Spiel '02 logo (courtesy Merz Verlag)

Spiel '02

This is my report of the new board games I saw at the 2002 Spiel games fair. There's quite a lot in this article, so you can use an index to find the bits you want. Or just read it as a narrative (there's a printable version too).

Main Index: Intro / Page 2 / Page 3 / Page 4 / Printable (text only) version

Index to Publishers
2F Spiele Abacus Spiele Adlung Spiele alea Amigo Spiel+Freizeit
AZA Spiele Bambus Spieleverlag BeWitched Spiele Clementoni Cwali
daVinci Editrice Don & Co Doris & Frank Eagle Games Eight Foot Llama
Eurogames Fanfor Verlag franjos Spieleverlag Gecko Games Gen Four Two
Globopolis GMT Games Goldsieber Spiele Hans im Glück JKLM Games
Jumbo Kidult Game Kosmos Krimsus Krimskrams-Kiste Phalanx Games
Queen Games R&D Games Ravensburger Schmidt Spiele aus Timbuktu
Splotter Spellen Warfrog Winning Moves Winsome Games Zoch

Index to games
Showing the games that are covered in some detail in the text.
Title Designer Publisher Title Designer Publisher
ad acta Andrea Meyer BeWitched Spiele Age of Steam Martin Wallace Warfrog
Alles im Eimer Stefan Dorra Kosmos Bang! Emiliano Sciarra daVinci Editrice
Bohn Hansa Uwe Rosenberg Amigo Spiel+Freizeit Canal Grande Alan R Moon and Aaron Weissblum Adlung Spiele
Carcassonne - Jäger & Sammler Klaus-Jürgen Wrede Hans im Glück Clippers Alan R Moon Eurogames
Dice run Spartaco Albertarelli Kidult Game Dschunke Michael Schacht Queen Games
das Duell Peter Neugebauer Kosmos Dwarves Markus Welbourne JKLM Games
Emerald Rüdiger Dorn Abacusspiele Fische Fluppen Frikadellen Friedemann Friese 2F Spiele
Fundstücke Friedemann Friese 2F Spiele Globopolis   Globopolis
Im Schatten des Sonnenkönigs Alan R Moon and Aaron Weissblum Amigo Spiel+Freizeit Kampf der Gladiatoren Reiner Knizia Hans im Glück
Keythedral Richard Breese R&D Games Magellan Tom Lehmann Hans im Glück
Monkeys on the Moon Jim Doherty Eight Foot Llama Nautilus Brigitte and Wolfgang Ditt Kosmos
Odins Raben Thorsten Gimmler Kosmos Piratenbucht Paul Randles and Daniel Stahl Amigo Spiel+Freizeit
Pueblo Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer Ravensburger ReAction Maureen Hiron Schmidt Spiele
Santa Fe Rails Alan R Moon GMT Games Street Soccer Corné van Moorsel Cwali
Trans America Franz-Benno Delonge Winning Moves Who Stole Ed's Pants? Jim Doherty Eight Foot Llama
Wildlife Wolfgang Kramer Clementoni ZooSim Corné van Moorsel Cwali

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If it's October, it must be Essen. Spiel '02 took place at the Essen Messe (Exhibition halls) on 17th-20th October and, as usual, featured an awful lot of new games. I attended for three days: enough time to play just a small fraction of the games. I look forward to trying a lot more over the next few weeks - and will add more material in here as I do so. So here are my notes on the new games and what was going on at the show.

It is part of the appeal of Spiel that most companies retain the same stands from year to year, so you always know where to find them. This year it was quite noticeable on first entering the halls that there were several new names on show: Kidult Game, Globopolis and Vivendi, for example. The last of these had a huge area in the main halls for computer games - the first time computer games have had such prominence. The re-organisation also extended to shifting the Comic Action part of the show into Hall 8, with the flea market of secondhand stalls brought into Hall 9. Hall 6 remained the preserve of the role-players and CCG enthusiasts, while Hall 4 had all the children's play area - bouncy castles galore!

Spiel '02: Panorama of Hall 11

It is very difficult to capture the scale of Spiel for those who haven't attended. This time, I've tried a couple of panoramas - using a feature of my nice new digital camera. The first (above) shows the view from the steps at one end of Hall 11: this shows the special Alex Randolph exhibition on the left, the Ravensburger stand in the middle and the white block is the top of the organisers' (Friedhelm Merz Verlag) offices. Ravensburger has one of the largest stands at the show, but Amigo now have twice the space - they do, after all, produce the German editions of Wizards of the Coast products (i.e. Magic: the Gathering, D&D etc).

Spiel '02: Panorama of Hall 4

The second picture (above) is of Hall 4, just after closing time, with a deflated bouncy castle in the foreground. The apparatus on the background is harnesses suspended on bungees for kids to bounce around on. Between them, these two photos show about a fifth of the area taken up by the show.

I mentioned the Alex Randolph exhibition above. This was a special show to honour the veteran games designer in his eightieth year. In the last 40 years, Randolph has been responsible for over 100 games: from TwixT in 1962 to Die Grosse Rüsselbande and Zirkusferkel in 2002. A range that includes lots of classics and favourites. I'd pick out Code 777, Die Heisse Schlacht am kalten Buffet, Hol's de Geier, Inkognito, Rasende Roboter (or Ricochet Robots in English), TwixT and Würmeln. It was great to see this recognition being given to a games designer.

But on to the games. To give some sort of structure, I'll run through this in alphabetical order of publisher. Each game that I've played will be given a score out of 10, according to what I think of it. Note that these scores are deeply subjective!

Click here for the next page of my Spiel '02 report

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Page created 23rd November 2002. Last modified 24th June 2005.
This website produced by Paul Evans. © Copyright Paul Evans, 2002-2005. All trademarks acknowledged.
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