, the focus of the exhibited titles is on cooperative gaming concepts. Several publishers have joined forces in order to offer the public a platform for exciting games with each other instead of against each other with the “Co-Op-Square”. The direct contrast to this is provided by the numerous tournament events at SPIEL'17. Various tournaments and competitions take place all day long at the stands. In addition to pure fun events, German championships are also held. On Sunday, October 29, 2017, the final of the Carcassonne World Championship traditionally takes place.

Preview of SPIEL'17 in Essen: trends, tips and information

Players who visit the “Meet'n'Play: Playing with Podcasters & Bloggers” meeting on the Thursday of the fair can become part of the board game community. There, fans can meet the operators of numerous websites, podcasts and video channels from 16 p.m. to 18 p.m. to play new and old board games with them. The meeting takes place in room M, CC South. An overview of all Events is made available online by Friedhelm Merz Verlag.

Board game fans interested in culture take a look at the exhibition “Religion in Play” on the occasion of the 2017 Luther year. The European game collectors guild has put together numerous thematically appropriate exhibits.

The fact that the “German Games Prize” is awarded at SPIEL'17 is old hat. What is new, however, is the award of a title with the “InnoSPIEL” innovation prize.

The Shadows of Esteren concert is pretty musical. On the Friday of the fair, holders of a concert ticket can listen to medieval orchestral sounds for around two hours. 

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